Monday, April 26, 2010

India's "Indigenous" Copies of Foreign Nukes, Missiles

A Times of India report last year claimed that "Pakistan has surged well ahead of India in the missile arena". It also lamented that "the only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India's arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile".

Along with raising the alarm, the Indian report offered the usual excuse for the alleged missile gap by boasting that "unlike Pakistan, our program is indigenous".

Let's explore the reality of the "indigenous" claim repeated ad infintum by Indian government and New Delhi's defense establishment.

US-European Origins of Indian Missile Program:

APJ Abul Kalam is credited with designing India's first satellite launcher SLV3. Its design is virtually identical to the American Scout rocket used in the 1960s. According to the details published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Abul Kalam spent four months in training in the United States in 1963-1964. He visited NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, where the U.S. Scout rocket was conceived, and the Wallops Island Flight Center on the Virginia coast, where the Scout was being flown. Soon after Abul Kalam's visit, India requested and received detailed technical reports on the Scout's design, which was unclassified.

US Scout and India's SLV3 are both 23 meters long, use four similar solid-fuel stages and "open loop" guidance, and lift a 40-kilogram payload into low earth orbit. The SLV's 30-foot first stage later became the first stage of the Agni.

The United States was followed by others. Between 1963 and 1975, more than 350 U.S., French, Soviet, and British sounding rockets were launched from India's Thumba Range, which the United States helped design. Thumba's first group of Indian engineers had learned rocket launching and range operation in the United States.

India's other missile, the "Prithvi" (earth), which uses a liquid-propelled motor to carry a one-ton payload 150 miles, resembles the widely sold Soviet Scud-B. Indian sources say that the Agni's second stage is a shortened version of the Prithvi, according to Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project.

France also launched sounding rockets from India, and in the late 1960s allowed India to begin building "Centaure" sounding rockets under license from Sud Aviation.

The aid of the United States and France, however, was quickly surpassed by substantial West German help in the 1970s and 1980s. Germany assisted India in three key missile technologies: guidance, rocket testing, and the use of composite materials. All were supposed to be for the space program, but all were also used for military missiles.

The cryogenic stage used in a recent failed satellite launch by India was a copy of the Russian cryogenic rocket engine and the cryogenic technology transferred to India in the 1990s. According to Non-proliferation review of 1997, it has emerged that Russia continued transferring rocket engine technology to India in 1993 after its agreements with the United States stop such transfer under MTCR. This reportedly resulted in the completion of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers to India.

North American Origins of India's Nuclear Bomb:

India's nuclear program would not have advanced without a lot of help from Canadians that resulted in Indian copies of Canadian reactors to produce plutonium for its nuclear bombs.

India conducted its first atomic bomb test in 1974. Indians used 40 MW Canadian Cirus reactor and U.S. heavy water both imported under guarantees of peaceful use and used them openly to make plutonium for its 1974 nuclear blast.

In 1972, Canadian-built 100 MWe Rajasthan-1 nuclear power reactor became operational, serving as the model for later unsafeguarded reactors. Another Rajasthan unit started operating in 1980 and two units in 2000. In 1983, India's 170 MW Madras-1, a copy of Canadian Rajhastan-1 reactor, became operational. A second Madras unit followed in 1985. According to the Risk Report Volume 11 Number 6 (November-December 2005), the heavy water and other advanced materials and equipment for these plants were smuggled to India from a number of countries, including the USSR, China and Norway, according to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Some of the firms, such as West German firm Degussa, were caught and fined by the United States for re-exporting to India 95 kg of U.S.-origin beryllium, usable as a neutron reflector in fission bombs.

In May 1998, India conducted two rounds of nuclear weapon tests. Last year, the media reports indicated that Kasturiranga Santhanam, the coordinator of India's 1998 nuclear tests, went public with allegations that India's Pokhran II test of a thermonuclear bomb in 1998 was actually a fizzle. The device, designed to generate 45 kilotons, yielded an explosion equivalent to only 15 to 20 kilotons of TNT.

