There was an error in this gadget


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boeing offers Apache and Chinook helicopters to India

Boeing has submitted two procurement proposals to the Indian Air Force (IAF), offering its AH-64D Apache and the CH-47F Chinook for the country's attack and heavy-lift helicopter competitions, it announced on 23 October.
India is seeking 22 attack helicopters and 15 heavy-lift transport helicopters worth approximately USD1.3 billion. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not set a date for when it will announce the winning proposals, nor announced suggested production rates and delivery schedules.
Boeing's offer is the latest development in the IAF's protracted helicopter procurement programmes.
On 6 February 2008 the head of the IAF, Air Chief Marshal F H Major, announced that the air force was to acquire two new squadrons of attack helicopters and a competition was launched shortly afterwards.
In October that year Boeing withdrew from the bidding as the company felt that it was unable to address India's requirements and formulate a proposal in the time allowed by the MoD.
Bell Helicopters pulled out at about the same time as the AH-1Z Cobra it was offering was only available for export through the US Government's Foreign Military Sales programme. The MoD had previously stated that it did not want to purchase its helicopters through FMS but by direct sale from the manufacturer.
In March of this year the competition was cancelled as, according to the MoD, the companies bidding were unable to meet some of the IAF's key requirements.

India plans homegrown aviation sector

India has strategic ambitions to develop self-reliance in military aviation manufacture as it seeks to modernise its air defence with a $10bn contract for jet fighters, the head of India’s air force said on Tuesday.
Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, the chief of staff of the Indian air force, said India had the intellectual prowess and industrial expertise to grow its own aircraft manufacturing sector. But he acknowledged that it would be a “Herculean task” to wean the country’s military establishment off a heavy reliance on foreign expertise in some of its core competencies.
In the coming years, Chief Marshal Naik expected Indian metallurgy, turbine blades, communications, encryption technology and microchips to form a domestic industry that could supply the design, building and service of ­aircraft.
India has traditionally turned to Russia for the needs of its air force. The country is seeking to buy 126 jet fighters and has begun year-long trials of the aircraft. Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, France’s Dassault Rafale, Lockheed Martin’s F-16, Russia’s Mig-35, Sweden’s Saab JAS-39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon are all vying for the prize contract.
India, one of the world’s fastest-growing large economies, is also one of its biggest arms importers. The government plans to spend more than $30bn (€20bn, £18bn) over the next five years to overhaul its arsenal in the face of possible threats from Pakistan and China.
The comments by the head of the air force echo those of senior officers in the navy, which aims to add almost 100 warships to its fleet over the next decade, and develop its own low-cost shipbuilding capabilities.
Air Commodore Jasjit Singh, the director of the Centre for Air Power Studies, told the Financial Times that he foresaw Indian participation in the upgrading of existing aircraft rising rapidly over the next 15 years to between 50 per cent to 70 per cent, with greater Indian design and joint research and development.
In 40 years, with the introduction of a new generation of aircraft, he said that could rise to 80 per cent.
In the meantime, India faced the choice of joining the US and Europe as a partner in defence manufacture or teaming up in an eastern triumvirate with China and Russia, Air Commodore Singh said.
Some analysts have been encouraged by the achievements of India’s space programme as evidence that it has the ability to develop a larger aviation industry. Last year India sent a rocket to orbit the moon and has developed considerable expertise in satellite launches.
But some industry executives say the country is lagging far behind neighbouring China in its technological support for commercial and military aircraft in spite of sizeable orders from Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher for new fleets.
“The [Indian] aerospace industry is not at all energised. It is a bit [active] in space, but it’s not energised in defence or commercial areas,” Arunakar Mishra, the chief executive of Bangalore-based Genser Aerospace and Information Technologies, said.
“People coming out of the Indian air force help foreigners to sell equipment to India [and don’t develop local capacity].”

Indian Navy deploys two warships for anti-piracy patrol

New Delhi: With spurt in incidents of piracy, Indian Navy has deployed two warships off the coast of Seychelles and Mauritius to carry out patrols to counter threat from Somali pirates there.

"INS Shardul, an amphibious warship and Indian Coast Guard ship Varuna, an offshore patrol vessel, had gone to Seychelles and Mauritius for training purposes, but we have asked the ships to remain in the area for a longer duration to carry out surveillance and anti-piracy patrols," Navy officials said here.

