Thursday, October 15, 2009

Assessing Pakistan Army's Capabilities

Guest Post by Ahmad Faruqui.

“The (Pakistan) army had to retrain almost from scratch to meet the new challenge and it has done remarkably well in completely altering the training priority and emphasis in such a short period.”

Col. Brian Cloughley, author of “A History of the Pakistan Army”, talking about Pakistan Army's Counterinsurgency capability.


The Pakistani army’s war against the Taliban continues to make headlines. But there are several other reasons for the global interest in that institution.

The Pakistani army is one of the world’s largest and it is armed with nuclear weapons. It has fought three major wars with India and a few minor ones. Courtesy of four coups, it has ruled the country for more than half its history. And it maintains a sizable presence in the economy.

Brian Cloughley’s “History of the Pakistan Army” has just gone into its third edition and that makes him eminently qualified to rate the army’s combat effectiveness. He is a Briton who served as a colonel in the Australian army.

In Brian’s view, “The army is combat effective, with the caveat that there is always room for improvement. One problem is that large-scale exercises are extremely expensive. Given the fuel consumption of armored units, for example, the bill for a division-sized exercise becomes astronomical, and Pakistan can’t afford it. So, although the army is very good, it is suffering from lack of large-scale training.”

Of course, this lack of training could hide major weaknesses such as the ones the army has manifested in prior wars. For example, poor coordination of armor and infantry units blunted Pakistan’s counter-attack in the Kasur-Khem Karan sector in 1965 forcing Pakistan to the cease-fire table faster than anyone would have expected. But Brian felt such blunders were unlikely to be repeated.

I asked him whether the army had improved in the past decade. Brian said the army had been improving since General Aslam Beg’s tenure as army chief who “encouraged wider thinking about tactics.” In particular, a much better logistics chain was established and “contributed immensely to the army’s war-fighting capabilities.”

I asked him whether the army had learned much from the 1971 war. Given the one-sided nature of that war, Brian said the war yielded “little of tactical importance.” But a strategic lesson was learned, that “there is no point in going to war unless you are absolutely certain you have the capability to win.”

I asked him if there was a spirit of critical inquiry in today’s army. He said there were some very critical minds in the army and that some of the Corps Commanders’ meetings had been very argumentative. He pointed out those generals could speak up without risking their careers since only one or two were going to get the fourth star.

He said that training at the two-star level and above was “very good” but added that there was no way of knowing how today’s generals will perform in future wars. He also expressed a concern about “the standard of junior officers themselves. They are promoted too quickly and don’t serve with soldiers for long enough as lieutenants.”

I asked him about the army’s equipment. He said, “You will never get a soldier admitting that there are no equipment problems – probably because there are always some sort of problems, but from boots to tanks, things work, and that’s what matters.”

He added that in the past a major problem was that most of the critical, high powered equipment was imported. Now, about a third of the tanks were produced indigenously and the US M-113 armored personnel carriers had been modified and were being built from scratch. The army is almost self-sufficient in ammunition and aerial bombs. But all of the artillery continues to be imported.

I asked what threats preoccupy the army. He said terrorism and anarchy in the tribal areas: “The army had to retrain almost from scratch to meet the new challenge and it has done remarkably well in completely altering the training priority and emphasis in such a short period.”

Of course, the army contends that it continues to face a major threat along the Indian border and finding a “balance between commitment to NWFP/FATA and maintaining a credible deterrent in the east is difficult.” India continues to voice threats that any act of terror that originates from Pakistan will be followed by a short intense war.

However, Brian is convinced that “nobody could say that such a war would be short. It would almost certainly go nuclear very quickly.” To me, that raises the issue of why Pakistan needs to have such a large army now that it has gone overtly nuclear.

I asked if the army had concluded that national governance was not in its best interest since it detracted from its primary function. He said yes but qualified it by saying that if the army senses that the country is faced with a total breakdown, it may step in.

The problem, in my opinion, is that has always used this excuse to seize power in the past. One can only hope that if the army steps in for a fifth time, it will break from past practice and only stay in power long enough to hold elections and transfer power to the elected representatives.

I asked Brian if the army was able to carry out joint operations with the air force and the navy. He said joint-ness continued to be an area that needed improvement even though PAF-army cooperation had improved markedly in the recent war against the Taliban.

Brian added that true joint-ness would only arise when Pakistan appoints a Chief of Defense Force (as is the case in the UK) but conceded that he did not see that happening any time soon.

When asked to compare the Pakistani and Indian armies, he said the two were very similar with Pakistan having “an edge in quality of armor. This might appear strange, but is caused by India’s obsession with the ‘indigenous’ (foreign-engined) tank, the Arjun, which is a disaster.” He added, in so far as training and general professionalism were concerned, “I would be happy to serve in either army. You can’t get a greater compliment than that.”

Finally, I asked him to name the main weakness of the army. He said, “The army suffers from a shortage of junior officers, and especially from a dearth of high quality junior officers. This is going to have a debilitating effect as time goes on. The obvious answer is to make the career more attractive – that is, better pay. But it is impossible for the public sector to pay comparable salaries to those offered to graduates by commercial enterprises.”

Over all, the army got really good marks from Brian. Perhaps it has learned its lessons.

- AhmadFaruqui@gmail.com

Here's a video report about Pakistan's weapons development:



Related Links:

Can Pakistan Defeat the Taliban?

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Y.B. Chavan's Diary of 1965 War

Indian War Myths About Pakistan

India's Missile Shield

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Pakistan Army

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

Only the Paranoid Survive

Global Firepower Comparison

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

Pakistan Army, the Taliban and Washington

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Attrition Rates For IAF and PAF

Mockery of National Sovereignty

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-no-answers-for-escalating-pakistan-guerrilla-war-qs-03

Riaz

This is the news in dawn about the preparedness of the pakistani army for guerialla warfare.

Anonymous said...

another achievement of military in pakistan in the last few decade as per dawn :


"Long before Zia, Pakistan was a Muslim country, so he was hardly making any new converts through his relentless campaign. But what he did succeed in doing was to transform Pakistan into an Islamic state. This change in emphasis is deeper than it seems: in a Muslim country, the majority of citizens are followers of Islam. But it has been observed that in an Islamic state, one interpretation of the faith forms the basis for law-making. This can cause non-Muslims to be relegated to second-class status."


http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/18-irfan-husain-treating-symptoms-not-the-disease-am-05

Anonymous said...

ON the surface of the attack happening every where in pakistan, it shows the dependence of pakistan on USA for intelligence.

USA and other major power are the guys who have series of satellite to cover every part of the earth for any type of monitoring purpose.

Since USA is not happy about the pakistan army not moving its army from indian border to afghanistan, it has left them to fight their own battle with pakistan resource and USA is fighting its battle with drones.

Anonymous said...

Riaz

Further the maturity of any country's strategy is that it is prepared for any contingency of those friends turning foe.

this short sight attitude of pakistan army has taken them by surprise when taliban attacked back.

Anonymous said...

Dawn article on recent attacks and people perception about army
==============================


The Pakistan Army’s reluctance to tackle the Jaish and the Lashkars has invariably been associated with its role in their progeniture. A similar explanation could, of course, be extended to its attitude towards the Taliban, although the intent behind its sponsorship of the latter in their original incarnation was two-pronged: a strategic grasp of Afghanistan (without the sort of investment Moscow or Washington made in pursuit of the same objective), plus the bonus that they would be uprooted from Pakistan.


For all its foibles, follies and farces, the army at present has a chance to redeem itself. But the onset of winter may well slam shut this small window of opportunity.


http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/mahir-ali-the-armys-last-chance

Anonymous said...

attack on islamabad university and views there off


================================
http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metropolitan/14-the-evil-in-our-midst-zj-01

Anonymous said...

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/14-a-state-of-denial-zj-06

It question the basic concept of blaming everything on foreign forces being india or usa. FAct of the matter is the home grown fundamentalism which was supposed to target india is targetting back pakistan and it is not preapared to handle the same.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a New York Times report about recent US assistance to Pakistan prior to the Waziristan operation:

During preparations this spring for the Pakistani campaigns in Swat and South Waziristan, President Obama personally intervened at the request of Pakistan’s top army general to speed the delivery of 10 Mi-17 troop transport helicopters. Senior Pentagon officials have also hurried spare parts for Cobra helicopter gunships, night vision goggles, body armor and eavesdropping equipment to the fight.

American military surveillance drones are feeding video images and target information to Pakistani ground commanders, and the Pentagon has quietly provided the Pakistani Air Force with high-resolution, infrared sensors for F-16 warplanes, which Pakistan is using to guide bomb attacks on militants’ strongholds in South Waziristan.

In addition, the number of American Special Forces soldiers and support personnel who are training and advising Pakistani Army and paramilitary troops has doubled in the past eight months, to as many as 150, an American adviser said. The Americans do not conduct combat operations.

The increasing American role in shoring up the Pakistani military’s counterinsurgency abilities comes as the Obama administration debates how much of a troop commitment to make in neighboring Afghanistan. It also takes place as Taliban attacks are spreading into Pakistani cities. It is unclear whether Pakistani authorities are using any of the sophisticated surveillance equipment to combat the urban terrorism.

Underscoring the complexity of the relationship between the allies, Pakistani officials are loath to publicize the aid because of the deep-seated anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. And they privately express frustration about the pace and types of aid, which totals about $1.5 billion this year.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from Indian Express today:

Two days after he said women could be recruited as fighter pilots only if they did not become mothers till a certain age, Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal P K Barbora on Thursday took a swipe at the political class, saying politics over defence purchases impinged “very badly” on the country’s military requirements.

“As far as defence goes, we don’t even match up with Pakistan,” Barbora, while referring to Defence exports, told an aerospace seminar organised in New Delhi by the CII.

“The internal politics over the years is such that whatever defence requirements are cleared by the government, they are opposed by the opposition parties and the same happens when roles change and the opposition sits in government. That impinges very badly on our defence requirements.”

He asked the private defence industry to take note of the China example on reverse engineering of defence technologies. “Forget about ethics. China has done reverse engineering. Has anyone ever had the courage to ask China why are you doing it? No one cares a hoot. If you can’t do it yourself, you should know how to do reverse engineering.”

Riaz Haq said...

I found some interesting rankings of military strengths of various nations on globalfirepower.com.

Here are rankings:

1. USA
2. China
3. Russia
4. India
5. UK
6. France
7. Germany
8. Brazil
9. Japan
10. Turkey
11. Israel
12. South Korea
13. Italy
14. Indonesia
15. Pakistan
16. Taiwan
17. Egypt
18. Iran
19. Mexico
20. North Korea

The site explains the rankings as follows:

Rank 1-10 Observations: The United States (GFP formula value of 0.184) remains the undisputed leader of our list thanks to their staying "active" in global hotspots, showcasing the world's largest navy and continuing to poor in gobs of money into defense. Our formula sees China edge out Russia but only by the slimmest of margins (0.238 versus 0.241 respectively) with an edge in available manpower and financial capital. France (0.636) and Germany (0.672) are relative equals for the most part but the GFP formula gives a slight edge to France thanks to an aircraft carrier and capable navy as well as a bump in defense spending. Brazil (0.756) is the most powerful South American country on the list thanks to available manpower and a capable navy. Japan (0.920) is a "sleeper" power that sneaks into the top ten with a good navy, strong logistical infrastructure and capital.

Rank 11-20 Observations: Our formula provides for a good disparity between North and South Korea, placing South well-ahead of the North thanks to better infrastructure and capital. Mexico's placement this high on the list is interesting to note - it scored a good balance across the board in all major categories. Israel finally gets a proper placement on this year's list - just out of the top ten - sporting a strong land army with equally strong training, modern equipment and recent combat experience.

http://www.globalfirepower.com/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting report in India Today about Indian Army's war readiness:

The Indian Army, one of the world's largest, has admitted it is far from being battle-ready. The force is 50 per cent short of attaining full capability.

The admission is part of the army's internal assessment report submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. Headlines Today has exclusive access to the report.

The report says it will take around 20 years for the army to gain full defence preparedness. The infantry, artillery and the armoury would be fully ready for battle only by 2027. This means that in the event of a war in the next two decades, the country may prove to be a virtual sitting duck.

Going by the report, the force seems most vulnerable as far as combat helicopters are concerned. The report says the army has attained an abysmal 17 per cent capability in combat choppers. Full combat capability by helicopters would not be possible before 2027.

Another problem is the army's inability to develop a communication network. India will not have a real-time information sharing network before 2027. The current capability is just 24 per cent despite the country's stellar show in information technology.

What's really shocking is the shortage in fighting arms. The artillery has just 52 per cent of the total capability required to defend the country. The country will near 97 per cent capability in artillery only by 2027.

The infantry too is struggling at a 65 per cent capability. The infantry wants to replace its indigenous INSAS rifles, acquire night-fighting capabilities, new generation anti-tank missiles and rockets. Shields for nuclear, biological and chemical warfare too are not properly in place.

The picture isn't rosy for the mechanised and special forces units either, which are way behind their required defence preparedness.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report from India Today on India army-air force debate over cold start:

The army and air force are battling it out over how to beat Pakistan in a flash war if and when that happens.

The Indian Air Force is not convinced about its role in the army's "cold start doctrine" for a future Indo-Pak war.

The strategy envisages the air force providing "close air support", which calls for aerial bombing of ground targets to augment the fire power of the advancing troops.

The growing tension between the two services is evident in a statement of air vice-marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, deputy director of the air force's own Centre for Air Power Studies.

"There is no question of the air force fitting itself into a doctrine propounded by the army. That is a concept dead at inception," Kak said.

A senior army officer disputes the notion of a conceptual difference between the two services. "The air force is supposed to launch an offensive under the doctrine by hitting targets deep inside enemy territory," he said. But he admitted the air force was hesitant about 'close air support'. 'Cold Start' is a post-nuclearised doctrine that envisages a "limited war" in which the army intends to inflict substantial damage on Pakistan's armed forces without letting it cross the threshold where it could think of pressing the nuclear button.

The doctrine intends to accomplish the task before the international community led by the US and China could intercede to end hostilities. Kak said, "The air force has the primary task of achieving 'air dominance' by which Pakistan's air force is put out of action allowing the army to act at will."

