India’s Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd will deliver the indigenously produced cockpit sub-assembly for the Boeing’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
Boeing delivered its first EA-18G to the US Navy earlier this month. The aircraft’s cockpit will receive floodlighting that is compatible with the onboard Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS).
BEL has produced other parts for the EA-18G which include a complex-machined stowage panel for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System connector cable, and an avionics cooling system fan test switch panel with an NVIS-compatible floodlight assembly.
The BEL-made cockpit subassemblies will also be installed on Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. The initial contract was awarded to BEL in March 2011 with the option to renew annually for up to four years. Boeing has recently exercised that option and has renewed the contract for another year.
“BEL continues to demonstrate its capabilities and its position as a valued partner to Boeing,” said Dennis Swanson, Vice President of International Business Development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security inIndia. “BEL’s work on P-8I, Super Hornets and Growlers is another example of how Indian companies are becoming a part of the global supply chain while Boeing helps them expand their opportunities across the global aerospace industry”.
Headquartered inBangalore, BEL also provides Identification Friend or Foe interrogators and Data Link II communications systems for the Indian Navy’s fleet of P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
U.S.-INDIA TALK DEFENSE TECH TRANSFER, CO-PRODUCTION
The Pentagon is looking to further broaden it’s military relationship withIndiain the coming years across a multitude of areas including technology transfer and co-production of equipment.
U.S.and Indian officials are discussing ways to further ease military equipment modernization and technology transfer between the two nations.
“We are going to be basically trying to figure out now and over the coming years how we keep moving our bilateral defense trade relationship forward,” the official said.
During the past decade,New Delhihas purchased more than $8 billion inU.S.weapons.India’s defense industry is expected to grow more robust and sophisticated in the coming years, the official said.
“We really think thatIndia’s military modernization is an important thing that we support,” the official said.
U.S.officials are also discussing co-production opportunities withIndia. This is already occurring with C-130 cargo plane spare parts, the official said.
TheU.S.relationship withIndiahas steadily improved during the past decade, following the implementation of sanctions, which have since been removed, afterNew Delhiconducted a nuclear weapon test in 1998. The militaries of both countries have participated in a number of joint exercises that have increased in scope and complexity.
Last year the countries partnered in more than 50 military-related activities, the largest number of exercise ever conducted by any country with theU.S.
“We believe that is very important to helpIndiamodernize its capabilities and develop its military capabilities so it can be a net provider of security in the region and internationally,” a second senior defense official said.
TheUnited StateswantsIndiato play a larger role in the reconstruction ofAfghanistanthrough economic and training support.
“Over the last 10 years, for a variety of reasons,Indiahas not played a particularly active role inAfghanistan, even though steadily it has increased its economic investments inAfghanistan, helping with the economic reconstruction of that country,” the official said.
The meetings inNew Delhicome asU.S.relations withPakistanhave been strained.Pakistanshut downU.S.supply routes intoAfghanistanafter aU.S.strike mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
AsU.S.and NATO forces begin drawing down troops inAfghanistanin advance of the planned 2014 exit, defense officials expect neighboring nations to play a larger role in the country’s reconstruction.
PANETTA CALLS FOR DEEP US-INDIA DEFENCE TIES
New Delhi: The US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta promised on June 6 to letIndiabuyAmerica’s best weapons technology and jointly produce and develop equipment in a bid to increase trade with the world’s top arms importer.
“TheUnited Statesis firmly committed to provide the best defence technology possible toIndia. We are both leaders in technology development and we can do incredible work together,” he said on a visit to the Indian capital.
New DelhiandWashingtonare close partners on defence issues with some $8 billion of arms sales under their belts, moving past decades of distrust, although theUnited Stateslost out on a major fighter jet deal this year after offering old technology.
“We must move beyond a focus on individual arms sales to regular cooperation that increases the quantity and quality of our defence trade,” he said, adding thatWashingtonwas moving to reform export controls that have limited weapons transfers toIndia.