The two ships will be in addition to the Talwar Class guided missile frigate deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrols.

India started deploying its warships for anti-piracy operations in October last year and since then, they have been escorting Indian ships safely through the pirate-affected areas. They have also carried out actions against pirate mother ships.

Indian ships have also been coordinating informally with warships of other countries and groupings for securing the ships from pirates.The IAF may also be possibly inducted into the anti-piracy operations where pirates are widening their area of operations.

Wreath Laying at Amar Jawan Jyoti on Infantry Day

Infantry the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army popularly known as “QUEEN OF THE BATTLE” celebrates its 62nd Infantry Day today. As part of the celebrations, ‘Wreath Laying’ ceremony is held at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’ at India Gate to honour those members of the Infantry fraternity who have made the supreme sacrifice for the honour and safety of the country. This year, Lieutenant General Arvind Sharma, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC (Retired) laid wreath on behalf of all infantry veterans. Vice Army Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General PC Bhardwaj, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, SC, VSM laid the wreath as the senior most serving Infantryman in the station. All the Colonels of the Regiments assisted by smartly attired soldiers representing their regiments also laid wreath to honour all the fallen gallant soldiers. The ceremony was conducted in a very somber and dignified manner, so characteristic of the Infantry. Lieutenant General Jasbsir Singh, AVSM, VSM Director General Infantry and head of the Infantry fraternity hosted the ceremony and laid wreath to commemorate the event. On the occasion, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General PC Bhardwaj PVSM, AVSM, VrC, SC, VSM also released the ‘Infantry Plus’ magazine published by Infantry Directorate.

This day has a unique significance for Infantry, as it was on this day in 1947, that Infantrymen first air landed at Srinagar and reversed the tide of a fierce battle in Kashmir that saved the State of Jammu and Kashmir from falling into the hands of Pakistani mercenaries, thereby creating a legacy for independent India. Infantrymen find a special mention not only the history of Armed Forces but also of India, in form of its gallant contribution in preserving the sovereignty and integrity of our
Mother Land and further providing conducive environment for its peace, prosperity and growth. To commemorate their heroic deeds, gallant actions and supreme sacrifice, Infantry Day is celebrated on 27 October every year.

CoAS invites Indian Army chief for visit To be given honorary title

KATHMANDU, Oct 27: The Chief of Army Staff Chhatra Mansingh Gurung has extended a formal invitation to the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, General Deepak Kapoor, for a visit to Nepal. A letter to this effect was sent by General Gurung on October 23 soon after the cabinet meeting held the same day gave a go ahead for the proposal of the Ministry of Defense to invite General Kapoor.

It has been said in the invite that General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, will be presented with the title of Honorary General of the Nepal Army by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav at the time of the visit. Bestowing of such honorary title is a routine affair and is usually reciprocal. The former Nepal Army chief Rookmangud Katawal was conferred with the title of Honorary General of Indian Army by India´s President Pratibha Patel in December 2007.

The NA Chief has also extended the invitation to General Kapoor´s wife and other staff officers of the Indian Army. Although the date of his arrival has yet to be confirmed, the visit will hold high significance in the light of ongoing negotiations with India on resumption of both lethal and non-lethal weapons for NA.

General Kapoor took over as the Chief of Army Staff on September 30, 2007 and as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on August 31 this year. 

Expansion of paramilitary indicates inadequacies in state police : Chidambaram

New Delhi, Oct 27 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Tuesday that massive expansion of the central police forces (CPF) is indicative of inadequacies of state police.
Addressing the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs on the topic ‘National Police Mission,’ Chidambaram said : “The police-population ratio in the country is much lower than the desired level of 220 and there is also wide variation among the States. He also drew the attention to other problems like outdated equipment and lack of training.”
He expressed concern over the least efforts made to fill a large number of vacancies which exist in state police at lower as well as higher levels.
“Inadequacies of police in the States and their over-dependence on the central police forces is not a good sign for the federal structure. The States are now realizing the gravity of the situation and concentrating on recruitment, training and modernization of their police forces,” Chidambaram said.
“Policing in the country has long been neglected and urgent reforms are needed in the state police system,” he added.
Chidambaram also drew the attention to problems like outdated equipment and lack of training.
The Home Minister informed the meeting that four projects submitted by the Micro Missions, set up under the National Police ission have been approved for implementation throughout the country. (ANI) 

Mamata Banerjee demands army operation in Lalgarh

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday demanded that the central government launch an army operation in Maoist-affected Lalgarh region of West Bengal and if required impose president’s rule in the state.
‘We want an army operation. The joint operation (by West Bengal and central forces) is not successful,’ Banerjee told reporters after meeting Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with the kin of the two police officers who were abducted by the Maoists.