But he sees little necessity for the air force to divert frontline fighter aircraft for augmenting the army's fire power, a task that, in his opinion, can be achieved by the army's own attack helicopters and multiple rocket launchers that now have a 100-km range.

But he agrees the two services should work according to a joint plan. It means the air force would launch 'battlefield air strikes' to neutralise threats on the ground based on an existing plan. But that would be different from an army commander calling for air support on the basis of a developing war scenario.

That is not the only problem facing the doctrine. In the past few weeks, many have expressed doubts about the army's ability to launch operations on the basis of the new doctrine.

There are also apprehensions about the army's incomplete deployment of forces, lack of mobility and unattended infrastructure development.

But senior officers say the army has identified the units, which would constitute the eight division-strong independent battle groups out of its three strike corps. These battle groups would comprise mechanised infantry, artillery and armour.

"The forces have exercised as constituted battle groups at least six times since 2004. Each of the identified unit knows where they will be deployed," a senior General said.

According to him, the time for deployment has been cut down to "days". "No longer will the movement of troops require three months like it did when Operation Parakram was launched after the attack on Parliament in 2001," he said.

The army also debunks the idea that the troops lack mobility. Some armed forces observers have said only 35 per cent of the army is mobile inside the country.

They have, thus, concluded that even less numbers would be mobile inside the enemy territory.

The army officials, however, pooh pooh the criticism claiming 100 per cent of the Indian troops are mobile.

Riaz Haq said...

Let me share some more facts on 1965 war, as stated in Pradhan's book in Chapter 12 titled "Retreat to Beas".

"Briefly the origins of the controversy lay in the strategy discussion after the 1962 India-China conflict. Pakistan's acquisition of modern weapons from US had tilted the military balance in favor of Pakistan. There were two schools of thought for framing India's defence strategy in the Punjab. One school favored defending the border, while the second advocated a defence line along the Beas river (well inside Indian territory). Taking into account Pakistan's superiority in armor and firepower, the former felt that a major battle in the west of Beas would end in destruction of the Indian army and thereafter allow the enemy (Pakistani) forces to push to the gates of Delhi without much resistance. They believed that the defence potential of the Beas should be utilized to hold any Pakistani onslaught. It seems that (COAS) General Chaudhry was also inclined towards this view."

In chapter 10, titled "The Stupid Incident", it talks about how Lt. Col. Anant Singh and 126 of his men were taken prisoner, twenty were killed:

"Next morning when 2 Mahar troops approached the Khem Kharan distributary (taken by Pakistanis earlier), they were attacked by the PAF repeatedly. 2 Mahar fell back after suffering heavy casualties. Despite subsequent efforts, their attacks toward Khem Kharan failed. They lost 11 tanks, 4 JCOs and 83 jawans were wounded. Later, Brig Sidhu was brought down in rank for the failure of the attack."

Riaz Haq said...

How would Pakistan respond in the event of an Indian air strike? Here's a report on an interesting war game in Washington:

Early last year a group of Indian and Pakistan retired generals and strategic experts sat down for a war-gaming exercise in Washington. The question, predictably enough, was at what point during a conventional war, would the generals in Rawalpindi GDQ reach for the nuclear trigger.

In the event, the simulated war took on an unpredictable turn, which in some ways was more illuminating than the question of nuclear escalation, as columnist Ashok Malik writes in The Great Divide:India and Pakistan, a collection of essays by experts on both sides of the border.

The exercise begins with an Indian military strike on militant camps in Pakistani Kashmir, the most commonly envisaged scenario for the next India-Pakistan war. But the Pakistan response defies conventional logic . They don’t order a military push into Indian Punjab and Rajasthan, they don’t even attack Bombay High, the most valuable Indian oil asset in the Arabian Sea, and well within striking distance of the Pakistani Air Force.

Instead PAF planes fly all way to Bangalore, deep in the Indian south, to attack the campus of Infosys, the much celebrated Indian IT company.

Strange choice of target ? By all military logic it would seem so. It’s not like all of India would be crippled if Infosys were attacked, they don;’t run Indian IT infrastructure. Even the company itself might not suffer lasting damage. Its data would probably be stored in locations elsehwere too, and it wouldn’t take it long to rebuild the campus. Besides. the Pakistani planes would be almost certain to be shot down on their way back, if they managed to penetrate this far in on what seems like a suicide mission.

So why Bangalore, and Infosys? Malilk quotes a Pakistani participant as saying they chose the target because it is an “iconic symbol” of India’s IT prowess and economic surge. The idea was to strike at India’s economic growth and great power aspirations. A raid on the Infosys campus, visited by heads of states and corporate leaders, would underline the dangers of business in India and remind the world that for all its new-found success, it remained a nation of contradictions, and at heart, unstable.

Many people in the room were not convinced by the Pakistani choice. It still seemed more like an academic exercise than anything rooted in military reality. But in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks later that year, and in the light of renewed warnings this week by Israeli intelligence of another Mumbai-like attack coming in the next few weeks, it is clear that India’s vulnerability appears to be in economic, rather than purely military, targets.

Indeed last year when tensions rose following the Mumbai attack and there was talk of an Indian military response, it was Pakistan’s former chief of intelligence Hamid Gul who warned of Pakistan hitting back where it would hurt the most. India’s so-called Silicon Valley will go up in smoke, Gul is widely quoted to have told CNN, if the Indians sent troops to the border.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a report in today's Daily Times of Pakistan:

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: The Indian military is ready to fight Pakistan and China simultaneously, a report in the India Daily said on Wednesday.

“India’s 1.13-million strong military is now planning to handle two major war fronts at the same time,” it said.

The paper said the Indian Army considered Pakistan and China “part of the same camp”, adding that India knew that the next war would be between India and “Pakistan + China”.

India would be indirectly supported by the US and Russia, “but the Indian Army will have to fight the two wars at the same time,” the paper said.

Mini giant war: The India Daily said the Indian military had been “training for a mini giant war” against the two nuclear powered nations at the same time.

It said China had “used Pakistan for a long time to keep India busy”, adding that the time had come for New Delhi to recognise the massive simultaneous threat from both the countries.

The paper quoted Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor as emphasising that India was ready for “the successful firming-up of the cold start strategy (to be able to go to war promptly) in the multiple fronts against multiple militias at the same time”.

“The plan is a full thrust assault into multiple anomies at the same time with massive Air Force superiority,” the India Daily said.

The paper said if attacked by Pakistan and China at the same time, India would launch self-contained and highly-mobile “battle groups’’ within 96 hours, adding that New Delhi planned to end the war decisively within the first 96 hours “forcing the other sides into a fast submission of ceasefire”. The paper said any real war would be between India and China, while Pakistan would be used by China to create adequate disturbance for the Indian military.

“That is the reason why Lt Gen AS Lamba of the Indian Army is so keen on a massive thrust into Rawalpindi to quiet Pakistanis within 48 hours of the start of assault,” the paper said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report talking about the threat of war over water sharing between India and Pakistan:

The sharing of river waters between India and Pakistan is a "sensitive issue" that has the potential for triggering a war between the two countries, an adviser to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

Sardar Aseff Ali, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, made the remarks while speaking to the media after a seminar in Lahore yesterday.

He claimed India "will have to stop stealing Pakistan's water as the latter will not hesitate to wage war" over the issue.

Pakistan might seek international arbitration on the water issue by taking it up with the International Court of Justice or the UN Security Council if India tries to build any more dams that affect the country's share of waters, Ali said.

Pakistan can also back out of the Indus Waters Treaty and India will be responsible for the consequences, he said.

However, Ali also acknowledged that a solution to the problem cannot be found through sentimental rhetoric and the Indus Waters Treaty is the proper forum for resolving the issue.

Replying to a question on India's Baglihar dam, Ali said former President Pervez Musharraf was responsible for this project being built without any protest from Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

sir Riaz Haq....with due regards i'd like to admit that All your facts and figures are base on I don’t know what all bases because when an internet search is being run….no such result comes up….so either u have access to very secretive documents prepared by people on very high ranks…or can be the case that u like writing things that don’t sound or ‘are’ real. india has second largest army (number wise) and third largest (equipment wise)...with 4th largest air force and 126 MRCA to be added by 2012.....with an air craft carrier and one to be added...new mig 29 k....new choppers from either of (Europe , Russia even USA with ah 64 longbow) makes India a FAR BETTER FORCE THAN PAKISTAN.....and if you want to talk about comm net then let me tell you that half of your force still use the technology which Indian army released for public use after switching to "mercury thunder" networks...which are one of the best in the world...

Riaz Haq said...

In a presentation to Pakistani media, Gen Kayani reiterated his widely reported comments on the Pakistan Army’s view of the situation in Afghanistan and the way forward there.

History, unresolved issues, India’s military capability and its ‘Cold Start’ doctrine meant that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down. Repeating a well-known formulation, Gen Kayani said: “We plan on adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.”

The tough, matter-of-fact line on India was in stark contrast to that of Gen Kayani’s predecessor, Gen (retd) Musharraf, who tried hard to push for peace with India in his latter years in power.
------------------------
The general was particularly keen to highlight the threat posed by India’s ‘Cold Start’ doctrine. Turing the traditional theory of war on its head, ‘Cold Start’ would permit the Indian Army to attack before mobilising, increasing the possibility of a “sudden spiral escalation”, according to Gen Kayani.

The Pakistan Army’s concerns about ‘Cold Start’ are well known, but Gen Kayani went as far as to put a timeline on its implementation: two years for India to achieve partial implementation and five years for full.

If true, the strategic impact could be of the highest order: defence analysts have speculated that ‘Cold Start’ may lead the Pakistan Army to lower its nuclear threshold as a way of deterring any punitive strikes or rapid capture of territory by the Indian armed forces.

Yet, Gen Kayani was also keen to point out that he did not have a one-dimensional view of security. Despite the fact that India’s defence budget is “seven times” that of Pakistan’s “there has to be a balance between development and military spending,” the general said.

He also pleaded that “peace and stability in South Asia should not be made hostage to a single terrorist act of a non-state actor”, a reference to the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Refusing to talk to Pakistan would send a bad signal on two counts: one, the non-state actors would know that they have the power to nudge India and Pakistan towards war; and two, within India it would become clear that relations with Pakistan could be suspended indefinitely.

The comments on India, though, came only later in an extended Power Point Presentation that covered everything from the operations in Swat and South Waziristan to the “way forward” in Afghanistan. Gen Kayani seemed relatively pleased with the reaction his presentation received when first unveiled at a meeting of chiefs of defence staff of Nato and its allied countries in Brussels late last month.

Emphasising what he termed the “fundamentals”, he claimed that until the Afghan government improved its credibility and governance record and until the Afghan population began to change its perception that Isaf is not winning, the Afghan government would not be able to establish its writ and the local Taliban would not be “weaned off”.

But on Afghanistan, too, India featured in Gen Kayani’s comments. Rejecting India’s reported interest in training the Afghan National Army and the country’s police force, Gen Kayani argued that Pakistan had a more legitimate expectation to do so.

Taken together, Gen Kayani’s comments suggest that the possibility of a thaw in relations between India and Pakistan any time soon is low.

Both India and Pakistan appear to have firmly lapsed into the old pattern of highlighting the differences between them and the threats they face from each other, while nominally leaving the door open to an improvement in relations if one side addresses the other’s concerns.

Unlike the past, though, the stakes appear to be higher because of the uncertain future of Afghanistan and a ‘nuclear overhang’ that may be affected by ‘Cold Start’.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting assessment of Gen Kiyani by analyst-columnist Farrukh Saleem published in the News:

Yes, he is complex, complicated and calculating - all in one. Yes, he has the capacity for abstract thought, cold rationality and coarse creativity - all in one. And, yet he inhales reconstituted tobacco. Yes, he uses a filter and a cigarette holder. Yes, he never takes deep puffs and, yes, he only consumes half a cigarette at a time. I am sure he must have calculated that every cigarette he smokes shortens his life by exactly 11 minutes. And, yet he smokes. I can tell you that he didn't smoke for the first 60 minutes and then went through five half-cigarettes in the following two hours. Cigarettes say a lot about the smoker who smokes them. He knows that some of the things that he is doing are wrong, but still won't give them up. He is hooked on a primary psychoactive chemical and he knows that he can stop but he doesn't.

Hearing what I heard, I can tell you that he is a firm believer in Environmental Determinism - the theory that your environment dictates, and determines, your defense policy. In essence, 6,384 tanks in the Indian Army can't cross the Himalayas into China so they must all be Pakistan-specific. Hearing what I heard I can tell you that he won't second-guess Indian Army's intentions and would keep Pakistan Army fully able and capable to respond to India's military capacity.

I hear that an American who wears four stars and a Bronze Star with Valor V on his chest once told him that Pakistan's nukes were under threat. Hearing what I heard, I can tell you that he must have told the American who wears four stars and a Bronze star with Valor V on his chest that nukes can only be under threat if they are vulnerable; but ours are not vulnerable so they can't be under threat. Please give this bullshit to the press but don't give it to me. After all, he is an ardent golfer and 'an ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top'.

I can tell you that I came back both proud but with a painful realisation; proud knowing that our legions are being led by strategic minds and sad to have discovered the much too visible an intellectual gap between our top political brains in Islamabad and our strategic minds at work in Rawalpindi. And what does he think about our politicians? When it's breezy, hit it easy.

Could it be that the army rules not through the barrel of a gun but because of their intellectual superiority? Could it be that the army rules because our politicians have failed to institutionalise politics? Could it be that the army rules because our political parties do not transcend individual human intentions? Could it be that the army rules because it has structures, mechanisms of social order along with strategic thinking?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent media reported comp between India and Pakistan military helicopters:

Specialized attack helicopters have proven useful in providing valuable ground support for infantry and armored vehicles. While they are slower and therefore more vulnerable to ground fire than jet aircraft, attack
helicopters can also easily liner in battlefield areas, so they can work much more closely with troops on the ground.

Pakistan

Pakistan's Army is in possession of a number of AH-1 Cobra gunships. A development of the venerable Bell UH-1 Huey transport helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra was first introduced in 1967 for the Vietnam War, it is the original purpose-built helicopter gunship. The Pakistanis use the AH-1S and F models of this proven design, which have seen use against insurgents in the Northwest Frontier since the 1980s.