Panetta also called onNew Delhito modernize its defense procurement rules and nuclear liability legislation and said the Pentagon would work with Indian leaders to cut red tape and speed up defense sales.
“I think close partnership withAmericawill be key to meetingIndia’s own stated aims of a modern and effective defense force,” he said.
The friendship between the world’s two largest democracies is viewed with caution fromBeijing, where some in government fearIndiais part of aUSstrategy to limitChina’s rise on the world stage.Indiais spending about $100 billion over 10 years on modernizing the military, in large part with an eye onChina.
Panetta noted thatIndiaand theUnited Statesboth seeChinaas having “a critical role to play advancing security and prosperity in this region.”
“TheUnited Stateswelcomes the rise of a strong, prosperous and a successfulChinathat plays a greater role in global affairs – and respects and enforces the international norms that have governed this region for six decades,” he said.
Panetta saidIndiaand theUnited Statesshould conduct more regular and complex military exercises. His remarks inNew Delhicame on the same day as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will boost military exercises and cooperation withChina.
Panetta is on week-long visit toAsiato spell out a new US defence strategy to allies and partners in the region. The strategy, which was released in January, calls for a shift in US strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific.
The Pentagon said in the security strategy that theUnited Stateswas working to build on strategic ties withIndia, the only partner nation singled out by name in the document.
Panetta urgedIndia’s leaders to build on engagement with rivalPakistanand to “continue with additional support toAfghanistanthrough trade and investment, reconstruction, and help forAfghanistan’s security forces.”
But analysts note thatNew Delhihas a long history of non-alignment with the major powers and prefers to maintain its independence of action.
“I don’t think that India is going to stand up and be counted right, a) because India’s political time and attention is focused inwards, and b) because I don’t think there is any clarity on how we position ourselves a propos the US-China relationship,” said Indian defense analyst Uday Bhaskar.
Indiain 2011 has agreed to buy a fleet of C-17 transport planes and P-81 maritime surveillance jets fromUScompany Boeing, as well as Lockheed Martin’s Super Hercules.
It is at a late stage of talks to buy more than a dozen Boeing Apache helicopters and in May 2012 has cleared the purchase of 145 M777 Howitzer artillery guns. Panetta made no public mention of these deals while he was inIndia.
In 2011Indiadropped Lockheed’s F-16 from the bidding for a $10 billion purchase of 126 fighter jets, partly because European companies were offering more modern aircraft. Some inWashingtonconsideredIndia’s decision to go with European planes a snub to US offers of a close defence alliance.
The Pentagon subsequently offered to sellIndiathe latest F-35 jets.
US WILL CONTINUE DRONE STRIKES IN PAKISTAN, SAYS PANETTA
NEW DELHI: Leon Panetta, in his first visit toNew DelhiasAmerica’s secretary for defence, flatly declared that theUnited Stateswould continue drone strikes against terrorist targets inPakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), even ifIslamabadbelieved its sovereignty was being violated. The strikes were justified, said Panetta, because the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 continued to take refuge in FATA.
The statement is significant, given that President Barack Obama faces attack at home over the legal rationale for drone attacks on Pakistani soil. A Republican Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, is leading a growing movement that questions the administration on the legal basis for striking targets in a country that theUSis not at war with. The Pakistani media is prominently covering this letter campaign.
Today, addressing an audience of strategic thinkers at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses inNew Delhi, Panetta laid out the administration’s case in detail. “With regard to drones… this is about our sovereignty as well. Because there were a group of individuals who attacked theUnited Stateson 9/11 and killed 3,000 of our citizens. We went to war against those who attacked theUnited States of America. The leadership of those that were involved in planning those attacks located (themselves) inPakistanin the FATA. We have made clear to the Pakistanis that theUnited States of Americais going to defend ourselves against those that would attack us. And we have done just that. We have gone after their leadership and we have done that effectively, targeting Al Qaeda leadership and terrorists.”