Heavy Dependence on Imports:

India is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign imports, mainly Russian and Israeli, for about 70 per cent of its defense requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defense technology, according to an Indian defense analyst Dinesh Kumar. Kumar adds that "India’s defense ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent s elf-reliance capability for its defense requirement. But even this figure is suspect given that India’s self-reliance mostly accrues from transfer of technology, license production and foreign consultancy despite considerable investment in time and money".

On the same theme, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that "India has had little success with military equipment production, and has had problems producing Russian Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90S tanks, English Hawk training jets and French Scorpene submarines."

On India's perennial dependence on imports, here's how blogger Vijainder Thakur sees India's loose meaning of "indigenous" Smerch and other imports:

"The Russians will come here set up the plant for us and supply the critical manufacturing machinery. Indian labor and technical management will run the plant which will simply assemble the system. Critical components and the solid propellant rocket motor fuel will still come from Perm Powder Mill. However, bureaucrats in New Delhi and the nation as a whole will be happy. The Smerch system will be proudly paraded on Rajpath every republic day as an indigenous weapon system.

A decade or so down the line, Smerch will get outdated and India will negotiate a new deal with Russia for the license production of a new multiple rocket system for the Indian Army.

China will by then have developed its own follow up system besides having used the solid propellant motors to develop other weapon systems and assist its space research program."

India does export some armaments but its modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defense annual exports averaged only US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. By contrast, Pakistan exported $300 million worth of military hardware and munitions last year.


There is plenty of evidence and documentation from sources such as the Wisconsin Project to show that the Indian missiles and bombs are no more indigenous than Pakistan's. The fact is that neither India nor Pakistan were first to split the atom, or to develop modern rocket science. The Industrial Revolution didn't exactly start in India or Pakistan or even in Asia; it began in Europe and the rest of the world learned from it, even copied it.

The differences between India and Pakistan in terms of the technology know-how and the knowledge base are often highly exaggerated to portray India as "technology power house" and Pakistan as a backwater. Some of these analyses by Indian Brahman pundits and commentators have racial and religious overtones implying that somehow Brahmin or Hindu minds are superior to those of the people of other religions or castes in South Asia.

What is often ignored by such anti-Pakistan Indian analysts is the fact that neither of the two Indian pioneers, nuclear scientist Homi Bahbha and rocket scientist Abul Kalam, belong to the Hindu faith or the Brahmin caste. The false sense of Indian superiority is pushed by self-serving Indian and some western analysts to justify their own biased conclusions.

These analysts have fed what George Perkovich described in his book "India's Nuclear Bomb" on page 410 as "general Indian contempt for Pakistan's technical capabilities" and may cause serious miscalculations by the Indian security establishment about Pakistan's defense capabilities. Indian chauvinistic analyses have been put in perspective by another piece in Newsday (Friday, May 15, 1998; Page A5: "India Errs Nuclear Power Isn't Real Power"), in which George Perkovich talked about the rise in India of a radicalized, ultra-nationalistic BJP for the "glory of the Hindu race and rashtra (nation)". Perkovich added that "the Bharatiya Janata Party, has long felt that nuclear weapons offer a quicker ride to the top. Like atavistic nationalists elsewhere, they believe that pure explosive power will somehow earn respect and build pride."

The extreme right-wing influence on South Asian analysts has the potential for serious miscalculations by either India or Pakistan in the nuclear and the missile arena, and it does not augur well for the future of Indo-Pak region and the world at large.

Related Links:

India's Nuclear Bomb by George Perkovich

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Cyberwars Across India, Pakistan and China

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

Pakistan's Space Capabilities

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Scientist Reveals Indian Nuke Test Fizzled

The Wisconsin Project

The Non-Proliferation Review Fall 1997

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

World Military Spending

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Attrition Rates For IAF and PAF

Mockery of National Sovereignty


Rahul said...

Again an article, with full feelings of frustration. (Anyone would be surprised of the fact that USA provided India with designs of launch vehicles, when India was aligned with the Russia). Ok....I would not debate your facts(because you get some unknown source with full of inauthenticity), so its fruitless to debate them..