Paradoxically, the older upgrade of the Cobra is the S model. The main improvement was putting in a 1,800 hp engine, and all subsequent upgrades were based on this model. The F version includes a laser range finder and infrared suppression on the engine and exhaust, making the helicopter much harder for IR-guided missiles (such as the Stinger) to track. These helicopters have a maximum speed of 172 mph, a range of 274 miles, a maximum climb rate of 1,620 ft/min, and a service ceiling of 12,200 feet. They come armed with a 3 barreled 20mm cannon, and can carry either 2.75" rocket pods or TOW anti-tank missiles on 4 external hard points.

India

The Indian Air Force uses the Russian-built Mi-25 and Mi-35 Hind helicopters. The Hind is a combination attack helicopter and light transport, derived from the Mi-8 transport helicopter. It is the most heavily used combat helicopter in the world, having seen action in at least 19 different conflicts.

The helicopter has two engines capable of delivering 2,200 hp each, a maximum speed of 208 mph, a range of 280 miles, and a service ceiling of 14,500 feet. The helicopter typically carries a multi-barrelled 12.7mm heavy
machine gun in the nose, but can carry a 23mm or 30mm cannon instead. It also usually comes with door-mounted machine guns. There are 6 external hard points that can carry a plethora of arms in a combined payload of up to 3,300lbs. This can include gun pods, anti-tank missiles, rockets, and heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles.

Result: INDIA! The AH-1F and S model of Cobras are a reliable design, and they are also smaller and more maneuverable than Hinds. This is not a small consideration, and should be by no means overlooked. However, they are also not the latest version of the AH-1 (that is the AH-1W Super Cobra), which means they are lacking in certain capabilities that the Hinds wield.

The Hinds have greater range and greater lift capacity, as well as a higher service ceiling. This means they can carry more ordinance further, higher, and hang around on the battlefield longer. The maximum service ceiling in particular makes the Hind more useful in places like Kashmir. They also have the ability to engage other helicopters with IR-guided missiles, something the AH-W Super Cobra can do, but not the AH-1F and S models.


Sources: globalsecurity.org; http://indianairforce.nic.in/; http://www.pakarmy.com/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a recently published article on Indian missile defense:

A ballistic missile flight from Sargodha, Pakistan, could reach New Delhi in about 5-7 minutes. As such, Indian missile defense proponents envision the system working as follows: A technically complex and vast constellation of early warning sensors would detect the missile immediately after it is launched. This part of the system is already more or less in place; the Green Pine radar, which India purchased from Israel around 2002 and is situated about 200 kilometers north of New Delhi, can detect a missile 90 seconds after it has been launched--at least on a preliminary basis. The next step is to determine whether the signal picked up by the radar is that of an incoming missile or a false alarm.

Complicating matters is that India and Pakistan share a border, making for shorter ballistic missile flights. For example, the estimated total missile flight times are 8-13 minutes for ranges of 600-2,000 kilometers. The flight times can be even less if the missile is flown in a depressed trajectory.

Such a short time period places stringent conditions on procedures for evaluating and verifying warnings. There would be no time to consult or deliberate after receiving this warning. In other words, any response would have to be predetermined, presenting a significant likelihood of accidental nuclear war from false alarms.

Oddly, despite such potentially catastrophic consequences, in India the debate about missile defense has become a debate about India's burgeoning ties with Washington as a part of New Delhi's "Next Steps in Security Partnership"--a 2002 diplomatic initiative between the United States and India to expand their cooperation in civilian nuclear activities and civilian space programs, along with broadening their dialogue on missile defense to promote nonproliferation and to ease the transfer of advanced technologies to India.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's another commentary on India's missile defense by a blogger on Nuclear Dreams:

Pakistan is a stone’s throw away from the Indian border, and as Gopalaswamy in this essay and Mian and others in a more detailed 2003 Science and Global Security article explain, flight time for a missile to reach New Delhi from Pakistan would be about 4-7 mins. What would the Indian authorities do in such a short time? Detecting any such signal and confirming it as a true one would consume all the time needed for authorities to determine it as a hostile missile launch from Pakistan. The detection would be done by the Arrow system that India acquired from Israel that’s located about 200 kms from Delhi. But because of this very short flight time, there would be no time for further deliberation and any response would have to be a predetermined one.

As Mian and his colleagues state in their article, there are two forms which predetermined response could take; civil defense and/or retaliation. Retaliation if at all possible in such a short time would have to be very quick. Retaliation against nuclear-tipped missiles would be very difficult in the boost phase (right after the missile lifts off, which gives the defense about 90 seconds to destroy the missile) and extremely dangerous in the terminal phase (the phase before the missile hits the target during which its destruction could nonetheless cause great damage to the home territory). As both articles state, with such predetermined responses the threat of false alarms and nuclear conflict increases, an assertion borne out by several close calls during the Cold War even when the response time was much longer.

Riaz Haq said...

In addition to the kind of conventional warfare fought in 1965 and 1971, any future India-Pakistan war is likely to have two new components of cyber war and missiles war.

Cyber War:

The potential cyber component will have a dramatic impact which could reverberate across the globe as the computers used in South Asia for outsourced work from the United States and Europe come under crippling attacks from hackers on both sides. Here is how Robert X. Cringeley describes it in a June 2009 blog post captioned "Collateral Damage":

"Forget for the moment about data incursions within the DC beltway, what happens when Pakistan takes down the Internet in India? Here we have technologically sophisticated regional rivals who have gone to war periodically for six decades. There will be more wars between these two. And to think that Pakistan or India are incapable or unlikely to take such action against the Internet is simply naive. The next time these two nations fight YOU KNOW there will be a cyber component to that war.

And with what effect on the U.S.? It will go far beyond nuking customer support for nearly every bank and PC company, though that’s sure to happen. A strategic component of any such attack would be to hobble tech services in both economies by destroying source code repositories. And an interesting aspect of destroying such repositories — in Third World countries OR in the U.S. — is that the logical bet is to destroy them all without regard to what they contain, which for the most part negates any effort to obscure those contents."


Missile War:

In a Dec 2008-Jan 2009 series of articles for UPI Asia, Hari Sud, an NRI Indian from Toronto, Canada, laid out very optimistic, wishful scenario of how an Indian attack on Pakistan would play out. Sud's scenarios include Israel's direct attack on Pakistani nukes, US help for both India and Israel, and much heavier losses inflicted on Pakistan than on India, resulting in near-total destruction of Pakistan's nukes, and major cities of Islamabad and Karachi, while Delhi and Mumbai escape unscathed.

Sud has scripted the war as any chauvinistic Indian would wish it to be, and it can be summed up as follows: Israelis are perfect, Indians are a close second, and Pakistanis can't even shoot straight.

In the end, Sud's carefully crafted script fulfills his fantasy of bringing Pakistan to its knees, begging for peace!

Needless to say, Sud's wishful thinking was set aside in New Delhi, saner minds prevailed in India, and India decided to back off and pursue diplomacy instead. But Sud's writings give a pretty good insight into the aggressive Indians' minds, and point to the probability of a serious miscalculation by Delhi.

Here are the links to Hari Sud's dreamy forecasts:

1. India ready to avenge Mumbai carnage

2. Israel Joins India

3. Losses and Gains

4. The Missile War

5. Pakistan Seeks Peace

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent posting on USAF website:

5/5/2010 - TUCSON, Ariz. (AFNS) -- Eight Pakistani air force pilots, each experienced in the F-16 Fighting Falcon's A and B models, recently learned to fly the newer C- and D-model aircraft at the 162nd Fighter Wing, the international F-16 training unit, and were honored at a graduation ceremony May 4 here.

Pakistan's air force officials soon will upgrade their 30-year-old fleet of F-16s and the pilots, charged with flying more capable fighters, are ready to handle the new technology after training with the Arizona Air National Guard.

The pilots are the first from their country to train in the United States since 1983, when the last class of Pakistani pilots trained at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

"This graduation is historic for U.S.-Pakistan relations," said Pakistani air force Wing Commander Ghazanfar Latif, a 12-year F-16A pilot. "For Pakistan, our air force is gaining capabilities that it has needed for the last decade; capabilities that are critical to ongoing operations in Pakistan's war on terror."

The new planes purchased by Pakistani government officials, Block 52 versions of the multirole fighter, are far more advanced than the older A-model versions and will allow pilots to conduct operations at night and greatly enhance their use of precision munitions.

The first four of the 18 planes purchased are scheduled for delivery June 26 to Shahbaz Air Base in Pakistan. The rest will be delivered on a staggered schedule throughout this year. In addition, Pakistan's existing F-16 fleet will undergo a mid-life update in 2011 designed to upgrade cockpits and avionics to match the F-16C/D.

In preparation for the June delivery, the eight pilots and their families will have spent 10 months in the United States navigating the upgrade-training pipeline. They spent two and half months reviewing military aviation terminology at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and seven months in flight training at Tucson International Airport. Since the C/D-models used for training in Tucson are Block 25 F-16s, they will next undergo two weeks of additional Block 52 instruction before returning to Pakistan.

"Even though they're flying Block 25s here, they will still be able to operate their block 52s back home," said Lt. Col. Kelly Parkinson, the 195th Fighter Squadron commander. "When they leave here they will get training from Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, on the differences. The two blocks fly the same; it's essentially the employment of weapons that makes the difference."

The bulk of the flight training in Tucson included a transition course from the F-16A/B to the F-16C/D, flight lead upgrade training and instructor pilot certification.

"We're training these eight pilots so they can return home and be instructors themselves and teach others to fly the new F-16s," Colonel Parkinson said.

"I think the training here is very well organized and tailored to our needs," Commander Latif said. "Also, the standards here are very high. This is going to make a big difference because we do not have the capability to make precision engagements at night with A models. Everybody understands that collateral damage is a big factor and the sensors on the C-model will help us carry out precision engagement and close-air support."

With so much to learn, the students flew a schedule of five flights per week. The average student tempo is closer to three per week.

"The radar, data link and other avionics help create the big picture of what is going on around you," Squadron Leader Yasir Malik said. "There's lots of information to process in the C model, so you have to prioritize all of the input you are getting. But these instructors know what they are doing, and they are good teachers."

Vivek said...

When asked to compare the Pakistani and Indian armies, he said the two were very similar with Pakistan having “an edge in quality of armor. This might appear strange, but is caused by India’s obsession with the ‘indigenous’ (foreign-engined) tank, the Arjun, which is a disaster.



For one thing, the Indian Army's armor acquisition plans never revolved around the Arjun. 1600 T-90s have been ordered from Russia with 500+ delivered so far.

With regard to the mistaken notions about the Arjun tank:-

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/arjun-tank-outruns-outguns-russian-t-90/389650/

"India’s home-built Arjun tank has emerged a conclusive winner from its showdown with the Russian T-90. A week of comparative trials, conducted by the army at the Mahajan Ranges, near Bikaner in Rajasthan, has ended; the results are still officially secret. But, Business Standard has learned from multiple sources who were involved in the trials that the Arjun tank has outperformed the T-90 on every crucial parameter."



http://www.hindustantimes.com/Indian-Army-to-get-124-more-Arjun-tanks/Article1-544791.aspx

"The Indian Army on Monday ordered another 124 Arjun main battle tanks (MBTs) to boost the firepower of the 1.13-million strong force after the indigenously developed platform outgunned the Russian-origin Bhishma T-90 MBT in a gruelling trial in the Thar desert, an official said."

"The fresh order comes nearly two-months after the successful desert trials of the Arjun conducted by the army at the Mahajan Ranges, near Bikaner in Rajasthan. The Arjun outperformed the T-90 in every crucial parameter during the trials.
"After many years of trial and tribulation, it has now proved its worth by its superb performance under various circumstances, such as driving cross-country over rugged sand dunes, detecting, observing and quickly engaging targets and accurately hitting targets - both stationary and moving -with pin-point accuracy," Kar said."





As of today, the Arjun is the best main battle tank in the subcontinent and will be the lynch pin of the armored corps' future battle plans.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news report in the Indian Express on Pakistan receiving US howitzers:

India’s artillery modernisation has been stuck due to scam scares ever since the Bofors scandal but Pakistan has gone ahead, equipping its army with the latest guns that now threaten to give it an edge over the Indian Army.

While India has not received even a single new artillery gun in the last two decades, Pakistan recently received a batch of 67 self-propelled artillery guns from the US using War against Terror funds granted by Washington.

Latest United Nations data reveal that delivery of the M-109 A5 self-propelled artillery guns took place last year. The guns were transferred under the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme that was granted to Pakistan for the fight against militant groups on its border with Afghanistan.

Experts say these M-109 A5 155 mm howitzers give Pakistan a definite conventional edge over the Indian Army that is years away from induction of similar systems. The most modern guns in the Indian Army are the Bofors that were procured in the 1980s.

Vivek said...

One fails to grasp the point of the above report.

Yes, Pakistan has bought several second hand SP artillery pieces from the US. It doesn't change the balance of power in the subcontinent.

Also, FYI India ordered 145 ultralight highly portable 155mm M-777 artillery guns from the US under the FMS program.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Calcutta Telegraph story about Kargil that debunks Indian clams during and after the war:

Eleven years after the war that peaked around this time in 1999, the way it was fought, the lapses that allowed the intrusions into Indian territory and the role of superior officers are still hotly debated in military and strategic communities.

Not surprisingly, while the BJP-led NDA government that was swept to power in October 1999 celebrated the “victory” in the war with much fanfare, subsequent Congress-led UPA governments have kept the ceremonies low-key. Inside and outside the army, some people deeply suspect that a clutch of generals who were close to their political masters allowed the intrusions to snowball into a war and then manufactured a victory that came about with US pressure.

At the height of the war, then defence minister George Fernandes predicted “victory” in 48 hours but the hostilities lasted 80 days and cost the lives of nearly 550 soldiers and young officers. The then director general of military operations, Lt Gen. Nirmal Chandra Vij, who later became army chief and currently heads (with cabinet rank) the National Disaster Management Authority, also went against military protocol to go to the office of the BJP to brief its leadership on the war.

Vivek said...

Here's a Calcutta Telegraph story about Kargil that debunks Indian clams during and after the war:

The article by no means debunks Indian claims. Its simply points out that they were intelligence failures in the lead up to the war.

The claims itself namely-

- the intruders were regulars from the Pakistan Army's NLI and elements from the SSG, Sindh, Baloch, AK and FF regiments were involved in the incursion.

- Nawaz Sharif rushed to Washington where Clinton put him on the mat.