Panetta went on: “The terrorists who threaten theUnited StatesthreatenPakistanas well. This is not just about protecting theUnited States; it is also about protectingPakistan. And, we have made very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves.”
Panetta made common cause withIndiaon the need to stabilisePakistan. “We can’t have a stableAfghanistanwithout a stablePakistan,” he said. “Indiaviews the relationship withPakistanas complicated and so do we. And it is… but at the same time, it is a necessary relationship… it is not easy, but it is necessary.
In contrast to the hard line againstPakistan, Panetta describedIndiaas central toAmerica’s new posture in the Asia Pacific. “Americais at a turning point. After a decade of war, we are developing a new defence strategy — a central feature of which is a “rebalancing” towards the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, we will expand our military partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region andSouth Asia.”
“Defence cooperation withIndiais a linchpin in this strategy.Indiais one of the largest and most dynamic countries in the region and the world, with one of the most capable militaries.Indiaalso shares with theUnited Statesa strong commitment to a set of principles that help maintain international security and prosperity.”
During his two-day visit toNew Delhi, Panetta met the prime minister, the national security advisor, and held delegation meetings with his counterpart, Defence Minister A K Antony. Panetta says the two sides discussed America’s new focus on the Asia-Pacific; the transition in Afghanistan and the need for India to continue supporting the government in Kabul; the India-Pakistan peace dialogue; and issues like piracy, terrorism, Iran and North Korea.
MAHINDRA NAVISTAR TAPS ARMY FOR DRIVER TRAINING INITIATIVE
PUNE: Drivers who are due to retire from the Army have all the makings to become good truck drivers in civilian society, according to HCV maker Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd (MNAL). The company has embarked upon an initiative to train ex-servicemen for the job. Over the last one year, the Chakan-based truck manufacturer has already trained 300 ex-Army drivers from Pune and plans on extending this programme to four other cities where Engineering Group Resettlement Cells (part of Army Welfare Association) are present. “These cells are present in Pune,Bangalore, Roorkee and Dehradun. We want to extend this to at least two other centres in the country with a view to train around 50 drivers a month this year,” said Mr Nalin Mehta, MD. He added that the four-day training capsule is free of cost to drivers. Drivers in the Army retire at age 40, and many hold valid HCV licences.
INDIA TO ASSIST LANKAN NAVY IN CAPACITY BUILDING
Indiaand theUShave agreed to provide enhanced training facilities for military personnel fromSri Lanka, it was announced Tuesday.
This followed meetings Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had with General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Indian Defence Minister A.K. Anthony here.
The meetings took place on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue. “As a coastal nation, the meetings recognized the pivotal role the Sri Lanka Navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in theIndian Ocean,” a Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement said.
It said the three countries “resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism. “As two key strategic partners ofSri Lanka, theUSandIndiaresponded positively to a request for enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel in their institutes of repute.”
The statement said the US and India commended the “incremental and steady progress” made in Sri Lanka’s north and east, the former war zone, in rehabilitating those displaced by decades of conflict.
Both countries, it said, “were keen to assistSri Lankain all aspects of their multifaceted bilateral partnership for attaining sustainable peace”.
DK JOSHI’S ELEVATION AS NAVAL CHIEF: MOMENTS OF PRIDE FOR THE JOSHI FAMILY
DEHRADUN: This Joshi family from Almora, now settled in Dehradun, that too in the close proximity of theIndianMilitaryAcademy, keeps little defence lineage. When one of its members joined the Navy’s executive branch way back in 1974, little had Hira Ballabh Joshi, a forest officer and father of Admiral-designate Devendra Kumar Joshi, thought that one day his son would be the Admiral of the Indian Navy.
