Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ammunition blast injures army officers

New DelhiIn a tragic accident, four Army personnel including three officers have suffered serious injuries after ammunition exploded suddenly at the Army’s Air Defence College at Gopalpur in Odisha. 
The explosion has sent shockwaves through the Army. It has ordered an inquiry and the personnel have been airlifted in helicopters to Kolkata for treatment. Of the three injured officers, two are of the rank of Captain. One officer is understood to have suffered severe injuries on his eyes and with both his hands blown off from the wrist. 
The accident raises serious questions on the quality of the ammunition and why it allegedly went off suddenly.   giving the Army personnel no time to shield themselves from the blast.http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141124/nation-current-affairs/article/ammunition-blast-injures-army-officers

4 Hurt in Defence College Blast

NEW DELHI: Three officers and a gunner instructor sustained injuries after an ammunition exploded while they were loading an air defence gun. The incident occurred at the Army Air Defence College in Gopalpur, Odisha on Sunday.
According to sources, poor quality of ordnance is suspected to be the main reason behind the accident. The Army has ordered a court of inquiry to investigate the blast. Ordnance Factory Board provides ammunition for the air defence guns for the Army. Sources said young officers, who were on training, sustained severe injuries.
“During the blast, two officers were critically injured and airlifted to Eastern Army Command Hospital in Kolkata,” said a source.http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2014/11/24/4-Hurt-in-Defence-College-Blast/article2538397.ece

2 Woman Maoist Cadres Surrender

KORAPUT: Two woman Maoist cadres of Narayanpatana areas surrendered before Koraput police on Sunday. One of them was carrying a cash reward of ` one lakh.
The surrendered cadres are Sirme Mandingi (24) alias Pamalu of Pachingi village, an armed cadre of Koraput division and Laxmi Huika (22) of Bhaliaput village, president of Biplabi Mahila Sangha, a frontal organisation of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee.
IG (South-West) Yashwant Jethwa said realising the futility of armed struggle after recent surrender of Nachika Linga, the ultras decided to join the mainstream.
“We welcome all those who come forward to join the mainstream leaving the Maoists but at the same time, we would not tolerate any type of violent activities,” the IG said. The police would also extend all possible help to the two cadres as per the Government policy.
Sirme had joined the Maoists in 2009 and completed armed training in Atmakonda forest under Narayanpatna police limits. Wanted in many cases, she started working under senior Maoist cadre Aruna. Her involvement was suspected in exchange of fire in Turli area, attack on CISF at Nalco in 2009 and exchange of fire in Samna forest in 2010.
Similarly, Laxmi Huika had joined the Maoists of Koraput division in 2009. She was inducted as a member of Jana Natya Mandalam (JNM) and worked under Sarita alias Seikh Jahnvee.
Later, Laxmi was entrusted independent responsibility and declared president of Biplabi Mahila Sangha in 2011. Her role was suspected in attack on CISF at Nalco as well as Narayanpatna police station attack in 2009. 
As many as 50 Maoist cadres have surrendered before police in the last couple of months.
 Posters Found
Rayagada: Despite elaborate security arrangements in southern districts of Odisha, Maoist posters and banners were found in Hata Dahikhal village under Muniguda police limits on Sunday. In the posters, the ultras appealed to the youths to join People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) to claim their basic rights over water, jungle and mines.
The posters also opposed the Operation Green Hunt. The Maoists celebrate PLGA Week from December 2 to 8 every year.
Rayagada SP K Siba Subramani said combing operation has been intensified while CRPF, BSF, SOG and DVF forces have been deployed to check the Maoist activities.http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2014/11/24/2-Woman-Maoist-Cadres-Surrender/article2538385.ece

Mounted Gun System For Indian Army

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army will get the 155mm/52 caliber mounted gun system as its acquisition has been cleared for 15,750 crore, an official said.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) also cleared the revised payment schedule of IACCS (integrated air command and control system) meant for integrating all ground and air sensors of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

No final decision, however, was taken on the joint bid by Tata Sons and European manufacturer Airbus to manufacture 56 transport aircraft to replace the Avro fleet of the IAF and the proposal to get 106 more Swiss Pilatus basic trainer aircraft for the IAF.

"Further information was sought on both," the official said.

The decisions were taken at the DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. It was the first DAC meeting chaired by Parrikar and lasted for over two hours.

The official said that 814 gun systems will be procured for the army under the "Buy and Make (India)" category.

He said that 100 of the 814 gun systems will be purchased "off-the-shelf" and the rest would be manufactured in India.

"There will be a request for the proposal (for the mounted guns)," the official said.

The Indian Army has not acquired any new artillery gun for over 25 years. Officials said the revised payment schedule of the IACCS will be "milestone based" compared to the earlier schedule which was based on the percentage of work completed. The total cost of the project is 7,160 crore.

Officials said the IACCS permits conduct of operations from one central place, facilitating real-time transportation of images, data and voice from satellites, aircraft and ground stations.

Officials said the DAC also discussed the government's "Make in India" policy which seeks to boost indigenisation.
They said the government wants to accelerate the indigenisation process and the effort is to make the process more attractive for those who want to invest.
The officials said it was also decided that the DAC meetings can be held more than once a month and "even with less items on the agenda".
Parrikar stressed that the government's policy will be for "fast and transparent acquisition".http://www.siliconindia.com/news/general/Mounted-Gun-System-For-Indian-Army-nid-175576-cid-1.html

Indian Army Recruitment 2014: Apply till December 1

Indian Army has issued a recruitment notification to invite applications from eligible candidates for the position of teachers. Candidates chosen for the training will be granted Short Service Commission (SSC) on probation from the date of commencement of the course. They will join the Army at the position of Lieutenant (Lt). After they complete their training successfully, they will be eligible for Grant of Permanent Commission in all Arms or Services of Indian Army at the Lt position.
The training course will be conducted at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, Uttarakhand and will begin in July 2015.
The candidates will be given a stipend of Rs. 21,000/- p.m. (Rs15,600/ – as pay in Pay Band plus Grade Pay of Rs. 5,400/-).
Vacancy Details
Total number of posts: 55
Army is looking for recruitment of candidates in following fields:
Engineering BranchNo. of vacancies
Civil Engineering15
Mechanical Engineering10
Electrical Engineering5
Automobile Engineering1
Aeronautical Engineering1
Computer & Science Engineering5
Electronics & Electronics & Telecommunication8
Electronics, & Opto-Power Electronics5
Electronics & Applied Electronics & Instrumentation2
Architecture or Building Architecture2
Food Technology, Bio Technology, or Medical Engineering2
Chemical Engineering1
Salary Details: Selected candidates will receive a monthly stipend of Rs 21,000 (Rs 15,600 as pay in Pay Band + Grade Pay of Rs 5,400).
Eligibility Criteria
Candidates holding Engineering degree or those in the final year of their Engineering Degree course may apply for the job. Those in the final year will have to produce their Engineering degree within 12 weeks of commencement of their training at IMA Dehradun.
Application Procedure
Candidates can fill the application form in the prescribed format and submit it to the official address December 1, 2014.http://www.prepsure.com/news/government-jobs/indian-army-recruitment-2014-apply-till-december-1/
ndian Army has invited online application from all unmarried candidates for permanent commissioning in the Indian Army and Arms/Services. Aspirants with essential qualifications and skills are required to register online from December 1, 2014 to 31 December 2014.