- most critical peaks were back in the IA's possession (esp. the ones overlooking NH-1) before the PA's withdrawal after July 10 (agreement being decided on July 4 in Washington).

- Despite sticking to the official claim of Pakistani Army regulars not being involved, over 80 medals for gallantry were awarded that year, including two Nishan-e-Haider awards.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a new poll published by Wired.com on the unpopularity of US drone attacks in FATA:

LThe CIA can kill militants all day long. If the drone war in Pakistan drives the local people into al Qaeda’s arms, it’ll be failure. A new poll of the Pakistani tribal areas, released this morning, suggests that could easily wind up happening. Chalk one up for drone skeptics like counterinsurgent emeritus David Kilcullen and ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden.

Only 16 percent of respondents to a new poll sponsored by the drone-watchers at the New America Foundation say that the drone strikes “accurately target militants.” Three times that number say they “largely kill civilians.”

CIA director Leon Panetta, by contrast, has staunchly defended the drone program as meticulously targeting terrorists. In a war that depends heavily on perceptions, it’s a big discrepancy.

There’s more bad news for Panetta and his boss in the White House. A plurality of respondents in the tribal areas say that the U.S. is primarily responsible for violence in the region. Nearly 90 percent want the U.S. to stop pursuing militants in their backyard and nearly 60 percent are fine with suicide bombings directed at the Americans. That comes as NATO accelerates incursions into Pakistan. Just this morning, it announced that a pursuit of insurgents in Afghanistan’s Paktiya Province led to a U.S. helicopter shooting at the militants from Pakistani airspace. Enraged Pakistani officials responded by shutting down a critical NATO supply line into Afghanistan.

Whatever NATO says, very few in the tribal regions are inclined to believe the U.S. is in Afghanistan and occasionally in Pakistan to fight terrorism. They think the U.S. is waging “larger war on Islam or… an effort to secure oil and minerals in the region.”

On the brighter side, wide majorities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas disapprove of al Qaeda (over three-quarters), the Pakistani Taliban (over two-thirds) and the Afghan Taliban (60 percent). There’s also strong support for the Pakistani army: almost 70 percent want the army to directly confront al Qaeda and the Taliban in the region; 79 percent say they wouldn’t mind if the tribal area were run by the army.

Now for the qualifiers. Polling in the conflict-heavy tribal areas is a dicey proposition. A survey last year of the tribal areas published in the Daily Times found that almost two-thirds of respondents wanted the U.S. drone campaign to continue. So either support for the drones has bottomed out or there’s significant methodological discrepancies. The Pakistani firm that actually conducted the new poll of 1000 respondents across 120 FATA villages, the Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme, has polled the area for years.



Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/new-poll-pakistanis-hate-the-drones-back-suicide-attacks-on-u-s-troops/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Fpolitics+(Wired%3A+Politics)#ixzz115L0D6At

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from a report of Indian Army Chief Gen V.K. Singh's interview published by Chandigarh Tribue:

What I look at it is that we have an unstable neighbour on our West (Pakistan). Unstable because of internal problems, unabated terrorism out there and unstable because it decided that it will aid some terrorists groups and support some terrorist groups for strategic aims because of political drift and the fissures that are coming up because of all these factors. And we also know that whenever situation become critical with this particular neighbour of ours it tends to direct attention of its people towards India. There is instability; there is a terrorist infrastructure which is in place. Till that time the threat to our country will remain because it looks at dismembering the country as a nation. We also have the so-called border problem because of what happened after 1948.

------------------

We have been looking on this (nuclear) threat for quite sometime. It is not that suddenly it has come, we knew at the capabilities of our neighbourhood and what was happening over there and we have been talking about it, we have been training for it and we have been looking at our own concepts and doctrine etc so far as this particular issue is concerned. As an Army, we are prepared to fight dirty which means not dirty in the sense of street fighting, dirty in the sense of fighting through our area which has been contaminated by a nuclear strike. We are confident that we will get through in such contaminated areas and this is part of our training methodology, doctrine and our concept.

It is not that somebody is going to say I will drop a bomb and therefore you stop on your track. Sorry, it does not happen that way, it is not going to happen. We will take the war to its logical conclusion whether it is a nuclear strike or no nuclear strike. I am quite confident of our nuclear capability. We are clear that as a nation we will be able to withstand whatever comes our way and retaliate in adequate measure.

We are ready to face the challenges that may come up. There are certain focus areas that we have kept for ourselves. Like we are looking at the type of surveillance equipment that can come, we look at our capability to do 24x7 operations where night is not a problem. We are looking at improving our networks centricity. We are looking at high technology items in terms of computer controlled and command controlled systems which provide synergy to the entire process. Some of these are on way and some are these are being given a push. The other area that we are looking is our capability for bringing in precision targeting.

We have embarked on a transformation process for our Army. Transformation is in terms of making the Army more agile, the Army more capable of transmitting its lethality and the Army in which there are no people who will be, in Army terms, left out of battle. Apart from that it is having a more responsive logistic system and ensuring that our Army headquarters are suitably structured so that they can contribute towards faster decision-making. This is what I think we should be able to achieve along with ensuring that whatever modernisation plans that we have they fructify to a large extent. I look at what we can do to increase our joint-manship network centricity so that we can operate in an environment where it should be possible for us to make use of all the acumen and skills that all the services we have.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani soldiers won top award for Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales with participation from armies of India, Australia, Canada, United States and France among others, according to PakTribune report:

LONDON, UK—Beating hundreds of soldiers from major armies of the world, Pakistan Army has won the coveted Gold Award at the prestigious Cambrian Patrol Exercise held in Wales with participation from armies of India, Australia, Canada, United States and France among others.

750 soldiers from across the world descended on the Brecon Beacons in Wales to suffer through one of the toughest exercises ever devised. The Cambrian patrol tested the soldiering skills of the teams as they crossed some of the most arduous terrain one can imagine.

During the marches, the teams had to complete challenges including observation and reconnaissance of enemy forces, cold-river crossings in full kit without access to boats, first-aid and defensive shooting under attack.

The exercise is organized by the British Army [HQ 160 (W) Brigade on behalf of HQ 5 Div] with an aim to provide a challenging patrols exercise in order to develop operational capability. Cambrian Patrol is arduous and concentrates on leadership, teamwork, physical fitness and achieving the mission by drawing participants from foreign countries.


Here is the link to a video clip of the report from British Forces News:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVh-EBUwlFo&feature

Riaz Haq said...

The US has offered $2 billion military aid to Pakistan over next 5 years, according to Wall Street Journal:

The new military aid, which is contingent on congressional approval, is expected to amount to more than $2 billion over five years, would pay for equipment Pakistan can use for counterinsurgency and counterterror operations. U.S. officials say they hope the new aid could effectively eliminate Pakistan's objections that it doesn't have the equipment needed to launch more operations in tribal areas.

Department of Defense officials, including Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet on Wednesday with Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani at the Pentagon.

In a recent report to Congress, the White House said it believed the Pakistani military was avoiding direct conflict with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda forces for political reasons. Despite the U.S. calls for a crackdown on the Haqqani network, some Pakistani officials continue to support the group, viewing it as a longtime ally that has steadfastly opposed Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

Pakistan received about $1.9 billion in military assistance from the U.S. in fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 30, including about $300 million in grants to buy U.S. defense equipment. The new package of defense equipment would average out to an additional $100 million a year in aid, although the size of the grants would start lower and grow over time.

By seeking assurances from Pakistan that the new equipment will be used only to combat militants in the border areas, the U.S. hopes to reassure India that it isn't trying to further boost the power of Pakistan's conventional military.

Officials from both the U.S. and Pakistan rejected the notion that the military assistance and talks were a quid pro quo, arguing that they are trying to build a partnership, not cut a deal.

U.S. officials, although they denied that the increased aid was part of an explicit deal to get Islamabad to mount a ground offensive in North Waziristan, said they hoped increased Pakistani military capabilities would translate into increased action on the ground.

Riaz Haq said...

Australian Army is being trained by Afghan fighters, according to Australia's Sydney Morning Herald:

The Herald can also reveal that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, discussed their relationship with the warlords at a meeting in Kabul on October 2. A leaked summary of their meeting reveals that Mr Karzai told Ms Gillard tribal leaders had praised Australia's co-operation with ''warlordy types''.

The fighters met Australian officers they will work alongside and were shown combat training displays at the Cultana base in South Australia and at Holsworthy Barracks in outer Sydney.

The militia is Oruzgan's most effective fighting force but moving closer to it risks undermining the Afghan institutions that need to be reinforced before Australian Defence Force troops can leave.

One Australian special forces officer said the militia was respected and had ''saved many Australian lives''.

Defence said that in the exercise, Leadership Look, the Afghans were ''intimately involved in the planning and execution of training objectives'' for the special forces soldiers as they prepared to go to Afghanistan.

But Martine van Bijlert, an analyst on Afghanistan, speaking from Kabul, said: ''We're shaping [Afghanistan] to our short-term needs rather than what the country needs in the long term. Does the country really need commanders with what are in essence private armies?''

The Dutch refused to work with Matiullah and blocked his appointment as the local police chief. He holds no formal government position but is allied with Mr Karzai and is considered the most powerful man in Oruzgan. He denies allegations of corruption and human rights abuse.

But Defence said: ''It is important the ADF works within the cultural norms of Afghanistan. Therefore in some areas where influential local Afghan leaders still operate, their co-operation can be crucial to maintaining security and stability.''

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston was at the Kabul meeting and was recorded telling Mr Karzai the partnership between Australian special forces and Matiullah's militia was ''a proud one''.

The Defence chief admitted that when Australian troops arrived in Oruzgan they did not understand the complex ''tribal dynamics'' but now had a more ''enlightened'' view.

The militia wears the uniform of the Provincial Response Company but is not controlled from Kabul and answers to Matiullah.

''They fight for their own group. They fight for very different reasons than, for instance, the Afghan army,'' said Ms van Bijlert.

The militia command group has been brought to Australia for improved training in a safe environment.

The visit came after negotiations between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence. Agreements were made about travel documents and warnings were given to the government that, as one source said, ''issues could arise'' if the Afghans claimed asylum in Australia in future years.

Riaz Haq said...

New F-16s are arriving from US in Pakistan to modernize and strengthen PAF, according to Daily Times:

ISLAMABAD: Second batch of three F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft arrived at the PAF Base, Shahbaz (Jacobabad) on Saturday, whereas two more would arrive during the next week. Brigadier General Michael Nagata, deputy commander, Office of Defence Representative in Pakistan handed over the aircraft on behalf of the US government to Air Marshal Muhammad Hasan, deputy chief of the Air Staff (Operations). Pakistan had signed a contract with the US government in 2005-06 for the acquisition of 18 F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft. Under this arrangement, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would receive these state-of-the-art aircraft from the US in staggered batches. In this connection, the first batch of three similar aircraft arrived in Pakistan in May 2010. The deliveries of the rest of the aircraft would be completed by December 2010. The F-16 C/D aircraft is a high tech fighter aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art avionics suite and latest weapons with Night Precision Attack capability. These aircraft are part of the bid by PAF to modernise and enhance its air defence capabilities. staff report

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from recent media report on Wikileaks revelations about India's "Cold Start" doctrine:

Timothy Roemer said that the implementation of India Army's 'Cold Start' doctrine, which lacks consensus in India and has not been fully embraced by the Manmohan Singh government, is likely to yield "mixed results" if put to use under present circumstances, the cable said.

"The Indian Army's 'Cold Start' doctrine is a mixture of myth and reality. It has never been and may never be put to use on a battlefield because of substantial and serious resource constraints, but it is a developed operational attack plan announced in 2004 and intended to be taken off the shelf and implemented within a 72-hour period during a crisis. Cold Start is not a plan for a comprehensive invasion and occupation of Pakistan," said the US cable, dated February 16 and signed off by Roemer.

"Instead, it calls for a rapid, time and distance-limited penetration into Pakistani territory with the goal of quickly punishing Pakistan, possibly in response to a Pakistan-linked terrorist attack in India, without threatening the survival of the Pakistani state or provoking a nuclear response," it said.

"It was announced by the BJP-led government in 2004, but the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not publicly embraced 'Cold Start' and the government's uncertainty over Pakistani nuclear restraint may inhibit future implementation by any government," it said, adding that if the Indian government were to implement 'Cold Start' given present Indian military capabilities, it is the collective judgment of the US mission that India would encounter mixed results.

"The government failed to implement 'Cold Start' in the wake of the audacious November 2008 Pakistan-linked terror attack in Mumbai, which calls into question the willingness of the government to implement 'Cold Start' in any form and thus roll the nuclear dice.

"At the same time, the existence of the plan reassures the Indian public and may provide some limited deterrent effect on Pakistan," the cable said.

"We think that the November 2008 Pakistan-linked terror attack in Mumbai and its immediate aftermath provide insight into Indian and Pakistani thinking on Cold Start.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters report of wikileaks on India's Cold Start:

The Cold Start is a much vaunted doctrine to rebuff any Pakistani aggression by a massive military attack across the border within 72 hours of any attack from its neighbour.

After India and the U.S. were spared any serious embarrassment in the first two days of WikiLeak’s staggered release of secret U.S. cables, save an outspoken remark from Hillary Clinton about India’s inflated global ambitions, the secret cable from U.S. Ambassador Tim Roemer states that it is unlikely that India would ever enact the planned retribution strategy, and the chances of success would be questionable if so, in a cutting critique of New Delhi’s military might.

The February 16, 2010 cable from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, classified by Roemer and released by WikiLeaks, describes India’s ‘Cold Start Doctrine’ as “a mixture of myth and reality.”

“The GOI (Government of India) refrained from implementing Cold Start even after an attack as audacious and bloody as the Mumbai attack, which calls into serious question the GOI’s willingness to actually adopt the Cold Start option,” Roemer states.

But in perhaps the most damning of remarks regarding its effectiveness, even purely as a deterrent, Roemer states that Pakistan appears to be unfazed by Cold Start’s potential application:

“The Pakistanis have known about Cold Start since 2004, but this knowledge does not seem to have prompted them to prevent terror attacks against India to extent such attacks could be controlled. This fact calls into question Cold Start’s ability to deter Pakistani mischief inside India. Even more so, it calls into question the degree of sincerity of fear over Cold Start as expressed by Pakistani military leaders to USG (United States Government) officials.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Reuters' story on OECD raising alarm about cyber attacks:

Attacks on computer systems now have the potential to cause global catastrophe, but only in combination with another disaster, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Monday.