Now leading a retired life in sylvan surroundings of Indira Nagar Colony in Dehradun, HB Joshi, along with his wife Hansa Joshi, today are proud parents. Their elder son and presently Vice Admiral posted at the Western Naval Command, DK Joshi, has been appointed as the next Chief of Naval Staff, succeeding Admiral Nirmal Verma, who retires on August 31. Born on July 4, 1954, and doing his early education from Almora, DK Joshi moved toHansrajCollege,Delhi. While studying inDelhi, he applied for the executive branch of the Navy and got selected. Subsequently, he got commissioned in 1974. He moved from one important appointment to another in his 38 years of service.
HB Joshi first got information about his son’s appointment from a family friend. He said he was expecting this to happen as his son was heading the key Western Naval Command, a posting generally held by the seniormost officer in the Navy. “It was on expected lines. There certainly were apprehensions when he was earlier elevated as the Vice Admiral as some superseded officers had then gone to court. But after their case was dismissed by court, we were doubly sure of our son’s coveted appointment sooner or later,” said HB Joshi. He expressed gratitude to the Defence Ministry for upholding the seniority as the basis of selection for the Naval Chief. An octogenarian, HB Joshi asserted that his son’s elevation to the top post of the Navy will inspire Uttarakhand youth towards joining defence forces.
Vice Admiral Joshi came to Dehradun almost 18 months ago and spent most of his time at home with his parents. Even in service, despite his tight schedule, the Vice Admiral somehow manages his time to talk to his parents every alternate day. “Whenever in Dehradun, he rests at home and only goes outside to play golf,” disclosed HB Joshi, who retired as Chief Conservator of Forests in 1985.
Hansa Joshi, mother of Vice Admiral Joshi, recalled how she was against her son joining defence forces due to the risk factor involved, but later reconciled to her son’s wishes, and today, so many years down the line, she lauds her son’s decision.
Meanwhile, wishes have started pouring into the Joshi family’s residence in Dehradun. Relatives and family friends are either visiting the residence in person or conveying their greetings over the telephone. “We did not even eat food today due to a large number of visitors at our home,” said Hansa. Uttarakhand Garhwal MP and Chairman of Parliamentary Committee of Defence Affairs Satpal Maharaj greeted elevation of Vice Admiral DK Joshi as the next Naval Chief. He said Joshi, who hails from Almora district of Uttarakhand, has brought laurels to the state. Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Amrita Rawat, too, has conveyed best wishes to Vice Admiral DK Joshi and his family members.
DEFENCE PARTNERSHIP — CAN MATCH RUSSIA: US TO INDIA
NEW DELHI: Claiming that it was not just looking to earn billions of dollars in defence deals, theUnited Statestoday offered to match the Russian model of defence partnership withIndia.Washingtonpromised joint production and development of critical military equipment saying “we can do incredible work together”.
Till now,Indiahas been co-producing defence equipment only withRussiaand that too high-end products like the BrahMos missile and the forthcoming fifth generation of fighters. The latest entrant will beFrancewhen the production of the 126 medium Multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) starts with Raffale.Indiais spending around $100 billion over 10 years on modernising its military, with an eye onChina’s growing influence.
US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta in rather candid talk at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), here this evening pitched in for a partnership with India that will somewhat match, if not, rival the one New Delhi has with Moscow.RussiaandIndiaare allies from times when technology was just not available toIndia. The most recent example is of the lease of the nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra byRussia.
“My Deputy Secretary Ash Carter will lead an effort at the Pentagon to engage with Indian leaders to streamline bureaucratic processes and make our defence trade more simple, responsive, and effective,” Panetta, a former Director of the Central Investigative Agency, told an audience of strategic experts, retired military personnel and media.
“I think close partnership withAmericawill be key to meetingIndia’s own stated aims of a modern and effective defence force,” Panetta said.
New DelhiandWashingtonhave put behind years of mistrust of the cold war era and now have some $8 billion worth of defence trade.
He announced thatWashingtonwas moving to reform export controls that have, so far, limited weapons’ transfer toIndia. Panetta suggested that for improvement in practical cooperation, US-India military exercises, which are already strong, must continue to be more regular and complex.