She also demanded imposition of Article 355 in West Bengal followed by slapping of president’s rule on the state.

Article 355 of the Constitution deals with the duty of the union government to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbances and to ensure that the state’s governance is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

The Trinamool Congress leader, who accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres of looting arms from the state government’s armoury, said an army operation should be launched against the people who engaged in armed violence in the area.

‘We want democracy. We want verdict from the people. Go for Article 355 first. Then impose Article 356,’ she said.

Mamata said she was addressing the media as the chairman of the Trinamool Congress. She termed Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee ‘a killer’ and the Maoists as ‘his baby’.

‘He is a killer chief minister. It (the Maoists) is Bhattacharjee’s baby. I don’t believe the Marxists and Maoists are separate,’ she said.

‘State sponsored terroism is happening in West Bengal. The Marxists are alleging that Maoists looted arms from their camps. Everyday there are murder incidents.’

‘They (the Marxists) set up their camps with armoury. The Marxist cadres alongwith goons are capturing areas,’ Mamata said.

She charged the central government with not taking action against the West Bengal government, asking: ‘Is West Bengal an exceptional child?’

Mamata alleged that her and party leaders’ phone calls were being tapped by the state government. She accused the Marxists of conducting false propaganda against her, and said she was not worried about her life.

‘I’m not worried about my life. Before killing Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, they were subjected to character assassination,’ she said.

Army takes over operations to rescue brothers from bore-well


Agra, Oct 27 (IANS) Army personnel were Tuesday called in to rescue two brothers who fell into a 50-foot deep bore-well in a village in Agra district Monday evening. However, officials at the spot said they were uncertain the two are still alive.
Masons Lal Singh and Netrapal, both in their early forties, were cementing the peripheral wall of a widened, open bore-well, in Burhan village, 30 km from the city. The two had almost finished their work around 4 p.m. Monday, when a part of the wall caved in and the two fell into the well, an official said.

Local residents and government employees kept digging Monday night but to little avail.

The army’s help was sought by the district administration Tuesday morning. Army personnel reached the spot and, using machines, have dug down to 35 feet but it is estimated that it would still take several hours for them to reach the victims, as the soil is sandy. Rescue operations will further be hampered as it will soon get dark.

Hundreds of villagers have reached the accident site. The children of the two and their 85-year-old mother Bhudevi, along with other relatives, are also present at the spot.

Villagers have almost given up hope the two brothers being alive.

NCC cadets' flying camp begins

BANGALORE: The All India Vayu Sainik Camp, a national-level camp for Air Wing NCC cadets, was innagurated by Air Commodore Ravi Dhar, deputy director general of NCC Directorate, Karnataka and Goa, on Tuesday. The annual event will be conducted till November 6 at the Jakkur airfield.

Around 600 cadets, including 180 girls, from 15 directorates will learn aviation-related activities like gliding, micro light aircraft flying, static aero modeling, control line and skeet shooting. They'll also get a chance to fly in Air Force transport aircraft and helicopters at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka. A visit to Air Force Technical College and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited is also on the itinerary.


The cadets will have an opportunity to compete in team as well individual events in flying, aero-modeling, firing, drill, skeet shooting and line-area competition. Individual prizes will be awarded to best pilot-boys, pilots-girls, skeet shooter-boys, skeet shooter-girls and static-model.

Infantry Day celebrated

Infantry Day was celebrated in Bangalore on Tuesday with a homage to martyrs at the war memorial of the Parachute Regimental Training Centre.

Brigadier P S Ravindranth, commander of Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area, and Lieutenant General K Nagaraj (retired), led the gathering in paying tribute to martyrs of Indian Army's infantry by laying wreaths.