The study, part of a wider OECD project examining possible "Future Global Shocks" such as a failure of the world's financial system or a large-scale pandemic, said there were very few single "cyber events" that could cause a global shock.

Examples were a successful attack on one of the technical protocols on which the Internet depends, or a large solar flare that wiped out key communications components such as satellites.

But it said a combination of events such as coordinated cyber attacks, or a cyber incident occurring during another form of disaster, should be a serious concern for policy makers.

"In that eventuality, 'perfect storm' conditions could exist," said the report, written by Professor Peter Sommer of the London School of Economics and Dr Ian Brown of Britain's Oxford University.

Governments are increasingly emphasising the importance of cyber security.

The United States is preparing for cyber conflict and has launched its own military cyber command. Britain last October rated cyber attacks as one of the top external threats, promising to spend an extra 650 million pounds ($1 billion) on the issue.

Meanwhile, emerging nations such as China and Russia are believed to see it as an arena in which they can challenge the United States' conventional military dominance.

The Stuxnet computer worm -- which targets industrial systems and was widely believed to be a state attack on Iran's nuclear programme -- is seen as a sign of the increasing militarisation of cyberspace.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the worm was a joint U.S.-Israeli effort and had been tested at Israel's Dimona nuclear plant.

The OECD study concluded that cyber attacks would be ubiquitous in future wars, and that cyber weaponry would be "increasingly deployed and with increasing effect by ideological activists of all persuasions and interests".

"There are significant and growing risks of localised misery and loss as a result of compromise of computer and telecommunications services," the report said.

But it concluded that a true "cyberwar", fought almost entirely through computer systems, was unlikely as many critical systems were well protected and the effects of attacks were difficult to predict, and so could backfire on the assailants.

Brown said adopting a largely military approach to cyber security was a mistake, as most targets in the critical national infrastructure, such as communications, energy, finance and transport, were in the private sector.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are recent 2011 updates on Pakistan's defense imports as reported by defenseindustrydaily.com:

March 1/11: Aviation Week reports that Pakistan is in negotiations with the U.S. to get more Lockheed Martin F-16s over and above the 63 currently in service (18 F-16C/D Block 52, 45 F-16A/B Blocck 15/OCU that will be upgraded). No numbers have been specified, by Pakistani officials see it as part of a dual-track strategy that will also include more spending on domestic projects like the JF-17 Thunder, to improve Pakistan’s own manufacturing capacity.

At present, PAF Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman says that 4 F-16A/Bs went to the USA for technical verification inspections and upgrade kit development, and the 1st 3 F-16A/Bs are now undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). All of Pakistan’s F-16s are expected to be upgraded by 2013-2014. At present, no systems exist that would bridge the F-16 and JF-17 fleets, but Air Chief Marshall Suleman says that Pakistan intends to eventually field a supplementary datalink, which would work alongside the Link 16 systems carried by the F-16s.

The comments come as the Pakistani military is also discussing a deal to buy Chinese submarines as a supplement to their French Agosta-class boats, as an intended prelude to joint submarine development. These plans are all being made against a backdrop of a serious domestic insurgency and widespread flooding damage, which have combined to create over 1 million internal refugees, and threaten the government’s medium term ability to maintain control of the country. Even as the state is very obviously fraying in other ways.

Jan 20/11: Goodrich Corporation of Chelmsford, MA receives a $71.9 million contract for 5 DB-110 Pods, 2 datalink upgrades to existing pods, 2 fixed ground stations, 1 mobile ground station, and 4 ground station datalink receiver kits, plus initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports Pakistani F-16 aircraft. At this time, $17.3 million has been committed by the ASC/WINK at Wright-Patterson Air Force, OH on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (FA8620-11-C-3006).

The DB-110 reconnaissance pod offers day and night capabilities, and has been ordered by a number of F-16 customers, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and the UAE. DB-110s were not mentioned in the DSCA upgrade requests, but they are clearly part of that effort now. Reports indicate that installations began in June 2010; this is apparently a follow-on order. A Jan 12/11 US FedBizOpps solicitation for associated imagery analysis training is a useful reminder that buying the pods is not enough to field a useful capability. See also Aviation Week re: DB-110.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an assessment of PAF capabilities by an IAF leader as reported by Indian Express:

Terming US arms aid to Pakistan as a challenge, India on Friday said the latest F-16s, missiles and munition being supplied to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could "reduce the technological gap" with the IAF.

"It (US arms aid) is certainly a challenge, no doubt about that," IAF's Western Air Command chief Air Marshal N A K Browne told a press conference here.

"Earlier the difference of assets was a certain amount. But their acquisitions have seen to have reduced (the gap) between the PAF and IAF in terms of capability of their aircraft, Beyond Visual Range missile systems, day and night operations and precision guided munitions," Browne said.

He was replying to questions on the US arms aid to Pakistan including F-16s purportedly for counter-terrorism operations along its Afghanistan border.

"There are things actually that tend to reduce the gap. Pakistan is catching up with the IAF, which has always had an edge in terms of its size and platforms. But I don't think so (that PAF would match the IAF in the future)," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's how India and Pakistan stack up as arms importers, as reported by SIPRI:

"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on trends in the international arms trade.

"India received nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.

Its arms imports jumped 21 percent from the previous five-year-period with 71 percent of its orders being for aircraft.

India's arms purchases were driven by several factors, said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI'S Arms Transfers Programme.

"The most often cited relate to rivalries with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges," he wrote.

China and South Korea held joint second place on the list of global arms imports, each with six percent, followed by Pakistan, on five percent.

Aircraft accounted for 45 percent of Pakistan's arms imports, which had bought warplanes from both China and the United States. Pakistan's arms imports were up 128 percent on the previous five-year period, SIPRI noted.

Greece rounded off the top-five list arms importers, with four percent of global imports.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report from the-monitor.org on Pakistan's cluster bomb capability:

Pakistan states that it has “never used cluster munitions in any conflict to date.”

Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) produces and offers for export M483A1 155mm artillery projectiles containing 88 M42/M46 dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) grenades. The South Korean company Poongsan entered into a licensed production agreement with POF in November 2004 to co-produce K-310 155mm extended-range DPICM projectiles in Pakistan at Wah Cantonment. While the ammunition is being produced for Pakistan’s army, the two firms have said they will also co-market the projectiles to export customers. The Pakistani army took delivery of the first production lots in April 2008.

Jane’s Information Group reports that the Pakistan Air Weapons Center produces the Programmable Submunitions Dispenser (PSD-1), which is similar to the United States Rockeye cluster bomb, and dispenses 225 anti-armor submunitions. Jane’s states that the Pakistan National Development Complex produces and markets the Hijara Top-Attack Submunitions Dispenser (TSD-1) cluster bomb. It lists Pakistan’s Air Force as possessing BL-755 cluster bombs. The US transferred to Pakistan 200 Rockeye cluster bombs at some point between 1970 and 1995.


http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/614

India has recently acquired 500 cluster bombs from the US, according to media reports.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_india-strikes-deal-with-us-for-cluster-bombs_1479604

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of Pakistan's successful short range missile (Hatf 9 or Nasr) test to counter India's "cold start" threat, as reported by The Hindu:

Pakistan on Tuesday claimed to have successfully conducted the first flight test of the newly developed Short Range Surface-to-Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile `Hatf IX’ (NASR). Viewed by some strategic analysts as Pakistan’s answer to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, NASR has a range of 60 km and ``shoot-and-scoot’’ nuclear delivery capability.

Announcing the test, the Inter Services Public Relations said the quick response system of NASR addresses the need to deter evolving threats. Addressing the gathering at the undisclosed site of the test, Director General of the Strategic Plans Division Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the successful flight marked an important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum.

Further, Lt. Gen (retd) Kidwai pointed out that in the hierarchy of military operations, the NASR Weapon System provided Pakistan with short range missile capability in addition to the already available medium and long range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.

Welcoming the test, security analyst, Shireen Mazari, said in a statement that now Pakistan has acquired tactical nuclear capability with a low yield that can be used in the battlefield. ``It will act as a deterrent against use of mechanised conventional land forces. This was essential in the wake of India’s adventurist war-fighting doctrine formulations which envisaged the use of rapid deployment of armed brigades and divisions in surprise and rapid attacks.’’

Referring to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, Ms. Mazari added: ``India has always felt that Pakistan had a loophole in terms of lacking short range battlefield nuclear weapons, which it could exploit on the assumption that it made little sense for Pakistan to respond to such conventional attacks with strategic nuclear weapons. With NASR, Pakistan has plugged that loophole. Indian dreams of a limited war against Pakistan through its Cold Start strategy have been laid to rest. This will allow for a reassertion of a stable nuclear deterrence in the region.’’

Riaz Haq said...

It's not unusual for militaries in various nations to make films, nor is this is Pak Army's first foray in film-making.

Life of a Siachen Soldier, a documentary produced by Pakistan Army, won the top prize at the International Film Festival "Eserciti-e-popoli" (armies and people) held in Rome, Italy in 2009. Armed Forces representatives from 21 countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States, participated in the contest where 150 documentaries were screened in different categories. Pakistan Army’s documentary won the first prize in the category of training and was awarded Chief of Army Staff trophy

http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/11/pakistani-army-documentary-wins-top.html

But Wall Street Journal does not seem to know this fact as obvious from the following story:

Pakistan's powerful army is involved in domestic politics, foreign affairs and defending the nation's soil from attack. Now it can add a new stripe to its uniform: television production house.

The military is funding a TV action series aimed at showcasing its role in fighting Taliban militants. To keep costs down, the army employs soldiers as actors, with no extra pay for their services, and uses real military equipment. The army says the stories are based on real-life encounters on the battlefield.

The series, "Faseel-e-Jaan Se Aagay," or "Beyond the Call of Duty," is low-budget. The soldiers' acting is wooden. Each episode costs only $12,000, and the special effects look dated. Yet the Urdu-language series, which started in January and began a second season earlier this month on state-owned Pakistan Television Corp., has been a hit, especially among rural viewers.

In the recent season opener, two helicopter pilots who stormed a Taliban mountain redoubt in 2009 played themselves. In the show, as in real life, the pilots had lost a colleague during an operation earlier that year to clear militants from South Waziristan, a mountainous tribal region near the Afghan border. Against orders, they flew a retaliatory mission against the Taliban and captured an anti-aircraft gun that militants had used to shoot down their friend's helicopter. They are reprimanded but become heroes nevertheless.

The pilots are portrayed as sensitive family men and cool sunglass-wearing aviators. When they are about to fire their weapons, they break into English, saying things like "Going in. Going hot," and "The miscreants are engaged." The battle scenes are set to Western rock music.

"I am a soldier by my heart and mind. I only agreed [to] acting to pay homage to my fellow aviators and soldiers," said Maj. Zahid Bari, one of the two pilots.

The director, Kashif Nisar, said he finds it easier to teach soldiers to act than actors to look like soldiers. Officers only need to be guided on acting skills, while professional actors need to be taught "action tactics, carrying of uniform, carrying of weapons, mannerisms and body language of a soldier," he said.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304319804576389500987371470.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#articleTabs%3Darticle

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a perspective by Abdul Rahman Khattak on Indian military's use of 24X7 satellite imagery to watch Pakistan and its C4I capabilities:

These (Indian) satellites will be developed and launched by ISRO based on requirements projected by the armed forces. Another important factor which needs attention is the flow of high tech technology to India after the Indo-US deal 2008. Such a discriminatory policy of the international community would create strategic imbalance in South Asia. Pakistan’s security will be in frenzy if India acquired such capabilities. In addition to that India is also developing Communication-Centric Intelligence Satellite (CCI-Sat). This satellite is being developed by the Defense Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) under the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). This satellite will help Indian intelligence agencies to considerably improve their surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities vis-à-vis Pakistan and other neighboring countries.

Director (DLRL) G. Bhoopathy revealed this project on February 2010 and said: “We are in the process of designing and developing a spacecraft fitted with an intelligent sensor that will pick up conversations and communications across the borders,". The satellite will be operational by 2014 and will also serve as a test bed for anti-satellite weapon development.
------------
Indian military is regularly improving its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. From 2004-2011 it has carried out 12 major war games and in these exercises it has practiced its surveillance, reconnaissance and space imaging capabilities. In 2004, Indian Army introduced Long-Range Reconnaissance and Observation System (LORROS) in this Exercise Divya Astra, which it has bought from Israel. LORROS is a high quality, remotely controlled ground based observation system designed for medium and long range surveillance. This kind of a system is good for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance purposes. In 2005 Indian military carried out Exercise Vajra Shakti. In this exercise Indian military practiced its satellite imaging facilities. First time, a Force Multiplication Command Post (FMCP) was set up to integrate real-time flow of information as a principal tool for decision making and NCW capabilities in the Indian Army.

---------------
Indian military’s satellites would have a wide range of implications for Pakistan and the entire region. These satellites will improve its military’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities providing the military with round-the-clock coverage of Pakistan's military installations and deployment of its army close to the border with India. After acquiring such capabilities the Indian military would be confident to launch a preemptive conventional strike against Pakistan's nuclear weapon delivery systems at their bases. Therefore Pakistan's missile forces and launching site will also be vulnerable to detection, monitoring and target by Indian military. Furthermore, India’s accesses to high-tech international market after the Indo-US deal will impact on the strategic stability in South Asia. Therefore it is imperative for Pakistan military’s decision makers to closely monitor the Indian military’s space program and come up with adequate response to counter any future challenges and threats to Pakistan’s security.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's some info on Pakistan's C4I efforts at Air Weapons Complex (AWC) according to a post on defence.pk

The Air Defense Automation System has been indigenously developed by Air Weapons Complex (AWC). The designed system collects information from all Air Defense sensors and radars, processes it, converts it into a standard format and displays it in real time at any desired location. The system architecture is independent of space, time and communication medium. The Command and Control System provides an environment for multiple functions to operate on the same hardware platform and share data via a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN).