Indian Army invites application for permanent commissioning

Candidates who are interested to apply for TGC 121 course are first advised to confirm the selection process and then proceed for further registration. Candidates should read all the important information regarding availability of seats, eligibility, selection process, pay scale, guidelines to apply before applying for the post.
Details of the Vacancy:
No. of Vacancies-60
Name of Course:TGC 121
Break wise of vacancies for different stream:
Electrical/Electronics -05
Computer Science-05
Electronics and Telecommunication-08
Fibre Optics and Micro Electronics-05
Electronics and Instrumentation-2
Architecture- 02
Food and Biotech-02
Chemical Engineering- 01
Metallurgy- 01
Industrial Engineering -02
Essential Qualification
Age Limit: The desirable age of candidate should be in between 20-27 years at the time of initiation of the Course. 
Educational Qualification: Candidates must have an Engineering Degree (B.Tech) or appeared in the final year of engineering course.
Selection Process: Selection of Candidates will be based on performance in interview.
Pay and Remuneration
With the completion of training candidates will be placed with a pay scale of Rs 15,600 with Grade Pay Rs 5,400 (Rs 21,000)
How to Apply: 
Candidates who find themselves eligible can apply online through the websitewww.joinindianarmy.nic.in from December 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
Army wives seek meeting with PM after 'flying coffin' helicopters claim 294 lives

A group of women married to Army officers who fly and service the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, want these archaic flying machines to be put out of commission, after they were involved in 191 crashes in the past two decades.
The wives plan to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to submit their petition seeking the replacement of the helicopters.
According to the Indian Army Wives’ Agitation Group, the 191 crashes have claimed 294 lives. On an average, there are three to four Army Aviation accidents every year. The last crash happened on October 1, when a Cheetah belonging to the Army Aviation crashed in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, leading to the death of two pilots and an engineer. 
The Army still has 120 of these machines. Some of these copters, which crashed in the high altitudes of Jammu and Kashmir’s Siachen, have remained untraceable along with the officers on board.he group said the officers are in the age group of 29-34 years. 
A Major, Atul Garje, had become a father just days before his death, along with two others, in 2011 in Nashik. 
The helicopters are now vying hard for the infamous title of “flying coffins”- once associated with the now phased-out MIGs and the grounded Sukhois. 
Meenal Bhosale, founder member of the group with 28 members, said: “Every time officers go on a sortie, the family is on tenterhooks. Every safe touchdown seems like a new life.” 
The group’s online petition has received 19,000 signatures so far. A member, not willing to be identified, said: “The forces are helpless as procurement of new copters is done at the ministry level. It was the Bareilly crash which prompted us to come together and raise our voices, seeking phase out of these machines.” 
The ministry has been trying to procure new copters for the forces, including the Army Aviation, since 2007. 
Bhosale said: “Even Pakistan has better copters. It is frustrating to know that we have funds for better equipment but corruption is nixing their procurement.” 
In the forces, since the ’60s, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited built the Cheetah (original model SA 315B Lama) and Chetak (original model Alouette III) under licence from French state-owned firm Aerospatiale. 
Their production was stopped in 1990 and several countries like Argentina, Denmark and Ireland replaced the Alouette III long ago. 
Both Cheetah and Chetak have single engines unlike two in the modern models that make the latter more reliable in emergencies. 
Bhosale said: “Cheetah and Chetak are the rudimentary machines lacking autopilot, weather radar, duplicity of systems and on-board computer for engine control.”ead more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2846613/Army-wives-seek-meeting-PM-flying-coffin-helicopters-claim-294-lives.html#ixzz3JzeGMwCP 
SHOW OF STRENGTH: Youth take part in a recruitment rally organised by the Army in Rajouri on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Mumbai, November 24
INS Vikrant, which is currently being scrapped, has lost the war for survival against its own countrymen, Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna wrote in an editorial today.
A ship-breaking company which bagged the country’s first aircraft carrier at an auction earlier this year began cutting Vikrant’s hull last weekend. “Everyone in the country was against the scrapping of this ship and wanted it to be converted into a museum. Could we not have collected Rs 100 crore to save the Vikrant from being reduced to scrap,” Saamna asked in its write-up.
The Vikrant was towed away to the ship breaking yard at Mumbai port a few months ago even as some social activists began a last-ditch effort to save her. The scrap company even offered to give away the Vikrant to be converted into a museum provided it was reimbursed the money spent on buying the ship at the auction, but the state and Central governments expressed their inability to come up with funds.
Chandigarh, November 24
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) are undertaking a joint project to develop a system to provide early warning about landslides in mountainous regions.
Under the project, DRDO’s Defence Terrain Research Laboratory (DTRL) would develop instrumentation and allied technology for the system, while the GSI would undertake ground-based geological works such as boring, ground survey and geo-technical analysis, DTRL director MR Bhutiyani said.
The mountainous regions of the country, particularly lower and mid-Himalayas as well as hilly terrain in central and south India, are increasingly becoming prone to landslide due to massive deforestation, mining, unauthorised and unregulated constructions and encroachments along natural water channels.
The DTRL is involved in assessment of terrain characteristics, developing terrain database management and creating thematic maps and terrain intelligence reports for the armed forces and certain other government agencies. It is also associated with disaster management studies.
Another DRDO laboratory, Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) is involved in terrain and snow cover analysis as well as forecast and mitigation of avalanches in upper Himalayas for facilitation of troops as well as civilians.
The DTRL-GSI project is aimed at developing technology for an early warning system for landslides that is based on instrumentation and empirical relation between rainfall, ground saturation and displacement.
Dr Bhutiyani said a joint pilot project was already underway in the field to develop a model for forecasting landslides and the data generated would be used as a base to develop standard operating procedures for instrument-based landslide monitoring.
Wreaking havoc
* Landslides rank third in the list of natural disaster for causing death and destruction
* In the Himalayas, landslides kill one person per 100 km
* According to the study, landslides affect about 15 per cent of the country’s area, with the average annual damage pegged at 200 lives and Rs 550 crore
* The most recent were in Uttarakhand last year, in which several thousand people were killed and hundreds of structures were destroyed
* Landslides also occurred in Sikkim in 2012 which killed scores of people. Several landslides in coastal regions and peninsular India have also wreaked havoc
New Delhi, November 24
In keeping with tradition, the Narendra Modi government today appointed National Security Adviser Ajit Doval as the Special Representative for the ongoing boundary talks with China, a signal that the dialogue can restart.
“Ajit Doval has been appointed as the Special Representative of India to conduct boundary negotiations and strategic consultations with China. This arrangement will be part of NSA’s overall assignment,” an official announcement said.
Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September, Doval had visited Beijing and predicted an “orbital jump” in the bilateral relations.
Though Doval, former Intelligence Bureau chief, was appointed the NSA by the Modi government soon after assuming office in May, he was not designated the SR, the pointsmen on either side who are expected to take forward the dialogue on the boundary issue.
India and China had established the mechanism of Special Representatives in 2003 to thrash out a resolution to the vexed boundary question. The two sides have so far held 17 rounds of talks, making some progress.
The arrangement came in force during the period of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had appointed his NSA Brajesh Mishra for the task and in the previous governments of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the job was handled by NSAs JN Dixit, MK Narayanan and Shiv Shankar Menon.
The last round of talks was held in February in Delhi between the then NSA Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.
200 tonnes steel extracted from Vikrant
MUMBAI: IB Commercial Pvt Ltd has managed to extract 200 tonnes of steel within 30 hours from the decommissioned Indian Naval Ship Vikrant. The ship, made of 15,700 tonnes of high-quality steel, was auctioned in April. In May, the Indian Navy, after giving the 1971 warship a farewell, towed it out of the naval dock, where it had been anchored since 1997 and converted into a museum. 
IB Commercial Pvt Ltd director Zuber Jaka (22) said they have cut 200 tonnes of steel from the vessel after the work began on Thursday last week. "So far nothing antique or worth preserving has not been traced on the vessel," he said. 
A defence official said over 60% of the ship artefacts have been removed. Some of them have been moved to the Maritime History Society in Mumbai and others to Naval Aviation Museum in Goa.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/200-tonnes-steel-extracted-from-Vikrant/articleshow/45253582.cms