On October 27, 1947, the first infantry solider landed in Kashmir valley. In the action that followed, Pakistani soldiers were repulsed.

Brigadier Ravindranath said even though weapons and technology have changed over the years, the infantry continues to be the most important wing of the Army. He recalled the sacrifices made by foot soldiers in the past.

Top Qaida leader, presumed dead, promises more attacks against India, west

NEW DELHI: Al-Qaida leader and one of ISI's top terrorists against India, Ilyas Kashmiri, who was supposed to have been killed in a US drone attack on September 14, did not die after all.

Kashmiri, who is known to be the operational chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI), apparently survived the air strike in village Turrikhel, near Mir Ali in North Waziristan. About 10 days ago, he gave an interview to a Pakistani reporter from Asia Times Online to promise further attacks against the west, saying chillingly that the Mumbai attacks would pale in comparison to what they had planned.

In his interview, Kashmiri reportedly said, "Those who planned this battle actually aimed to bring the world's biggest Satan (US and its allies) into this trap and swamp Afghanistan... However, the great Satan was full of arrogance of its superiority and thought of Afghans as helpless statues who would be hit from all four sides by its war machines, and they would not have the power and capacity to retaliate. This was the illusion on which a great alliance of world powers came to Afghanistan, but due to their misplaced conceptions, they gradually became trapped in Afghanistan. Today, NATO does not have any significance or relevance. They have lost the war in Afghanistan."

He reserved special venom for India. "The RAW has detachment command centres in the Afghan provinces of Kunar, Jalalabad, Khost, Argun, Helmand and Kandahar. The cover operations are road construction companies. For instance, the road construction contract from Khost city to the Tanai tribal area is handled by a contractor who is actually a current Indian army colonel. In Gardez, telecommunications companies are the cover for Indian intelligence operations. Mostly, their men operate with Muslim names, but actually the employees are Hindus."

When the reporter asked him if there could be more Mumbai-like attacks against India, Kashmiri said it was "nothing" compared to what had been planned for the future.

According to terrorism analyst Bill Roggio, Kashmiri could be linked to last week's terror attacks against the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi. Pakistan's interior ministry has labelled Kashmiri the fourth most wanted terrorist. However, Indian security offcials aver that Kashmiri retains his close links with the Pakistani intelligence and military establishment.

Roggio quotes US intelligence officials in his website `The Long War Journal' as saying, "Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and several other Pakistani terror groups have merged with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, and operate under the name of Brigade 313. This group is interlinked with Pakistan's Taliban and also recruits senior members of Pakistan's military and intelligence services." 

Will go with Indian Army ''...anywhere, anytime'': US Army news

Camp Bundela, Babina, India: India and the United States have concluded the largest-ever army exercise conducted by both nations which involved an impressive array of tanks, combat vehicles, anti-tank missiles and even Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Happy US commanders sent out signals that both the armed forces were ready for joint counter-insurgency and anti-terror operations in battle conditions in the future.
"We will be comfortable going with the Indian Army anywhere, anytime. We want to work together as militaries and ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," US Army commander (Pacific) Lt Gen Benjamin R Mixon told reporters here.