The System allows the Commander to a view a fused picture of his complete Area Of Responsibility (AOR). It is a compilation of data from all Air Defense sensors, combined with battle plan, projection overlays, and any other data that is available, including:
current locations and planned movement operations of ground, maritime and air units of friendly, neutral, and enemy forces
generated features and projections (e.g. battle plans, operating zones)

Our engineers work closely with the customers to provide them customized, open, flexible and cost-effective solutions to their Air Defense Automation System requirements. AWC provides comprehensive Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) throughout the life cycle of the System.

SALIENT FEATURES
Seamless integration with C4I systems.
Network centric design allowing self-forming and self-healing network (user can enter or leave the network dynamically).
Complete Air Situation Display (ASD).
User friendly and compact Graphical User Interface.
The System can be operated in different modes (Operator, Commander etc.)
Personnel training under simulation mode.
Scenario recording and replay facility.
Communication with lower and higher command centers.
Advanced GIS support.
Multiple layer architecture (Display of multiple maps).
Map features e.g. map loading, map editing, map color changing etc.
Preset and programmable zoom buttons.
Display of Latitude/Longitude, Georef and Grid System.
True battlefield scenario support.
Display of track history during interception operation. User can switch on/off history of track.
Track symbol indicating its category.
Track type indicates the threat status of the track.
Tactical interception aids available.
Radar on/off option.
Aircraft Plot Suppression Area (PSA).
Non-automatic track initiation area.
Weapons (SAM/AAA) status monitoring.
Use of commercial technologies.
Ergonomically designed Command and Control Console.
Easy maintenance.
MULTIPLE RADAR TRACKER

AWC's Multi Radar Tracker (MRT) uses state-of-the-art tracking algorithms to detect and track all modern, fast and highly maneuverable targets, hence forming an integral part of C4I and Air Defense Automation System. It works effectively in high clutter environments and displays real time information for any command & control function. It can handle 2000 plots and 1000 tracks. This capability can be further enhanced due to scalable design of the Tracker. It can be integrated simultaneously with homogenous and heterogeneous radars.

The Tracker automatically initiates and reliably tracks maneuvering targets. The tracks initiation and maneuvering detection is enhanced with multiple sensors. The trackers update the display information at a high rate to form a true, accurate and complete Air Situation Display (ASD) for all air-defense and air-traffic control operations....

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report in The News about India's war preps against Pakistan:

First, in the context of current events, is Afghan President Karzai’s recent visit to New Delhi and the signing of a strategic accord with India at the heels of ex-President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination. While one side of the equation that has been brought into the spotlight shows that the accord will pave the way for India to train the Afghan armed forces and police, the other side that remains veiled could contain clauses that may affect Pakistan’s internal and external security. According to policymakers here in Islamabad, the accord requires careful thought at all levels. The critical point to remember is that India has no role whatsoever in Afghanistan yet Indian interference and policies are at the root of many of the problems that Pakistan is facing today. “This accord is a short-sighted narrow-minded move that would harm Afghanistan, both in the short and long term,” warned a regional expert while evaluating the accord and its impact on the region.

Second, the Indian army is holding a massive two-month long winter exercise at the Pakistan border, bringing a potent strike corps, the Bhopal based 21 Corps, in the Rajasthan desert. The exercise involves battle tanks and artillery guns besides Indian Air Force assets. Intriguingly, ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ Corps will be aiming to build its capacities for “breaching the hostile army’s defences and capturing important strategic assets deep inside enemy territory.” The exercise is the third of its kind this year. The summer war game Vijayee Bhava, in the Rajasthan desert, involved the Ambala-based 2 Kharga Corps, and the Pine Prahar exercise in the plains of Punjab was staged by the Jalandhar-based 11 Vajra Corps, both held in May this year. The question is: why is India holding three massive war games in a year at the Pakistan border that aim at capturing important strategic assets deep inside the enemy territory?

Third, a key development across the border has been the deployment of Su-30 fighter aircraft near the Pakistan border. The significance of the fact that the aircraft is the most sophisticated in the region and that it has been deployed along the Pakistan border at this crucial juncture is not lost on policymakers in Islamabad.

Two other related but under-reported events have been the extension of the runway at Kargil by India and its decision to acquire six more C-130J aircraft, the latest version of the intractable workhorse, reinforcing fears in Islamabad that New Delhi is preparing for a war that may engulf the whole region.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=9422&Cat=13

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Flightglobal report on electronic countermeasure warfare capabilities of Pakistan's F-16s ordered from ITT:

ITT has received a $49 million contract to supply pod-housed electronic warfare equipment for the Pakistan air force's Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters. The acquisition is being made using the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

The US manufacturer has described the system involved as being identical to the ALQ-131 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare system (AIDEWS) already integrated with the F-16 for the US Air Force and other international operators.

ITT said it has delivered 134 systems so far from an order book of 160, spread across six export buyers.

Carried beneath the fuselage of an F-16, the AIDEWS pod will provide protection by detecting incoming radar-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.


http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pakistans-f-16s-to-get-itt-electronic-warfare-kit-362999/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AINonline story on PAF's use of advanced avionics against militants:

According to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) it has flown more than 5,500 strike sorties over the country’s troubled tribal regions since May 2008. In a rare glimpse into Pakistan’s attempt to counter domestic terrorism from the air, the commander of the PAF described some lessons learned to the Air Chiefs Conference here in Dubai on Saturday.

The need for good airborne reconnaissance was paramount, said Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleiman. When the Pakistan army launched large-scale operations in the remote Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in August 2008, the PAF had to rely on Google Earth imagery when planning air support missions, Suleiman admitted.

However, by the time that the army was ready to move against insurgents in the Swat Valley in May 2009, the PAF had acquired Goodrich DB-110 electro-optical reconnaissance pods for its F-16 fighters, together with the same company’s ground station for imagery exploitation. Intelligence analysts could now identify terrorist training camps, ammunition dumps and command and control facilities. Some of these targets were well camouflaged, and protected by bunkers, Suleiman noted.

Two days before the ground offensive was launched, the PAF launched a series of interdiction missions, and followed up with close air support throughout the six-month campaign. From the imagery collected by the PAF, the army was also able to identify suitable landing zones for the airdrops of commandos.

In these mountainous regions, airpower was best delivered from medium altitude by fast jets, Suleiman said. “The army has lost many attack helicopters due to their operating limitations at high elevations, and [due to] hostile fire,” he noted. Fighters could also react more quickly to developing combat situations.

When the army turned its attention to South Waziristan in October 2009, the PAF conducted a seven-day campaign in advance. By now, the service had added FLIR Systems Star Safire III EO/IR sensor ball to one of its C-130 transports. Army staff on board the C-130 was able to track the movement of terrorists at night, and radio maneuvering instructions to soldiers on the ground.

The PAF has completely overhauled its tactics and techniques for the conduct of irregular warfare, Suleiman said. All of the squadrons were put through a training program over a four-month period. Laser-guided bombs have been used in 80 percent of the PAF strikes, the PAF chief revealed. Avoiding collateral damage was a primary concern, he explained, “especially since we were engaging targets within our own country. We engage isolated structures only, away from populated areas.”

More than 10,600 bombs have been dropped, and 4,600 targets destroyed, he said. The PAF has flown more than 500 F-16 sorties with the DB-110 pod, and 650 with the Star Safire EO/IR sensor on the C-130.

The statistics may impress but while Suleiman claimed that “we’ve broken the back of militants in the FATA,” he also warned that offensive military engagement could only accomplish “10 to 15 percent” of the task of pacifying the tribal areas. The rest must be done by dialogue, winning hearts and minds through economic development of these very poor regions, he said.

In his presentation, Pakistan’s Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleiman did not mention the Selex Galileo Falco UAV. However, Pakistan was the first customer for the reconnaissance drone, which carries the Anglo-Italian company’s own electro-optical/infrared sensor ball. Suleiman later told AIN that there had been problems with the UAV’s data link, caused partly by terrain masking. “Then we put in a relay station, and started flying it higher, so now we are using it more,” he continued.


http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-news/dubai-air-show/2011-11-13/advanced-avionics-helping-pakistan-break-militants

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Army documentary Glorious Resolve wins international award, according to PakistanToday:

Rawalpindi - Inter Services Public Relations documentary has won the first prize in the recently held International Film Festival “Eserciti-e-Popoli” (Army and People) held at Bracciano, Rome (Italy). The festival saw the participation of NATO and 24 Countries with 60 films grouped into several categories: from institutional training information to environmental protection to humanitarian missions for peace. The films, produced by renowned film makers were evaluated an qualified and experienced jury. The Pakistan Army’s documentary “Glorious Resolve” received the Jury’s Special award from the President of the Italian Senate with the citation “A technically outstanding and emotionally powerful dramatisation of the story of the courageous soldiers under fire in a dire combat situation”. The award given by Gen. Giancarlo Fortuna, the President of the International Jury was received by a representative of the Pakistani Embassy in Rome. ‘Glorious Resolve’ was a joint venture of ISPR and Mindworks Media. Brigadier Syed Azmat Ali was Executive Producer whereas Brig Syed Mujtaba Tirmizi was Executive Director of the film.
Lieutenant Colonel Irfan Aziz was project director and the writer of this film which was directed by Sarosh Kayani. Mindworks Media Dr Hassan Waqas Rana was the producer whereas Bilal Lashari was Director of Photography. Based on a true operational account, Glorious Resolve highlights the tale of infantry soldiers, who fought when 1,500 militants raided a section-level outpost of an Infantry Battalion in South Waziristan Agency on the night of 29 May 2009. The documentary focuses on the sacrifices and achievements of the Pakistan Army in its resolve to end terrorism in Pakistan. It shows how 43 Punjab Regiment soldiers were killed and two stood ground till reinforcements arrived.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/11/the-pakistan-army-great-filmmakers/

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Taliban battered and splintering, reports AP-CBS:

Battered by Pakistani military operations and U.S. drone strikes, the once-formidable Pakistani Taliban has splintered into more than 100 smaller factions, weakened and is running short of cash, according to security officials, analysts and tribesmen from the insurgent heartland.

The group, allied with al-Qaida and based in the northwest close to the Afghan border, has been behind much of the violence tearing apart Pakistan over the last 4 1/2 years. Known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or TTP, the Taliban want to oust the U.S.-backed government and install a hard-line Islamist regime. They also have international ambitions and trained the Pakistani-American who tried to detonate a car bomb in New York City's Times Square in 2010.

"Today, the command structure of the TTP is splintered, weak and divided and they are running out of money," said Mansur Mahsud, a senior researcher at the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area) Research Center. "In the bigger picture, this helps the army and the government because the Taliban are now divided."

The first signs of cracks within the Pakistani Taliban appeared after its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a drone strike in August 2009, Mahsud said. Since then, the group has steadily deteriorated.

Set up in 2007, the Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella organization created to represent roughly 40 insurgent groups in the tribal belt plus al-Qaida-linked groups headquartered in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province.

"In the different areas, leaders are making their own peace talks with the government," Mahsud added. "It could help the Pakistani government and military separate more leaders from the TTP and more foot soldiers from their commanders."

The two biggest factors hammering away at the Taliban's unity are U.S. drone strikes and Pakistani army operations in the tribal region.

Turf wars have flared as militants fleeing the Pakistani military operations have moved into territory controlled by other militants, sometimes sparking clashes between groups. And as leaders have been killed either by drones or the Pakistani army, lieutenants have fought among themselves over who will replace them.

"The disintegration ... has accelerated with the Pakistan military operation in South Waziristan and the drone attacks by the United States in North Waziristan," Mahsud said, referring to the two tribal agencies that are the heartland of the Pakistani Taliban.

Another factor is the divide-and-conquer strategy Pakistan's military has long employed in its dealings with militants. Commanders have broken away from the TTP and set up their own factions, weakening the organization. Battles have broken out among the breakaway factions, and in one particularly remote tribal region the TTP was thrown out. These growing signs of fissures among the disparate groups that make up the Pakistani Taliban indicate the military's strategy could be paying off.
------------------
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Analysts predict that over time, however, the internecine feuding in the Pakistani Taliban will take a toll on militants fighting in Afghanistan, making it increasingly difficult for them to find recruits and restricting territory available to them.
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Cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan suffered a serious setback a week ago when NATO aircraft killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two border posts. The Nov. 26 incident seems certain to blunt any prospect of Pakistan taking direct steps to curb the Haqqani network, analysts say.
-----------....


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501712_162-57336276/pakistani-taliban-splintering-into-factions/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report in the Nation about Indians' assessment of Pak military preparedness on its border with India:

Fearing retaliation from India after the 26/ 11 attacks, Pakistan went on an overdrive in constructing defence mechanisms such as bunkers, outposts and observation towers on its side of the border with India.
The Indian government has released figures to Parliament pertaining to the construction undertaken by the Pakistani government on its side of the border between November 2003 - when both countries declared a ceasefire - and December 2011.
The figures show that compared to 63 bunkers constructed by India in 2007 and 85 bunkers in 2008, Pakistan constructed 133 bunkers in 2009 and as many as 159 in 2010.
Till the October end this year, Pakistan constructed another 119 bunkers. It also doubled the construction of observation towers on the border in 2009, erecting 48 new towers in 2009 compared to just 24 towers in 2008.
The construction of outposts by Pakistan went up from 34 and 54 in 2007 and 2008 respectively to 67 in 2009.
Leaked US cables on WikiLeaks had earlier revealed how Pakistan had complained to the US that India was preparing for war after the 26/ 11 attacks and had mobilised forces on its border.
In her recent book, No High Honours, then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has also said Pakistan pressed the panic button after the 26/ 11 attacks and called everyone from the Chinese to the Americans, saying India had decided to go to war.
The Indian government in fact says that Pakistan has constructed a total of 856 new bunkers, 261 morchas, 378 observation towers and 143 border outposts on its side of the border since both countries declared a ceasefire in November 2003.
“The government has seen reports that Pakistan has constructed and carried out repair of bunkers, morchas and towers.
Regarding such construction work, protests have been lodged with Pakistan Rangers and Flag Meetings of the field commanders have been held in all the cases. The matter has also been taken up by the BSF with Pakistan Rangers during scheduled meetings,” minister of state for external affairs, E. Ahmed, told the Rajya Sabha on December 1.


http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/08-Dec-2011/Pakistan-wellprepared-for-war-India

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian analysts' view of Pakistan's acquisition and use of airborne radar:

In 2009 when the first of the three Russian-Israeli spy planes arrived in New Delhi, it was viewed as the Indian Air Force’s big technological leap leaving adeversaries like Pakistan behind. Two years down the line, Pakistan has knocked much of this technology gap off with help from China by adding planes that can peep inside Indian border and thwart aerial strikes.