INS Vikrant's Hull Is Torn Open

For Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, one abiding memory of INS Vikrant is from almost a quarter century ago. 

In 1989, Sinha, who recently took premature retirement as Flag Officer Commander in Chief (FOC-in-C) of India's Western Naval Command, was the top gun in the 300 squadron that flew Sea Hawk aircraft from on-board INS Vikrant - India's, indeed Asia's, first aircraft carrier. 

Around that time, INS Virat, India's second aircraft carrier had also entered service, but the Indian navy was short of aircraft.

"We had two aircraft carriers but not enough aircraft so we used to transfer aircraft from INS Vikrant to Virat. Two outstanding officers used to command the two aircraft carriers that time. One of them, Madhvendra Singh, went on to become India's navy chief. The other, Ravi Ganesh, is perhaps the only naval officer to have commanded a nuclear submarine and an aircraft carrier. That was a period of great transition. Soon after we started flying Sea Harriers from Virat," Vice Admiral Sinha remembers.

As India's first aircraft carrier turned into scrap on Friday, Sinha, perhaps the last of the naval aviators who had the distinction of flying both Sea Hawks and Sea Harriers, says Vikrant gave India the confidence to operate an aircraft carrier. 

Vikrant joined the Indian Navy in 1961 but it had an older lineage. It was built in 1943 and joined the Royal British Navy in 1945 as HMS Hercules. A Majestic Class 20,000 tonnes displacement aircraft carrier, the refurbished Hercules, now known as Vikrant, was received at the Bombay harbour by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961.

Its finest moment was to come a decade later in the 1971 war with Pakistan. Although most military enthusiasts remember the Indian Navy's daring attack on the Karachi port in 1971, INS Vikrant perhaps played the most crucial part in shortening the war since it cut off reinforcement sent from West Pakistan to what was then East Pakistan, and is now Bangladesh, by policing the Bay of Bengal and bombing towns and cities like Cox's Bazar, Chittagong, Khulna, Chalna, Mongla, Barisal, Do Hazari, Chiringa and Bakarganj.

Using 500 lb bombs, rockets and guns, the aircraft taking off from Vikrant struck airfields, harbours, ammunition dumps, gunboats, armed merchant ships and troop positions. For its stellar performance in the Bay of Bengal, INS Vikrant earned two Maha Vir Chakras and 11 Vir Chakras.

When it was brought to India in 1961, Radhakrishna Hariram Thaliani, then a young lieutenant, became the first Indian naval pilot to land the Sea Hawk onboard the Vikrant. RH Thaliani went on to command INS Vikrant and also become the Indian Navy Chief between 1984 and 1987.

Vikrant in fact outlasted the Admiral's career in the navy. It was not until 1997 that it was finally decommissioned. It served as a maritime museum till 2004 but many proposals, including converting it into a permanent museum for future generations, failed to materialise due to financial constraints.

When Vikrant's hull was torn open on Friday, a piece of India's recent maritime history was destroyed forever. Interestingly, all ships of the majestic class built in British shipyards were to serve in navies other than that of Great Britain. Two ships each served the Canadian and the Australian navies. Those four ships were decommissioned long ago and subsequently and scrapped. The fifth, the Hercules, was bought by the Indian Navy and renamed the Vikrant. The construction of Leviathan, the sixth ship in this class was never completed. The incomplete ship was scrapped way back in 1968. 

But Navy buffs may want to take solace at the fact that Vikrant's name will not fade away from memory. India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, being built at the Cochin shipyard, is also named INS Vikrant. Launched in August 2013, INS Vikrant is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2018.

So, four years from now, we may have another Vikrant joining the Indian Navy nearly 60 years after the original Vikrant became part of the then fledgling naval arm of India. That's perhaps a small consolation on a day when Asia's first aircraft carrier was taken down piece by piece.http://www.ndtv.com/article/opinion/ins-vikrant-s-hull-is-torn-open-624870
Parrikar vows zero tolerance against defence-related error

Promising a “lot of things”, federal Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday outlined a multi-pronged approach of a non-offensive but strong India while making it clear that there will be “zero tolerance to error” in defence-related issues.

“One thing I will promise. I have been given a task. I will see that my task of strengthening India, the position where people should not dare see eye to eye with India... We don’t intend to be offensive,” Parrikar said addressing Navy personnel at the inauguration of the Information Management and Analysis centre (Imac) of Navy.

He said India has not ruled any other country, which he said was “probably unique to India and probably to some extent to China”.