Photo credit : Staff Sgt. Crista Yazzie, US Army, Pacific, Public Affairs
Queried about the possibility of joint operations in war zones, for example in Afghanistan, he said that would be a call the Indian government would have to take.Indian Army's director general military operations Lt Gen AS Sekhon, clarified that ''...this exercise is not targeting anybody or any nation, or for any specific contingency. We cannot be using this kind of force in peace-keeping operations.
The exercise was conducted at the Indian Army's training range at Babina, near Jhansi, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, about 275 miles southeast of New Delhi, and lasted two weeks.
Amongst other objectives, the Indian Army also familiarised itself with the US Army's Stryker combat vehicles which boasts of an integrated computer network system. A live-fire exercise was held on 26 October.
Participating in the exercise were Indian Army soldiers from the 'White Tigers' 31st Armoured Division and US soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The exercise conformed to the Joint Operations under a UN mandate and was primarily focused around Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism strategies in a semi-urban scenario.
Along with peace keeping operations, including military coordination, military decision making process and rules of engagement, the exercise also emphasized human rights aspects, civil military operations, community operations and logistics support operations.
The US Army's deployment of 17 Stryker armoured vehicles was the largest number deployed outside of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US.
This is also the first time that Indo-US mechanized forces have jointly exercised with each other.
 ''It was wonderful training with the Indian army in this joint peace enforcement exercise,'' said Lt Gen Mixon.''
''We want to work together as militaries to establish peace in Asia-Pacific region. If any eventuality occurs in future, we are better prepared to work together,'' he added.
He also claimed that the counter insurgency/terror exercise with India had been absolutely fantastic and it had helped the US soldiers to understand India in a better way.
Amongst some achievements notched up in the course of the exercise were:
- Both sides achieved interoperability and capability to function alongside for operations under an UN mandate. This was achieved through a multi-echelon, full spectrum combined operation focusing on a United Nations peacekeeping operation scenario, while executing a manoeuvre live-fire exercise.
- Participants engaged in a variety of missions, from joint planning and manoeuvre execution,  to cordon and search operations as well as search and rescue training.
The 2nd Stryker Brigade, which returned from Iraq in February is likely to return either to Iraq or be sent to Afghanistan next summer.

India, Maldives Hold Joint Anti-Terror Exercise

Taking forward their defence cooperation, the armies of India and the Maldives are holding a joint counter-terrorism exercise at Belgaum.

The exercise, codenamed Ekuverin, began on October 19 and will conclude on November 1 when Maldivian Defence Minister Ameen Faisal and Indian Army's Southern Commander Lt Gen Pradeep Khanna would jointly witness the exercise.

Army sources said here said the fortnight-long exercise was aimed at achieving interoperability between the two countries for future joint counter-terrorism operations.

The Maldivian Army has deputed 44 of its personnel, including five officers, for the exercise and the Indian side 46 personnel.

The earlier joint exercise between the two countries' armies had taken place in May 2007.

The exercise comes close on the heels of India and Maldives signing a defence agreement, under which New Delhi took up the responsibility for security of the archipelago, when Defence Minister A K Antony had gone there on an official visit a couple of months ago.

India had in 1987 despatched its troops by air to Maldives to guard it against a coup attempt by a Sri Lankan Tamil militant group.

Recently, India had deployed warships in Maldivian waters, where Somali pirates were active, and has placed Naval aircraft there for patrolling its skies.

Army is all set to induct 124 Arjun tanks

PUNE: After repeated trials and a huge budget overrun, a total of 124 Arjun Main Battle Tanks (MBT) are all set to be inducted into the armoury of the Indian Army by April next year, said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist and chief controller (R&D) Dr W Selvamurthy.

He was speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the 13th Post Induction Training School (POINTS-13) programme held at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) here on Monday.

Outlining the contribution of the DRDO in shaping various aspects of the weaponry of the Indian armed forces, he said, “The Arjun MBT is a state-of-the-art battle tank designed and developed by the Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi in Tamil Nadu. Besides, the ordered tanks are in various stages of production at the moment and would be inducted in a phased manner.”

Urging new scientists to undertake path breaking research in the defence sector, Dr Selvemurthy said, “You need to go for out-of-the-box thinking to scale new heights in defence research and innovation. As the vision of the DRDO is to empower India with superior technology in the field of strategic defence, which the nation has seen from time to time.”

Delivering the valedictory address, chief guest and director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Professor Samir K Brahmachari said that defence scientists should develop technologies that can be used for civilian purpose. He further said, “Scientists in India are categorised as strategic scientists and those for civilian applications. Hence, how to utilise strategic technology for civilian purpose would be a challenge for the budding DRDO scientists.” He said that DRDO has risen on several occasions by providing vital expertise in the field of ballistic missiles and propellant technology, which speaks volumes about the contribution it made in the cause of nation building.