IAF bosses now admit that it was time to redraw its plans regarding acquistion of more Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems, popularly known as “eye in the sky” because of its capacity to scan wide areas to dissolve any aerial threats from missiles and combat jets.

The IAF has in its fleet three Israeli Phalcon systems, arguably one of the best of the AEW&C available anywhere in the world bought for a whopping $1.1 billion. Mounted on a modified Russian transporter IL-76, Phalcon is central to IAF’s plans to maintain air superiority by quickly and simultanesously searching, tracking and locking targets spread over a big area.

Pakistan has bridged this technological divide to a greater extent, said a senior officer about Pakistan Air Force inductions like Swedish Erieye System and much bigger China’s ZDK-03 which, like the Indian Phalcon, is mounted on Russian Il-76. The official said that Pakistan is looking to have atleast 10 of these aircraft which is too big a number for a small country.

It has led to an AEW&C race in the sub-continent with India getting ready for a repeat order of Phalcons. All eyes were also on Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) own plans to develop an AEW&C at home which is going to be ready for trials soon. The Indian system would be mounted on Brazilian Embraer EMB-145 aircraft and the IAF hopes the DRDO will be able to deliver a good platform without much delays.

Ahead of the DRDO trials, Pakistan would induct first of four ZDK-03 AEW&C developed by China in a move that has generated some interest. Little is known about ZDK-03 which is said to be another product of Chinese reverse engineering, according to experts.

Pakistan already has three Erieye systems bought from the Swedish company SAAB as part of its “Project Horizon”. These are being operated by Chaklala-based 13th squadron.

Experts said the PAF’s sector operations centers were connected by Erieye Ground Interface Segment, as has been the case with other operators like Brazil, Greece and Mexcio that use Erieyes. Brazilian AEW expert Sergio Ricardo told the Express that India still has an edge because the Israeli system is much more advanced but others were catching up fast. The Phalcons were not sold to China by Israel under the US pressure.


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2665666/posts

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian Navy's submarine plans:

While India is still years away from getting an AIP-equipped submarine, Pakistan already has one in the shape of PNS Hamza, one of the three French Agosta-90B submarines inducted by it over the last decade. Moreover, work is also underway to retrofit the French "Mesma" AIP in hulls of the other two submarines, PNS Khalid and PNS Saad.

The six new-generation submarines from China, the improved Yuan-class boats with "Stirling-cycle" AIP, will further add a punch to Pakistan's underwater warfare capabilities.

India, in sharp contrast, has so far refused to consider the Mesma AIP option in the ongoing Rs 23,562-crore project (P-75) to build six French Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Docks (MDL), already running three years' behind schedule with the boats now slated to roll out from 2015 to 2020.

"There has also been a huge cost escalation. To incorporate the steam-based Mesma AIP in the 5th and 6th Scorpenes would cost another $100 million or so," said a senior defence ministry official.

"Moreover, Navy is more keen on fuel-cell AIP. DRDO is developing one such system, which has been tested on shore. If it comes through, it can be considered for the 5th and 6th Scorpenes," he added.

To further compound matters, there is excruciatingly slow progress on P-75I, which envisages acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP, for over Rs 50,000 crore.

The RFP (request for proposal) to be issued to foreign collaborators like Rosoboronexport ( Russia), DCNS (France), HDW (Germany) and Navantia (Spain) will be possible only towards end-2011 at the earliest.

"If one foreign shipyard can give AIP, it cannot provide land-attack missile capabilities, and vice-versa. So, P-75I is very complex...it will take at least two years to even finalize it, and another six-seven years after that for the first submarine to be ready," he said.

The plan till now is to directly import two submarines from a foreign collaborator, with three being built at MDL in Mumbai, and the sixth at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam under transfer of technology.

Incidentally, Navy will have only five of its existing 10 Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW submarines by 2020. Consequently, even with the six Scorpenes, India will be far short of its operational requirement of at least 18 conventional submarines for the foreseeable future.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-04-11/india/29405993_1_submarines-pns-hamza-navantia

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP story on Indian Army chief's leaked memo:

India’s tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are “97 percent obsolete” and its elite forces lack essential arms, the country’s army chief wrote in an explosive letter leaked Wednesday.

The letter to the prime minister dated March 12 – widely reported by the Indian media – lists the shortcomings of the armed forces in embarrassing detail in a blow to the government and the Asian giant’s military prestige.

Its publication also ups the stakes in a public battle between army chief General VK Singh and the government which began with a dispute over Singh’s retirement earlier this year.

“The state of the major (fighting) arms i.e. mechanised forces, artillery, air defence, infantry and special forces, as well as the engineers and signals, is indeed alarming,” Singh wrote in the letter, DNA newspaper reported.

The army’s entire tank fleet is “devoid of critical ammunition to defeat enemy tanks”, while the air defence system is “97% obsolete and it doesn’t give the deemed confidence to protect… from the air,” he wrote, according to DNA.

The infantry is crippled with “deficiencies” and lacks night fighting equipment, while the elite special forces are “woefully short” of “essential weapons”.

Singh also told The Hindu newspaper this week that he had informed Defence Minister A.K Antony of a $2.8 million bribe offered to him in 2010, leading to embarrassing questions as to why the government did not order an enquiry.

Antony told parliament on Wednesday that he was aware of the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he would reply appropriately.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/356360/leaked-letter-reveals-indias-military-weaknesses/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a WSJ Op Ed by an Indian security analyst Sushant Singh:

The leaked contents of a letter India's army chief sent to the prime minister sent shock waves around the country last week. In the letter, Gen. V.K. Singh warns that the military is obsolete and unfit to go to war. The government is furious about the leak.

The government has been quarrelling with Gen. Singh recently over a legal challenge about his mandatory retirement age and allegations of a lobbyist offering him a bribe. In this, as well as a media report this week of unauthorized troop movements toward Delhi, the spotlight is on how the secret letter was leaked.

The letter notes that Indian army's air defenses are "97% obsolete"; its tank fleet lacks ammunition and is night-blind; its artillery has huge shortfalls; and its elite forces lack essential arms. The infantry likewise lacks basic equipment, with half of the 1.3 million-strong army's foot soldiers yet to receive combat kits to replace their World War II-vintage gear.

Ground-based air defense is practically non-existent, the saving grace being that the air force provides 90% of the air defense cover. India's T-72 tanks from Russia can't fight at night, unlike Pakistani tanks.
--------
Besides imports, what money does get spent ends up dumped into inefficient production which New Delhi wants done at home. Although domestic supply meets barely 30% of India's equipment needs, India employs as many workers in its state-owned defense companies and ordnance factories as the U.K. or France—two of the world's biggest arms exporters.

An insignificant private presence and a 26% cap on foreign investment mean that the state-owned units monopolize defense manufacturing and predictably weaken it. New Delhi mandates that a foreign company like Boeing that wins an Indian arms contract use these local units for a set percentage of production. All technology transfers in import agreements also fatten these incumbents. In an uncompetitive market, they profit by just importing equipment, assembling it and selling it to the military at a high profit.

This chicanery in the name of "indigenization" must stop. Removing the foreign investment cap would do this, and provide a better investment climate to attract foreign manufacturers. Gen. Singh rightly warns about a "lack of urgency at all levels" on matters of national security. If the government doesn't urgently bridge shortfalls in equipment, simplify procurement methods and open the defense industry to foreign investors, the world's largest democracy won't get the modern military it needs to defend itself.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303299604577323313839829708.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation report on Pak Army's work in FATA:

The corps commander said that Pakistan Army has conducted more than 300 major and 760 minor operations in militancy-hit areas in the last few years, most of them in the year 2009-10. He added that peace has been restored in entire north of Pakistan and road accesses to majority of Fata have been established.

From the year 2008 to 2012, writ of government has been established in 91 per cent of Fata while eight per cent remain in contested control. Army is working on the sustainable development plan in order to improve the livelihood condition of ordinary people in Fata, he added.

The Commander mentioned 52 ongoing educational projects under Pak Army especially the establishment of Cadet College in South Waziristan Agency, Khyber Institute of Technical Education and Waziristan Institute of Technical education as a major development in improving skill and quality education among people of Fata.

Gen Rabbani categorically stated that no army in the world can win war without the support of its countrymen.

He described political ownership of military operation and operation within tribal system as the way forward in achieving long lasting peace in Pakistani militancy hit areas.

He termed gradual mainstreaming of Fata and its infrastructure development as key towards its socio economic development.

Replying to a question raised by a student, Rabbani said that army remains in a particular area for attaining pace on requisition of the federal government.

He also rejected the perception that army consumes eighty percent of the budget, and explained that all the three forces i.e. Army, Air force and Navy consume 17 per cent of the total budget, in which army share is 8.7 per cent. He stressed the need for perception management of the country and described Pakistani media as key partner in achieving it.

The seminar is a sign of solidarity with our army who are sacrificing their lives for peace within the country, said Prof Dr AZ Hilali, Chairman Department of Political Science. He said that department of political science has been arranging series of national and international seminars on core issues confronting the country and the region for capacity building of the students.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/18-Apr-2012/army-following-sustainable-uplift-plan-in-fata-corps-commander

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news report on US security assistance for counter-insurgency in Pakistan:

The US-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group meeting tentatively would give a final shape to the five-year security assistance plan, developed during a meeting of defense officials of the two countries in February and is believed to zero in on the military hardware that the US would be providing to Pakistan.

Informed sources said after two meetings in the last one year -- Defense Consultative Group in December 2012 and Defense Resourcing Conference in February 2013 -- officials of US and Pakistan were able to develop a joint five-year plan for how security assistance would feed into defense cooperation on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism issues and to help build Pakistan's capabilities in these areas.

Officials from Pakistan and the US during these two meetings identified seven broad areas of security assistance cooperation, which sources said initially covered 11 areas.

It is part of this decision that the Obama Administration this summer (July-August) informed the Congress of a number of appropriations related to security assistance to Pakistan.

This totalled about USD 1.4 billion in military assistance of which roughly USD 425 million was in Pakistan counter- insurgency and capabilities fund (PCCF) and the rest about USD 1 billion was in foreign military financing (FMF).

In addition, the notifications included roughly USD 260 million of civilian assistance, of which USD 230 million focused on energy programming for Pakistan and USD 30 million was the state department funding for civilian police programmes.

In September, the US also released to Pakistan USD 322 million as a reimbursement for military expenses made by Pakistan towards America's war against terrorism.

During these meetings, US and Pakistani officials agreed that the equipment security assistance would support seven core capabilities like night vision, precision strike, counter IED, survivability, border security, communications and maritime operations, maritime security.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-to-provide-security-assistance-to-Pakistan-under-5-year-plan/articleshow/26025909.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Here's DefenseNews on Pakistani drones Burraq and Shahpar:

Shahpar is a tactical canard pusher UAV that was developed by the Advance Engineering and Research Organisation, which is part of the state-owned Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) conglomerate.

It was revealed to the public for the first time during IDEAS2012, Pakistan’s biannual defense exhibition, in November last year.

It was claimed to be an autonomous UAV with an endurance of seven hours and which could relay data in real time out to a range of 250 kilometers.

Observers have said the Burraq appears to be a Pakistani variant or development of the Chinese Rainbow CH-3 UCAV, but little else is known beyond speculation based on the CH-3’s specifications.

Former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail said additional information will be difficult to obtain for now because sources will be “wary about leaking what is considered confidential stuff.”

Reports that Pakistan was developing an armed UAV named Burraq date back to 2009. Analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank said he first became aware of the existence of the Burraq some years ago when it was still in the design stages with NESCOM.

The two may be related, but he believes Burraq is armed and Shahpar unarmed.

“Shahpar can carry about a 50-kilogram payload and has around eight hours endurance. Burraq, based on Chinese CH-3 specs, would carry around a 100-kilogram payload and 12 hours endurance,” he said.

The given payload of the CH-3 is a pair of AR-1 missiles, or a pair of FT-5 small diameter bombs.

The ability of Pakistan to field an armed UAV has great benefits when faced with time-sensitive targets, he said.

“It is important in a sense that it greatly cuts the gap from detection to shoot,” he said.

Adding, “Earlier, once you detected something and wanted it taken out you had to pass on the imagery to higher ups, who had to approve and allocate resources like aircraft and by the time the aircraft got there the bad guys were long gone. Now detect, make decision, shoot and go home — all in same loop.”

He does not believe there is any real significance in the systems being named for use with both the Army and the Air Force, however, as “both have been operating their own UAV squadrons for a while now.”

“The Army has been using German EMT Luna X-2000 and the British [Meggitt] Banshee UAVs, while PAF as we know has a lot of faith in the Italian [Selex] Falco,” he added.

The Luna was also ordered by the Pakistan Navy in June 2012.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131125/DEFREG03/311250023/Pakistan-Inducts-Armed-UAVs

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn story on Pak Army training on IEDs used by the Taliban:

..They've been strapped to children's bicycles, hidden inside water jugs and even hung in tree branches.

But the most shocking place that Brig Basim Saeed has heard of such a device being planted was inside a hollowed-out book made to look like a copy of the holy Quran.

A soldier who went to pick up the book from the floor was killed when it exploded.
------------
Saeed and other instructors at the military's Counter IED, Explosives and Munitions School say it is important to constantly come up with new ways to prevent such homemade bombs because that's exactly what the militants are doing.

''Terrorists are also very brainy,'' Saeed said. ''They are using different techniques to defeat our efforts also. So we need to be very proactive.''

The Pakistani military has sharply ramped up efforts to deal with such devices in recent years as they have emerged as the militants' preferred weapon.

So far, 4,042 soldiers from the army and Frontier Corps have been killed and more than 13,000 wounded in the war on militants in the country's northwest since 2002, according to the Pakistani military.

The homemade bombs account for most of the casualties.

---

The Pakistani military also has moved to restrict the availability of calcium ammonium nitrate-based fertilisers frequently used in Afghanistan, and to develop a fertiliser dubbed CAN+ that would work on Pakistan's soil but not detonate.

And it signed an agreement with the US last year designed to help the two countries work together to fight the roadside bombs by sharing information in areas such as militant tactics and funding.