“Even in Ramayana, when Lord Rama went to Lanka he did not rule it. He gave it to Vibhishan to rule it. This nation does not have the history of ruling other countries,” he said, adding, the country cannot be weak.

Parrikar said the biggest defence is to be strong.

“I promise the task given to me, I will fulfil...You can expect lot of things,” he said.

On the specific task given to him by PM Narendra Modi, Parrikar said, “Defence is one field which requires a lot of secrecy,” but added that the outcome of the task is to assure that the defence sector gets its due and becomes a cohesive strong force making India self-sufficient.

“Energy security and your own security cannot be dependent on others. You can’t depend on some foreign countries for all your procurements,” he said.

Parrikar noted that defence equipments are purchased for a period of 20-30 years.

“You can’t suddenly find yourself trapped in a condition that the party which has supplied you the material faces some blockade or some sanctions for supply to conflict zone,” he said.

Parrikar praised the Imac and said he appreciates the “quick and fast delivery” of system because he thinks it should ensure “99.99 per cent” against incidents like the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by earlier detection.

He underlined that there should be “zero tolerance to error”.

Set up to provide coastal security, the Imac is a nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network). Parrikar admitted that the surveillance network has still some gaps which needed to be plugged.

Imac is a joint initiative of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.

Describing it as “a bold initiative” and “a reply of this great nation to the Mumbai attack”, Parrikar said this is an enormous task considering the fact that there are about two to three lakh fishing boats operating in our coast lines and the active cooperation of the state governments is required to achieve 100 per cent success.http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=news&id=178965&heading=India

Vikrant lost the survival war against its own countrymen

Mumbai:  Describing iconic INS Vikrant reduction into scrap as "misfortune" of the country, the Shiv Sena on Monday said the decommissioned warship that helped India win the 1971 battle against Pakistan, lost the fight for survival against its own countrymen.
"Every man in the country was against the scrapping of this ship and wanted it (INS Vikrant) to be converted into a museum. We could not accumulate Rs 100-500 crore required to save this ship from being reduced to scrap. This can only be described as misfortune of the country.
The ship that helped India achieve a huge victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, lost the war of survival against its own countrymen. We regret that we could not see the pain of the ships defeat on the faces of politicians," the Sena said in an edit in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Earlier, the Maharashtra government had expressed its inability to maintain INS Vikrant, which was decommissioned in January 1997.
In January 2014, during the hearing of a PIL, which opposed the plan to scrap the ship, the Defence Ministry told the Bombay High Court that this majestic-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy had completed its operational life.
After the SC dismissed activist Kiran Paingankar’s PIL on August 14, IB Commercials, the firm which had bought the ship in a scrap auction, set about securing various port and environmental permissions, all of which were done by last week following which the scrapping of the war hero began at ship-breaking yard here.
The Sena said that several industrialists have "looted" various banks to build their business empires, but the government had failed to recover money from such businessmen.
"There are many businessmen who have looted banks to create their business empires but the government did not gather the courage to recover that money from them. These tycoons remove their moneybags during the election season and we all know who benefits from them. Inspite of so much money, we could not gather Rs 100 crore to save a legacy?" the Sena asked.
INS Vikrant joined the Indian fleet at Bombay on November 3, 1961. It was India's only carrier for over 20 years, but by the early 1990s she was effectively out of service because of her poor condition.
Often referred to as the "Old Lady of Indian Navy", INS Vikrant was decommissioned on January 31, 1997.http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141124/nation-current-affairs/article/vikrant-lost-survival-war-against-its-own-countrymen-shiv-sena
Neighbours trying to get their navies in Indian Ocean: Parrikar 

New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that some of the neighbouring countries are trying to get their navies in the Indian Ocean, adding that though India does not believe in being offensive but the country’s coastal security needs to be strong enough to deter them from “casting an evil eye upon us.”

“Our Navy must be watchful of their activities. We do not want to be offensive but we must be strong enough to deter our enemies”, he said while inaugurating the Indian Navy and Coast Guard’s joint operations facility, Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), at Gurgaon.

Parrikar also candidly admitted that country’s coastal surveillance network has some gaps which need to be plugged. He said that this is an enormous task considering the fact that there are about two to three lakh fishing boats operating in our coast lines and the active cooperation of the state governments is required to achieve hundred percent success.

He called for a change in mindset to correlate the data that would be available through the massive surveillance network to ensure ‘zero tolerance to error’ describing IMAC as ‘a bold initiative’ and ‘a reply of this great nation to the Mumbai attack.

Set up to provide coastal security and to avert tragic incidents like the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, the IMAC is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network), and is a joint initiative of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.
The Naval Chief Admiral RK Dhowan in his opening address said this project will go a long way in beefing up the maritime surveillance, thereby, enhancing the National Maritime Domain Awareness Project.

Shri Parrikar said, besides coastal security, we have to protect our interests in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The NC3I network links 51 Naval and Coast Guard stations, located along the coast and on island territories. The network provides these stations coastal surveillance information obtained from various sensors such as the coastal radar chain of the Indian Coast Guard and automatic tracking systems as well as electro-optical cameras. The network rides on dedicated terrestrial data circuits, as well as, satellite communication, which helps the stations in remote locations to be networked.  The IMAC is the centre where data from various sensors and databases is aggregated, correlated and then disseminated to various stations for enhanced awareness. The software on which the coastal surveillance will be carried out incorporates hi-tech features like data fusion, correlation and decision support features thus facilitating better decision making.

The entire NC3I Network has been integrated by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore. The project was sanctioned in Mar 12 and is presently fully functional. The IMAC construction began in Oct 12 and was completed in Jan 14.

The NC3I network and IMAC are also linked with the prestigious National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) project. In the NMDA project, the NC3I network will function as the communication backbone and the IMAC will continue to be the nodal centre but will be rechristened as the NMDA Centre.
Amongst others, the function was attended by the Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur and CMD, Bharat Electronics Limited, Shri SK Sharma.
- See more at: http://www.eni.network24.co/india/neighbouring-countries-trying-to-get-their-navies-in-indian-ocean-parrikar-23982_5#sthash.nFs9miOG.dpuf
Navy gets 6th maritime patrol plane, likely to order four more
NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy is likely to order four more P-81 long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft from American firm Boeing which delivered the sixth plane today as part of an eight-aircraft contract worth over Rs 12,000 crore. 

The sixth aircraft landed at INS Rajali in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu at about 4 PM today. 

The eight-aircraft deal was signed in 2009 and as per the agreement, three each were to be delivered in 2013 and 2014 and two in 2015. 

"The delivery schedule has been on time," a navy source said, adding that the force might go in for the option clause in the contract under which it can order four more. 

The P-8I, based on the Boeing next-generation 737 commercial airplane, is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that the US Navy uses. 

India was Boeing's first international customer for this aircraft. 