DRDO grip under stress

New Delhi, Oct. 27: The Centre is set to come out with a new military goods purchase policy that is designed to end the monopoly of the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The DRDO alone develops, patents, formulates and devises products for the army, navy and the air force.
Defence minister A.K. Antony said here today the latest defence procurement policy (DPP) to be issued on November 1 would allow tenders to be issued to Indian companies. These firms may then scout the world markets for joint ventures with multinational defence companies for transfer of technology and production.
This new proviso — being allowed in the DPP for the first time — is under a new category through which the government will procure military hardware. The category is called “Buy and Make (Indian)”.
“The move is primarily aimed at encouraging pro-active participation by the Indian industry, which could establish joint venture production arrangements with any foreign manufacturer,” the minister said.
The practice so far has been to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) to known international arms majors who would then seek to tie up with Indian companies if their offers were accepted under the offsets policy.
The offsets policy mandates that at least 30 per cent of the value of an order — of Rs 300 crore and above — from the armed forces should be re-invested in defence production or procurement by the vendor in India.
Indian defence purchases vary from year to year. The capital expenditure earmarked for purchases in the current budget for the army, navy and the air force is nearly Rs 50,000 crore.
Antony announced the policy amendment at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. “This would help Indian industry to work out the technological requirements and build in-house capabilities in order to meet the future defence requirements. I am sure that the industry will respond positively to this proposal.”
Antony said the policy was being made more transparent. All requests for information (RFI) to companies will be put up on the defence ministry’s website. The ministry will also invite industry representatives to participate in meetings for defence acquisition planning.
In a separate meeting at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said the current defence procurement policy should be simplified.

Antony to visit Japan next month

NEW DELHI: With both India and Japan keen to bolster the strategic and military element in their bilateral ties, defence minister A K Antony will be visiting Tokyo early next month.

Antony, who will leave for Japan on November 8, will hold talks with his Japanese counterpart to discuss ways to boost military ties in fields ranging from counter-terrorism and anti-piracy measures to defence R&D and training.

India is pursuing a "mutually beneficial" defence relationship with Japan to tackle regional and global security challenges, a defence ministry official said on Monday.

"We have common concerns about extremism, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Piracy is another major issue of worry. The navies and coast guards of the two countries are already exercising together to learn from each other and build interoperability," he added.

The two countries have already enhanced their cooperation in combating piracy on the high seas, both bilaterally as well as under the framework of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.

India and Japan are also apprehensive about the long-term intentions of China, which has rapidly modernised its 2.25-million People's Liberation Army. 

Defence procurement policy rollout on Nov 1

NEW DELHI: The new defence procurement policy, targeted at promoting joint ventures between Indian companies and big foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMS) and bringing transparency in acquisitions, will roll out on November 1.

This was announced by defence minister A K Antony at a seminar on defence acquisition here. “The current review is primarily focused on two essential areas of promoting and facilitating wide participation of defence industry and enabling transparency and integrity in acquisitions,” he said.

Hoping that the changes will bring in greater degree of probity in procurement, the defence minister said the policy had been reviewed and was ready to be promulgated.

To ensure transparency and awareness in the Indian industry, Mr Antony said the government will prepare a Long-Term Acquisition Plan of the Armed Forces. This will be put on the ministry of defence website and shared with industry associations. “This would help Indian Industry to work out the technological requirements and build in-house capabilities to meet the future defence requirements. I am sure that the industry will respond positively to this proposal,” the minister said.

There would be mandatory issue of Request for Information on the MoD website in all acquisition cases. The ministry will invite representatives of industry in defence acquisition planning for consultations and presentations in high-level procurement meetings before a decision is taken on the source and methodology for procurement of defence weapons and equipment.

The new policy proposes to enhance the role of independent monitors to scrutinise complaints on any violations of Integrity Pact, which prohibits corruption in defence deals. To facilitate discharge of Offset Obligations, an enabling clause has also been incorporated to permit change of offset partners in exceptional cases.

“It is only through competition that we can ensure the maximum value for our money. It is important to have a broad-based and realistic Qualitative Requirements that would lead to multivendor competition,” he said.

CRPF personnel ‘molest’ woman on train, thrashed


KOKRAJHAR: At least 20 CRPF personnel, returning from New Delhi on the Brahmaputra Mail, were injured after a mob thrashed them for allegedly molesting a woman and assaulting her brother at Fakiragram railway station in Assam’s Kokrajhar district on Tuesday.

The clash broke out when over 3,000 villagers from Fakiragram and its neighbouring areas rushed to the station following rumours that a woman had been thrown out of a train after being allegedly raped by some security personnel. An eyewitnesses said the mob stoned two compartments carrying the CRPF men and assaulted the jawans.