US experts are to travel to Pakistan to supply it with hard-won knowledge earned in Iraq and Afghanistan. Separately, the British military has provided instruction.

The school's goal is to teach security forces where bombs can be hidden, how to look for them and their components and how to gather intelligence from them such as fingerprints so that authorities can track down militants.

''The success lies in identifying the network and busting them,'' said Lt Col Mohammed Anees Khan, an instructor. ''We need to go after those people who are making and planting those IEDs.''

The Associated Press was the first foreign media outlet to be allowed access to the facility, according to the Pakistani military.

During a recent visit, students were practicing using equipment to search for devices planted in the ground or using remote-controlled vehicles to approach possible explosive devices.

Others cleared a path to a suspected militant house and marked the path with yellow flags so that troops coming behind them would know where to walk.

The school is designed to mimic scenarios the security forces might find in real life in classes that last from three to eight weeks.

It includes a mock urban environment with a market, a gas station and other buildings, and explosive devices are even hidden in a pond and a graveyard.

Troops practicing a search of a residential compound may accidentally open a cupboard, setting off a loud buzzing that signals an explosion.

An escape tunnel leading from one of the houses is rigged with trip wires.

''We face it whenever we travel or if there is a compound, a path or some other place, it is always in our mind that there could be some IED,'' said one soldier at the school, Noor ul Ameen, who has served in the northwest and the insurgency-plagued Balochistan province...


http://www.dawn.com/news/1083996/inside-pakistan-armys-bomb-school

Riaz Haq said...

Here's news story about Pakistan's C-130 transport planes upgrade:

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Tuesday of plans to sell the government of Pakistan a C-130 Fleet Upgrade Program package, plus associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support valued at $100 million in total.

Specifically, the package includes upgrades to the avionics, engine management software and mechanical parts, cargo delivery system, and outer wing sets on six Pakistani C-130 transport planes. Also included in the sale will be spare parts, necessary support equipment, publications and technical documentation, and personnel training and training equipment, plus logistics support. The primary contractor on this sale has not yet been chosen, but the C-130s were originally built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) . A bidding process will be opened to choose the primary contractor.

Pakistan's air force includes a total of five C-130B and eleven C-130E aircraft. No mention of upgrades to the remaining 10 aircraft was made in the announcement, nor did DSCA clarify which specific models of C-130 would be getting the upgrades.

Explaining the sale to Congress, DSCA noted that Pakistan's planes are "facing airworthiness and obsolescence issues, and will require upgrades and repairs for continued operation and effectiveness. The proposed modernization of the C-130 fleet should ensure continued viability for an additional 10-15 years." DSCA added that this modernization is desirable to "improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for regional stability and U.S. national security goals in the region."

According to DSCA, "there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale." Nor will the sale "alter the basic military balance in the region."


http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/11/congress-asked-to-approve-100-million-military-pac.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

The U.S. military may have another option for disposing of $7 billion worth of armored vehicles and other equipment it’s struggling to get rid of now that its war in Afghanistan is ending.

Some of it could be driven across the border and handed over to Pakistan, part of an effort by the Pentagon to unload excess military supplies to U.S. allies at no cost.

The discussions between American and Pakistani officials have been going on for months and center on leftover military hardware that the United States does not want to pay to ship or fly home.

Although no final decisions have been made, Pakistan is particularly interested in the U.S. Army’s mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, which Pentagon officials say will have limited strategic value as U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan this year.

But with Pakistan’s military expected to be battling Taliban insurgents for years, the MRAPs could help Pakistani forces slow their high casualty rate of more than 20,000 dead or injured troops since 2001.

“We will not take it for the sake of just taking it, and we will not take it because it’s free,” said one senior Pakistani military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the negotiations. “We will take it because we need it.”

About 150,000 Pakistani soldiers are along the country’s border with Afghanistan, and U.S. officials are counting on them to help keep the pressure on militant groups after 2014.

But Pakistan’s troops remain vulnerable to roadside bombs and explosive devices, and their armored vehicles can withstand far less force than a U.S.-made MRAP, officials said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pakistan-eyes-us-military-equipment-in-afghanistan/2014/03/16/0478d99f-8d6a-4f08-b3df-b6fe8599cc9e_story.html

Anonymous said...

The armed forces of Pakistan are the world’s largest recipient of $5 million funds the United States annually spends to impart technical education and training to foreign troops under its International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme.
Having reimbursed more than $11 billion as war expenditures to Pakistan over the past decade, Islamabad’s non-NATO allies in Washington have also extended over $ 4 billion in civilian aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) over last five years.
“The United States provides Pakistan’s military with training to promote regional stability, improve its counterterrorism and defense capabilities and enhance civilian-military relations,” said a fact sheet the US embassy shared on Monday with its local alumni on US Assistance to Pakistan.
The 10-page document details a range of areas in which the US has been cooperating with Pakistan to promote its partnership with the latter which, the embassy said, was vital to its shared interest in Pakistan’s economic growth and development, regional stability, and mutually determined measures to counterterrorism.
Since fiscal year 2009, the document said, the US had trained nearly 1,120 officials of the Pakistan Army, air force and navy.
“Pakistan is the largest recipient of… IMET funding in the world, with an annual budget of approximately $5 million for this program,” the fact sheet added.
The US also provides critical equipment, ranging from advanced communications gear to surveillance aircraft, to Pakistani troops conducting counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in the border region and to enhance Pakistan’s participation in international maritime security operations.
“In addition, the US has refurbished and upgraded military helicopters and maritime surveillance aircraft.”
Consequently, Pakistan has significantly increased the effectiveness of its operations against terrorist groups, the embassy said.
Unlike its past do-more attitude, the US embassy expressed satisfaction over the steps Pakistan had recently taken to check the production of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are said to be used against the ISAF troops in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has taken positive steps over the past year to increase its controls and interdiction of the illicit supply of the materials used to produce IEDs,” the embassy viewed.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/03/17/national/pakistan-army-major-recipient-of-us-education-fact-sheet/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Navy Times on mine resistant US heavily armored vehicles for Pakistan:

WASHINGTON — While controversy swirls over reports that Pakistan may receive some of the excess Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles that the United States has sitting in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials are on the verge of completing a deal to send new and excess MRAPs to Islamabad, sister publication Defense News has learned.

The 160 vehicles, all of which would be the MaxxPro MRAP variant made by U.S. manufacturer Navistar, would be a mix of new builds and some from U.S. Army prepositioned stocks in Kuwait, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who is not authorized to speak for attribution.

While no formal notification of the deal has yet been sent to Congress since the last stages of the vetting process are still being completed, the official expected a notification to head to Capitol Hill by the end of this month.

The spat over the potential MRAP sale began in March when the Washington Post reported that the United States was considering giving Pakistan some MRAPs that the U.S. didn’t want to pay to ship home once the mission in Afghanistan draws to a close. The report came at the same time as Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of the coalition and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, said there are more than 1,200 excess MRAPs in country.

For a while, U.S. forces were literally shredding to bits the hulking MRAP infantry carriers that it doesn’t want to pay to bring home, but Dunford has since put a halt to that program while final decisions on the ultimate fate of the fleet are being made.

The holdup on the deal for the 160 MRAPs centers around a congressionally mandated human rights vetting process that all U.S. foreign training and equipping programs must undergo.

Known as the “Leahey Amendment” after the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahey of Vermont, the law stipulates that U.S. forces cannot train or equip foreign military or police units that have been accused of human rights abuses.

The 160 MRAPs would be split among the branches of the Pakistani armed forces. Although specific army and air force units have been identified and vetted, the Pakistani Navy has yet to submit all of the required information, according to the official.

While it hasn’t been reported previously, the Pakistani armed forces have already been supplied with 22 MRAPs — 20 MaxxPro’s along with two “haulers” to move them if damaged — under a now-canceled State Department program known as the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund. The vehicles were drawn out of the U.S. Army’s existing stock in Kuwait.

The fund was axed in the U.S. government’s fiscal 2014 budget.

The State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad have been tying themselves in rhetorical knots over the past week trying to explain the situation over the potential MRAP transfer, all without giving specifics or mentioning the MRAPs already sent to Pakistan or the deal currently in the works.

On March 31, the Islamabad embassy issued a statement confirming that Pakistan has requested “a variety of Excess Defense Articles (EDA). The U.S. is currently reviewing Pakistan’s request.” In what appears to be a nod to the pending deal, the embassy added that “if approved, this EDA is likely to be sourced from U.S. stock outside Afghanistan.”

The State Department weighs EDA requests on a “case-by-case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the need of potential recipients, regional security dynamics, how the recipient nations intend to use the equipment and the ability of an EDA recipient to sustain the equipment,” the embassy said.


http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140402/NEWS04/304020051/Source-Pakistan-already-has-U-S-made-MRAPs-new-deal-works

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Op Ed piece in The News by columnist Farrukh Saleem:

Myth 1: The allocation for defence is the single largest component in our budget. Not true. The single largest allocation in Budget 2013-14 went to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). The second largest allocation in Budget 2013-14 went to servicing the national debt. The third largest government expenditure, including off the budget allocations, are the losses at public-sector enterprises (PSEs). Yes, the fourth largest government expenditure goes into defence.

Myth 2: The defence budget eats up a large percentage of the total outlay. Not true. In Budget 2013-14, a total of 15.74 percent of the total outlay was allocated for defence. PSDP and debt servicing were 30 percent each. What that means is that more than 84 percent of all government expenditures are non-defence related.

Myth 3: The defence budget has been increasing at an increasing rate. Not true. In 2001-02, we spent 4.6 percent of our GDP on defence. In 2013-14, twelve years later, our defence spending has gone down to 2.7 percent of GDP.

Myth 4: We end up spending a very high percentage of our GDP on defence. Not true. There are at least four dozen countries that spend a higher percentage of their GDP on defence.

They include: India, Egypt, Sri Lanka, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Eritrea, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Liberia, Brunei, Syria, Kuwait, Yemen, Angola, Singapore, Greece, Iran, Bahrain, Djibouti, Morocco, Chile, Lebanon, Russia, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, Namibia, Guinea, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Algeria, Serbia and Montenegro, Armenia, Botswana, Ukraine, Uganda, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Lesotho and Sudan.

Myth 5: The Pakistan Army consumes the bulk of the defence budget. Not true. In the 1970s, the Pakistan Army’s share in the defence budget had shot up to 80 percent. In 2012-13, the Pakistan Army’s share in the defence budget stood at 48 percent.

Now some facts:

Fact 1: The Pakistan Army’s budget as a percentage of our national budget now hovers around eight percent.

Fact 2: Losses incurred at public-sector enterprises can pay for 100 percent of our defence budget.

Fact 3: Pakistan’s armed forces are the sixth largest but our expenses per soldier are the lowest. America spends nearly $400,000 per soldier, India $25,000 and Pakistan $10,000.

Fact 4: Of all the armies in the world, Pak Army has received the highest number of UN medals. Of all the armies in the world, Pak Army is the largest contributor of troops to the UN peacekeeping missions.

Mark Twain once remarked, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.”


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-246627-Defence-budget

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Dawn report on Pakistan Air Force inducting old Jordanian F-16s:

Pakistan received on Sunday its first batch of F-16 fighter jets delivered from Jordan, DawnNews reported.

Sources said that the Pakistan had signed a contract with Jordan for the supply of 13 fighter jets out of which five were delivered at the Mushaf Mir Airbase in Sargodha and inducted in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fleet.

The inclusion of the 13 jets would take the strength of the PAF F-16s to 76.

Media reports indicated the PAF had agreed to purchase an entire squadron from Jordan, consisting of 12 A models and one B model. According to one news report, the jets "were in good condition since they had attained Mid-Life Update (MLU) and they would be providing service for another 20 years with almost 3,000 hours on average available to them for flying."


http://www.dawn.com/news/1102621/paf-inducts-first-batch-of-f-16-fighter-jets-from-jordan

Riaz Haq said...

US State Department has decided to approve a possible sale of 160 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) for around $198 million, a defense security cooperation release said on Friday.
According to the State Department determination, Pakistan will buy 160 Navistar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) for an estimated cost of $198 million.
The potential sale will have no affect on military balance in the South Asian region the release said.
The principal contractor of the sale will be Navistar Defense Corporation based in Michigan and will require two US government representatives and 24 contractors in Pakistan for 18 months to monitor de-processing of vehicles upon delivery, provision of training, diagnosis and repair within the time period.
DSCA has delivered the required certificate to US Congress to notify it about the potential sale. The US Congress will still need to clear it on order for the sale to go through.
The MRAPs which Pakistan will purchase include 110 MaxxPro Dash DXM, 30 MaxxPro Base DXM, 10 MaxxPro Dash DXM Ambulances, and 10 MaxxPro Recovery Vehicles with protection kits, spare parts, repair kits, documentation, personnel and equipment training.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.”
It further stated that the sale of MRAPs will ensure that Pakistani soldiers can effectively operate in hazardous areas within the country.
With the acquisition of these vehicles Pakistan will be able to provide security to its soldiers at par with US is able to provide against mines and improvised explosive devices.
Interestingly, the release hinted that Pakistan already has some of these vehicles. The determination was made after Pakistan had “Pakistan, which currently possesses MRAPs, has successfully demonstrated the ability to operate and maintain the vehicles in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, and will have no difficulty absorbing these additional vehicles into its armed forces,” the release added.
Pakistan had previously requested MRAPs through the US Excesseive Defense Articles (EDA) programme where it wanted excess vehicles being transported back from Afghanistan to be sold to Pakistan. This way, Pakistan would have saved on shipping the vehicles from EDA pools in far off countries like Kuwait or even the US mainland.
However, at the time, US said the have not, nor do they intend to transfer EDA from Afghanistan to any neighboring country, including Pakistan.
The US had commissioned and deployed over 12,000 MRAPs in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2007 onwards, where they became transport vehicles for troops along routes that were notorious for mines and improvised explosive devices. To date, IEDs remain the largest cause of US troop casualties in Afghanistan.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/764755/us-decides-to-sell-160-mraps-to-pakistan-in-programme-worth-198-million/

Faraz said...

Pakistan already Operating Couger (Buffaloes) MRAP's...! Its a good addition..!! Pakistan Now should focus to increase its army personell strength upto 10 lacs..!! Cuz Human Resource vant be replaced by technology..! There is no SKY NET in the real world..