The aircraft features open system architecture, advanced sensors and display technologies. 

It is equipped with foreign and indigenous sensors for maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine operations and electronic intelligence missions. 

It is integrated with latest sensors and anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Navy-gets-6th-maritime-patrol-plane-likely-to-order-four-more/articleshow/45260671.cms


How to deal with Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean has become a practical question for India.  In December 2013, China let it be known that one of its nuclear attack submarines would sail through the Indian Ocean over the following two months.  It was the first time that China confirmed such a transit.  At the time, many thought it would be a relatively rare occurrence.  But over the last couple of months, two more submarines appear to have made similar transits, after they were spotted making five-day long port calls in Sri Lanka.
On September 19, a Chinese Song-class diesel-electric attack submarine and its attendant Type 925 submarine support ship, the Changxing Dao, docked at the Colombo International Container Terminals for refueling and crew refreshment before the submarine set sail for the international anti-piracy effort in the Gulf of Aden.  Six weeks later, on October 31, there was another port call by a Chinese submarine and theChangxing Dao at the same facility.  Whether that port call was made by the same Song-class submarine which visited earlier or by a Han-class nuclear attack submarine, as some reports have indicated, remains unclear due to a lack of photos associated with its visit to Colombo.
Either way, the two port calls suggested that China might send more submarines (and with greater frequency) into the Indian Ocean in the future.  Naturally, that has heightened Indian concerns about Chinese power in the region.  But even more troubling to India was Sri Lanka’s readiness to welcome those submarines, in spite of Indian reservations.  After the first port call, New Delhi expressed to Colombo its concerns about such submarines visiting Sri Lankan ports.  Colombo dismissed India’s qualms, contending that Chinese submarines were no different than the other 230 foreign warships that visited Sri Lanka this year.  Many Indian observers saw the rebuff as a sign that Sri Lanka had decided to cozy up to China.  A few even argued that Sri Lanka had violated the 1987 peace accord between it and India in which Colombo agreed that its ports would “not be made available for military use by any country in a manner prejudicial to India’s interests.”
As to why the port calls occurred at all, some speculated that they were a response toIndia’s growing military relationship with Vietnam, a country locked in a dispute with China over the sovereignty of the South China Sea.  India has already become Vietnam’s principal military training partner, providing spare parts for Vietnam’s warships and training Vietnamese sailors in submarine operations.  In fact, India and Vietnam signed an agreement to engage in even closer military cooperation just days before the first port call.
The port calls also lent credence to long-held Indian suspicions of a Chinese scheme to encircle India through the development of military and economic ties with countries across the Indian Ocean.  Indian commentators have often pointed to the proliferation of Chinese infrastructure projects in the region as the manifestation of those ties, and collectively referred to the projects as China’s “string of pearls.”  Notably, the Colombo International Container Terminals facility (where the Chinese submarines docked) was one of those projects.  This year, China put its own name on its infrastructure-building efforts in the region: the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative.  Two weeks ago Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China would set up a $40 billion fund to support that initiative as well as contribute billions more to a new Asian infrastructure investment bank.  Both are designed to foster new building projects across South and Southeast Asia.  Both are also likely to further stoke India’s sense of unease over Chinese intentions.
No doubt Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean would complicate India’s naval situation in the Indian Ocean.  To reduce the danger from Chinese diesel-electric attack submarines, the Indian navy could step up its monitoring of Chinese submarine support ships and the region’s ports, which those submarines need to periodically refuel.  But Chinese nuclear attack submarines would pose a bigger challenge, as they do not need to refuel.  If supplied with timely intelligence, such submarines could put at risk Indian shipping throughout the region.
Already, the Indian navy has begun to prepare for that possibility.  But its planning has labored under a series of naval accidents in recent years, the deadliest of which occurred in August 2013 when an explosion aboard one of its Kilo-class submarines, the Sindhurakshak, killed 18 sailors.  At the same time, the navy continues to experience delays in its procurement of new warships and refit of its existing ones.  Between 2005 and 2010, 113 out of its 152 refit projects were late.  Many of them were combat platforms used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).  But equally important are those platforms designed to search for and detect an adversary’s submarines.
While India’s land-based ASW helicopters and short-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), like its 14 Do 228 aircraft, are valuable to protect its key ports, the Indian navy must use long-range aviation assets to patrol the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean.  Historically, that mission has fallen to the navy’s handful of Soviet-vintage prop-driven aircraft.  Its four Tu-142M MPAs based at Rajali naval air station are responsible for the waters off India’s east coast; and its five Il-38 MPAs based at Hansa naval air station for the waters off its west coast.  But both sets of aircraft are showing their age.  Even setting aside the quality of their ASW sensors and the quantity of sonobuoys and weapons they can carry, the aircraft themselves are relatively slow compared to modern MPAs.  That is an important factor, given the long distances they need to cover in the Indian Ocean.
Hence, it was significant that the Indian navy began to upgrade its long-range MPA fleet in late 2008.  At that time, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta explained the need for better “maritime domain awareness and network-centric operations along with a reliable stand-off deterrent” to deal with China’s naval rise.  That approach was reflected in India’s purchase of twelve P-8I MPAs from the United States.  Based on the Boeing 737 jet airliner, the P-8I provides the Indian navy with not only a more capable suite of ASW sensors and weapons, but also greater speed.  The aircraft has a cruising speed over 100 miles per hour faster than India’s current MPA fleet, allowing it to better prosecute any submarines that it detects at longer ranges.[1]
Long-range detection and prosecution are important if the Indian navy is to conduct ASW on an oceanic scale.  Fortunately for India, geography helps to some extent.  The eastern approaches into the Indian Ocean are funneled through narrow straits created by the Indonesian archipelago.  The most significant of these are the Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok Straits.  They offer Chinese submarines the most direct routes from their bases in southern China, particularly a major new one at Yalong Bay, into the Indian Ocean.  Naturally, the Indian navy would want to monitor those straits for the passage of Chinese submarines.
However, the Indian navy must watch its western flank too.  There, Pakistan—China’s “all-weather friend”—has drawn ever closer to Beijing in the wake of America’s scaled back engagement from Afghanistan.  Recently, Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa went so far as to say that “Pakistan sees China’s enemies as their own.”  Though his comment was directed at China’s Xinjiang militants, it also raised eyebrows in India, which has had a long history of conflict with Pakistan.  Hence, the Indian navy must also have ASW resources ready to counter the possibility that Chinese submarines may use a Pakistani port as a base of operations or that Pakistan’s five French-built Agosta-class diesel-electric attack submarines may even sortie in support of China.
Considering these strategic parameters, we can gauge the number of long-range ASW aviation assets that India would need to conduct oceanic ASW in the Indian Ocean.  We can assess that the Indian navy would have to establish at least two ASW barrier patrols along the eastern and western peripheries of the region (as well as keep a sufficient reserve for escort duty).  Given an operational readiness rate of 75 percent, we can then estimate that India would require a force of 40 to 48 long-range MPAs, likely divided into five or six squadrons of eight aircraft.[2]
The Indian navy could assign three of these MPA squadrons to its Eastern Naval Command, which would likely operate them from not only Rajali, but also Utkrosh naval air station in the Andaman Islands.  From these bases, it could use one squadron to establish an ASW barrier patrol at the western exit of the Malacca Strait and a second squadron to do the same further south, closer to the exits of the Sunda and Lombok Straits.  Finally, it could use a third squadron to support its surface fleet operations.  On the other side of the Indian subcontinent, the navy could assign the other two or three MPA squadrons to its Western and Southern Naval Commands to monitor the western approaches to India’s coast as well as the waters around Sri Lanka for submarine activity.
No one said that oceanic ASW was going to be easy or inexpensive.  But Asia’s changing strategic environment has begun to force India to reassess the kinds of resources that it will need to maintain its naval position in the Indian Ocean.  Given the pace of China’s military modernization, India would do well to mobilize those resources faster.
About the author:
Felix K. Chang is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute as well as the co-founder of Avenir Bold, a venture consultancy. He was previously a consultant in Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategy and Organization practice; among his clients were the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and other agencies. Earlier, he served as a senior planner and an intelligence officer in the U.S. Department of Defense and a business advisor at Mobil Oil Corporation, where he dealt with strategic planning for upstream and midstream investments throughout Asia and Africa.http://www.eurasiareview.com/24112014-chinese-submarines-indian-asw-indian-ocean-analysis/

Sonar contract provides major boost to navy

Without advanced towed array sonar systems, all warships the navy has built and bought since the 1990s would be sitting ducks in war
On November 12, without announcement or fanfare, the ministry of defence (MoD) signed a small contract with enormous implications for itself and the Indian Navy. This formalised the purchase of six advanced towed array sonar (ATAS) systems from Atlas Elektronik, the German naval systems giant, for just under Euro 40 million (Rs 306 crore).

These systems will equip three Talwar-class frigates (INS Talwar, Trishul and Tabar) and three Delhi-class destroyers (INS Delhi, Mumbai and Mysore), allowing them to detect enemy submarines in the Arabian Sea, where the warm, shallow waters confound conventional hull-mounted sonars.

Without ATAS, all the the navy has built and bought since the 1990s - each costing a few thousand crores and crewed by a couple of hundred sailors - would be sitting ducks in war. Enemy submarines, lurking unseen 50-80 kilometres away, could leisurely torpedo Indian warships.

So vulnerable has been India's fleet that when INS Vikramaditya, the navy's new aircraft carrier, was sailing home from Russia, it was escorted through the Arabian Sea by several Indian warships. There was no certainty that Pakistan's Agosta 90B submarines could be detected byother than ATAS.

All that protects India's 25 latest frontline warships from enemy submarines is a relatively ineffective Passive Towed Array Sonar (PTAS), and an indigenous hull-mounted sonar called HUMSA.

So important is the ATAS contract that the MoD abandoned even the pretence of indigenisation. Atlas Elektronik will build all six ATAS systems in Germany, and has been exempted from offsets.

ATAS is especially vital in the Arabian Sea. Warships detect underwater objects (like submarines) with sonar - a "ping" of sound emitted into the water that reflects from submarines, just as radar bounces back from aircraft. In our warm, shallow waters, the returning signal often gets lost. Since the water is warm on the surface and cools rapidly as one goes deeper, the sharp "temperature gradient" refracts sonar waves, bending them away from the warship's sensors. Unable to receive the returning signal, the warship cannot detect the submarine.

ATAS overcomes the "temperature gradient", since it is towed by a cable that extends deep below the surface, into the cooler layers where submarines lurk. With the sensors themselves in the colder water layers, there is no "temperature differential". Even the faintest return signal from a submarine is detected.

The navy will fit ATAS externally onto the rear of its warships, which have been built for this reason with an empty compartment at the rear.

With this contract, Atlas Elektronik has taken pole position for supplying the navy a range of high-end sonars. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which is required to build ten ATAS with foreign partnership, has been encouraged by the navy to tie up with Atlas so that sonar equipment is standardised across warships.

BEL is learnt to be in discussions with Atlas for building ten ATAS for three Shivalik-class frigates (INS Shivalik, Satpura and Sahyadri), three Kolkata-class destroyers (Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai), and four Kamorta-class anti-submarine corvettes (INS Kamorta, Kadmatt, Kiltan and Kavaratti).

That leaves 20 warships that will remain in naval service for some years. These include: three aircraft carriers (INS Vikramaditya, Vikrant and Vishal); three Brahmaputra class frigates (INS Brahmaputra, Betwa and Beas); three Talwar-class follow-on frigates (INS Teg, Tarkash and Trikand); four Project 15-B destroyers (unnamed, under construction); and seven Project 17-A frigates (unnamed, contract being negotiated).

Given its first-mover advantage, the infrastructure and partnerships it will build and its already demonstrated price advantage, Atlas hopes to supply sonar systems for these and for other smaller surface warships and submarines. In April, the MoD tendered for 16 Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWC), which need sophisticated sonar with electronically controlled beams.

Atlas Elektronik sources say they are eager to establish a joint venture company with either BEL or an Indian private sector company to build sonars in India. That would grant majority ownership of 51 per cent to the Indian entity.

ATAS import has been blocked since the mid-1990s because the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) was developing an indigenous ATAS called Nagan. In 2012, the Nagan project was officially shut down and work began on another system called ALTAS. With this making slow progress, the DRDO finally okayed import.

In November 2012, two years ago, Atlas was declared the lowest bidder. That was followed by a string of complaints to the MoD against Atlas, apparently motivated, since the MoD found no wrongdoing. Even so, with the ministry painstakingly investigating every complaint, each caused a 3-4 month delay. Earlier this year, with the elections impending, the United Progressive Alliance decided to leave the signing to the next government. Atlas Elektronik is owned 51 per cent by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH (KMW) and 49 per cent by Airbus Defence & Space.http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/sonar-contract-provides-major-boost-to-navy-114112500024_1.html
Iran able to build aircraft carriers: Navy Chief
Iran is capable of building aircraft carriers and heavy submarines, Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari announced on Sunday. "As we have managed to produce warships and submarines, we also have the capability to build aircraft carriers and heavy submarines," the rear admiral stated.

Iran's Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari

Sayyari also underlined that building aircraft carriers and heavy submarines can be started upon a relevant decision by high-ranking officials.
'Iran plans to extend its presence in international waters'
The Navy chief also referred to the deployment of the Iranian naval forces in the high seas, saying, "Free waters belong to all nations and therefore, we are after extending our presence in these free waters based on our legal right."
He said that the Iranian Navy plans to dispatch forces to the Atlantic Ocean after their successful presence in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy in recent years.
Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-1988 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Iranian officials have always stressed however that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.
In June 2013, Iran launched its overhauled and modernized destroyer named Bayandor in the southern waters of the country in the presence of Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi and Rear Admiral Sayyari.
Army officials said the Iranian Navy's power of safeguarding the country's territorial waters as well as maintaining security in regional and international waters will increase after the launch of Bayandor.
Overhauling the main engines, heat exchangers, and fuel and oil systems as well as optimizing the monitoring control systems are among the measures adopted before launching the destroyer.
In May 2013, Sayyari had declared that Iran could use the destroyer to carry out missions in international waters in the future.
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense industry and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.
Iran's first domestically-manufactured destroyer, Jamaran, was launched in late February 2010. The Mowdge Class vessel has a displacement of around 14,000 tons and is equipped with modern radars and electronic warfare capabilities and is armed with a variety of anti-ship, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.http://www.payvand.com/news/14/nov/1152.html

Retired IAF Officer Found Murdered in Bengaluru Home

BENGALURU: A retired Indian Air Force officer was found bound and strangled in his house on the city's outskirts, police said Monday.

He was identified as Air Commodore Parvez Khokhar (retd.), 70.

"We have registered a case of murder and sent Khokhar's body to a hospital for autopsy on a complaint by his wife (Pramila)," Bangalore (Rural) Superintendent of Police Ramesh Bhanot told IANS here.

Khokhar, who originally hails from Punjab, served in the air force for 35 years.

An IAF spokesman said he was one of the test pilots for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, being built by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) here.

In her complaint, Pramila said that after supper late Sunday, Khokhar went to sleep in his bedroom while she went to sleep in another room in the ground floor house, located in 'Smile Green estate', a gated community with security guards.

"Though the old couple had been living together in the same house, they slept in separate rooms as it was normal for them. When Pramila woke up in the morning and found her bedroom door latched from outside, she tried calling her husband but did not get a response. Her screams for help brought neighbours to rescue her through the back door, which remained open while the front door of the house was locked," Bhanot said. 

According to preliminary investigation, the alleged murder would have take place between Sunday midnight and the early hours of Monday.

"As valuables in the house were not missing, we are suspecting some motive other than robbery behind the murder as Khokhar's hands and legs were found tied with ropes and his body covered under a blanket," Bhanot said.

As the couple's two married daughters live in New Delhi, Pramila requested police to wait for their arrival here Tuesday before conducting autopsy, as the hospital will not keep the body in its morgue after post-mortem.

"We are interrogating the security guards who were on duty since Sunday, neighbours and Khokhar's friends and relatives for information and clues to trace the killers," Bhanot added.http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bangalore/2014/11/24/Retired-IAF-Officer-Found-Murdered-in-Bengaluru-Home/article2539023.ece

Tejas ex-pilot; Parvez Hamilton Khokhar found murdered in City

Bengaluru: Nov 24, 2014, DHNS:
Parvez Hamilton Khokhar. File photo
A former chief test pilot and project director of Tejas light combat aircraft was found murdered inside his duplex villa at a gated community at Huskur Gate, off Hosur Road, on the outskirts of the City on Monday morning.

Parvez Hamilton Khokhar, 70, a retired air commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment, was found dead in his bedroom. 

He was working for Boeing after his retirement, said some Indian Air Force officers. 
Assailants had tied Khokhar’s hands and legs, and strangled him with a “dupatta.” They then smothered him using a pillow. There were some injury marks on his neck. 

An expensive wristwatch, a wallet and cash were lying near the body. The assailants had ransacked the house and some items in the cupboards in two rooms were found scattered.

Most valuables were found intact. It is not a murder for gain, the police said. A property dispute could have led to the killing. Initial probe indicated that the assailants had entered the house through the terrace. 

The police are questioning two security guards of the villas. The assailants may have gained entry from a different spot as the guards said they didn’t notice anyone suspicious at the main entrance.

Khokhar was from Punjab. He had moved to Bengaluru long ago. He was living at Smilee Greens Estate Club with his wife, Pramila. The Khokhars have two daughters. One is in Delhi and the other is in China. 

After dinner on Sunday, Khokhar went into his bedroom on the first floor, while his wife slept in another room. 

Pramila woke up around 7 am on Monday and could not open the door as it was locked from outside. Her efforts to wake up her husband failed. She called her neighbours and requested them to open the door. They entered the villa through the rear door. Pramila and her neighbours went to Khokhar’s room and saw his body, said the police.

A post mortem was conducted at Victoria Hospital. Khokhars had not installed any CCTV cameras at their villa. There were cameras at the entrance of the gated community.  

There are more than 25 houses in the community.  The police along with sniffer dogs and finger print experts have inspected the spot and Hebbugodi police have registered a case.http://www.deccanherald.com/content/443626/tejas-ex-pilot-parvez-hamilton.html

Retired IAF officer found murdered

A 70-year-old retired Indian Air Force officer was found strangled in his house at Smilee Greens Estate Club on Huskur Road in Hebbagodi of Anekal taluk on Monday.
The deceased, Parvez Khokhar, was an Air Commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) and was the chief test pilot for Light Combat Aircraft. On Sunday night, he had retired to his room early, while his wife Pramila Khokhar went to bed later in a separate room.
Ms. Khokhar realised on waking up the next morning that her bedroom was locked from outside and tried screaming out to her husband to open the door. When there was no response, she called one of their neighbours for help. The neighbour entered after forcing the balcony door open.
The two then went to Mr. Khokhar’s room and found him strangulated with a piece of cloth and lying dead on his bed, with his limbs tied up. Police also suspect that he was smothered.http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/retired-iaf-officer-found-murdered/article6631087.ece?textsize=large&test=1

Khokhar third test pilot to meet unnatural death

Bengaluru, Nov 24, 2014, DHNS:
The test pilot community is shocked over the sensational murder of Parvez Hamilton Khokhar, 70, a retired air commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (AS&TE). file photo
The test pilot community is shocked over the sensational murder of Parvez Hamilton Khokhar, 70, a retired air commodore with the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (AS&TE).

Bengaluru is known as the home for test pilots in the country and a host of officers described Khokhar’s death as a big loss.
Khokhar is the third test pilot to meet an unnatural death, said Air Marshall (Rtd) B K Pandey. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chief Test Pilot and Director (Corporate Planning and Marketing) Squadron Leader (Rtd) Baldev Singh hanged himself from a tree at Nandi Hills on October 11, 2011. Singh was a retired fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force, he said.Group Captain Motilal Neluri (62), a resident of 1st Block, Jal Vayu Towers, NGEF Layout in Sadananad Nagar, accidentally slipped from the elevator on the fifth floor of his apartment and died following multiple head injuries on March 6, 2011, he added.
Khokhar, who was also chief test pilot for Light Combat Aircraft, was found murdered in his duplex villa at Huskur Gate, off Hosur Road, on Monday.
In an online post, Shiv Aroor, a close family friend, recalled what Khokhar had told about his fine 2013 piece on the LCA Tejas: “The Tejas Mark I is far superior to the MiG-21 fleet that the IAF would have to operate to the end of this decade. In key respects, it is a better fighter than even the Mirage 2000. The Tejas Mark I should enter the IAF's combat fleet in larger numbers and the Tejas Mark II scaled down. This would allow the Air Force to retire the MiG-21 fleet sooner.”
Post-retirement, Khokhar was well known as a no-nonsense observer of aerospace issues, writing often for magazines. 
Khokhar was ‘A’ çategory flying instructor and an Air Attache at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. An officer with vast experience, he was credited with flying more than 60 variants of aircraft without even a minor accident. He was also a fighter pilot with combat experience in war. He was one of the popular officers among students when he taught Defence Studies at PG (A) level. He is one of the few officers who flew with Iraqi Air Force for a couple of years during Iran-Iraq war three decades ago. 
The officer was honoured with prestigious awards. He bagged Presidential Award for Airmanship and Gallantry of an extraordinary calibre and was commended by Chief of Air Staff, twice. He was also commended by chief of Iraqi Air Staff.http://www.deccanherald.com/content/443663/khokhar-third-test-pilot-meet.html

The super powers and the Pacific Islands

Avinesh Gopal 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
THE past week was an exciting one for Fiji and other Pacific Island countries.
For those of us here, it was a week full of exciting deals being made with two of the powerful countries in the world.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first to grace our shores last Wednesday for only a day's visit.
Two days later, Chinese President Xi Jinping followed his rival's footsteps from Australia and arrived in Fiji.
Apart from reaching some agreements with Fiji, they also discussed some similar issues with Pacific Island country leaders.
Today, we take a look at the past week and what memories and goodies the two leaders have left behind in the Pacific.
IT was dawn when an Indian Air Force aircraft landed at Nausori International Airport.
Security personnel stepped out of the aircraft first and scanned around before some people made their way out.
As the entourage disembarked, the man who Fijians had been wanting to see was visible.
He was Narendra Modi, the 15th Prime Minister of India, who had been invited here by Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to India early this year.
The last Indian Prime Minister to visit Fiji was the late Indira Gandhi in 1981.
Mr Modi inspected a guard of honour at the airport and then was whisked away to Suva under very tight security, considering that India is still under threat of terrorist attacks.
He was accorded a traditional welcome ceremony at Albert Park in Suva a few hours after his arrival on November 19.
Some streets in Suva City were closed for the event and hundreds of people left their work and converged at the park to catch a glimpse of Mr Modi.
As the traditional welcome ceremony ended, Mr Modi went out to the crowd and shook hands with people, including students, and talked to them.
He also posed with students who took selfies with the Indian Prime Minister, something they will no doubt treasure for the rest of their lives.
Being the ordinary person he is, he did not seem to be worried as he met whoever put his/her hand forward, with some even kissing his hand.
The meeting and photograph sessions went for quite some time before Mr Modi met Sorokoba villagers who had accorded him the traditional welcome ceremony.
He had his bodyguards and two bullet proof vehicles that were specially brought in from India for the one-day visit.
Mr Modi is also the first international leader to address a special session of the new Parliament of Fiji, where he made some announcements after meeting Mr Bainimarama.
"From the time we arrived, I have been charmed and moved by Fiji's beauty and your extraordinary welcome," he said.
"I regard Fiji as an important partner for India. We have deep and enduring ties of history and culture.
"Fiji is an influential voice in the Pacific region and the developing world, and our partner in multilateral institutions.
"We face many common global challenges. We have shared interests in peace and co-operation in our inter-linked ocean regions.
"Our bilateral relations and international partnership has been strong. But, we are also aware that the relationship has at times been adrift, and that our co-operation should be much stronger than it is.
"So I see this visit as an opportunity to renew an old relationship and lay the foundation for a strong partnership in the future."
Mr Modi also said Fiji could serve as a hub for stronger Indian engagement with Pacific Islands.
He announced a $US5million ($F9.61m) funding to promote small businesses and village enterprises in Fiji.
Also, he announced a $US70m ($F134m) line of credit for a co-generation power plant at Rarawai Mill in Ba, and doubling scholarships and training slots in India for Fiji.
Mr Modi also announced visa on arrival in India for Fijians, something that would make travelling to the world's largest democratic country a bit easier.
He said India would do more in tourism and cultural exchanges, and it was prepared to assist in climate change.
"We are also prepared to increase co-operation in renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy, and in building capacity to adapt to climate change.
"In addition, we could share our experience and expertise in disaster management and response."
Mr Modi also met leaders of Pacific Island countries in Suva and offered them assistance packages.
Mr Bainimarama said he believed India and Fiji had much to gain from each other.
"Your visit opens a new era of co-operation and exchange as we share wisdom and experience in trade, agriculture, science, environmental programs and national security," he said.
India and Fiji are yet to sign memorandums of understanding related to other areas discussed during the leaders meeting.
As Mr Modi left Fiji later on Wednesday night, preparations started to host the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his second visit here, starting last Friday.
Mr Jinping arrived on a China Airways aircraft with his own security personnel like his Indian rival.
He also met with leaders of Pacific Island countries in Nadi and discussed China's assistance program for them.
Six MOUs were signed between Fiji and China, which pledged an additional $50m for development assistance.
Like the earlier announcement by India, China also announced visa on arrival for Fijians wanting to travel there.
The MOUs include establishing a Chinese cultural centre in Fiji, exchange of letters for the Vunidawa sports complex, economic and technical co-operation, defence and provision of goods to address climate change.
Mr Jinping left the country on Sunday, without letting local journalists know what he told the Chinese media in his language.
While there were no major protests over the two leaders' visits, the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre silently protested by putting up a banner, "Free Tibet" outside its Suva office in support of Tibet's fight for independence from China.
Security, no doubt, was tight for the two leaders' visit, with local personnel also teaming up with Indian and Chinese bodyguards.
India and China maybe competing internationally, including in the Pacific, but it is countries in the region, especially Fiji, that come out winners in the end through the assistance packages.
And there are also reports that India is planhttp://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=287151