Do you know that USA borrowed the rocket technology from Germany after WW II. Russia did the same thing.

China was provided with nuclear technology by USSR way back in 1964.

UK, France, Israel, have been provided with nuclear technology by USA.

Perhaps your only intention is to malign India.

One more thing, the whole world knows where Pakistan got missile technology. It got from dubious dealings from North Korea and China. Now don't try to debate this fact. If your country had developed there own technology they would have been able to build their own satellites or launch vehicles.

Riaz Haq said...

Rahul: "I would not debate your facts(because you get some unknown source with full of inauthenticity), so its fruitless to debate them.."

These facts come from the same sources that Indians love to quote when talking about Pakistan's acquisition of nukes and missiles.

Rahul: "Do you know that USA borrowed the rocket technology from Germany after WW II. Russia did the same thing. China was provided with nuclear technology by USSR way back in 1964. UK, France, Israel, have been provided with nuclear technology by USA."

That's exactly my point. And it debunks all claims of "indigenous" development by Indians and others.

Most of the original missile technology originated in pre-WW2 Germany,and acquired by others from German scientists such as Von Braun. Some of the original nuclear technology came from Germany and the rest was developed in the US.

Vishal said...

Riaz, but technically the first iron cased missile (or rather a rocket) was created by Tipu Sultan who was an Indian ruler back in 1790.

but I really wonder what purpose your article serves, apart from dishing out your regular jibe about India and Indians in particular.

Anonymous said...

Being familiar with NASA Langley, I assure you that a 4 month stint by an "Indian" does not guarantee any great technological breakthrough or theft of a rocket design. Also,Langley has vast aerodynamic testing facilities but it is not where rockets are designed (It has a different mission altogether..)
I also wonder what exactly you are implying or trying to say...
I used to make rockets in high school but it really does not mean anything. Basic scientific principles are known to everyone enrolled in higher education. The challenge is technology and that is where reverse engineering or copying comes in. The race is towards reliability, efficiency and economics of the product.
Both Indians and Pakistanis have been copying engineering product for some time.. China has excelled in this art. I believe, right to a technology is a right of every sovereign nation - the route to accomplish it may be different.
Instead of griping over Indian vs Pakistani missiles, it will perhaps be better to see which country is putting its technological prowess for the betterment of ordinary folks. In this regard both countries have failed.
You also need to recognize the educational and intellectual disparity between the Indians and Pakistanis - just count the Nobel prizes, citation index, technical journals, books authorship etc.
Last but not least, let me share with you my personal experience - just around mid-March I receive a number of requests from undergraduate students from India eager to work on summer research projects - not to mention glut of applications for graduate studies. I get none such application from Pakistan - few whom I solicit have no clue of what exactly they want to do professionally. And, few whom I recruited were more interested in maintaining the standard of living.. Caliber of students does reflect maturity of educational system in India compared to Pakistan. Whether or not their missiles are any better or not is a meaningless debate.

Riaz Haq said...

anon:"I also wonder what exactly you are implying or trying to say...
I used to make rockets in high school but it really does not mean anything. Basic scientific principles are known to everyone enrolled in higher education."

The basic law of Physics is just Newton's third law that guides the all rocket design. But that's not what I am talking about.

To give you an example, AMD did finally develop a "clean room" version of Intel X86 processors on its own which was accepted by courts. The reason courts found it acceptable is because AMD assembled a new team that did the design had no exposure to the original Intel X86 microcode, RTL, logic design, schematics, etc.

In Kalam's and his successor's cases, however, they have actually had direct access to the original US and German detailed designs and blueprints as disclosed and documented by Wisconsin Project.

anon: "Both Indians and Pakistanis have been copying engineering product for some time.. China has excelled in this art. I believe, right to a technology is a right of every sovereign nation - the route to accomplish it may be different.
Instead of griping over Indian vs Pakistani missiles, it will perhaps be better to see which country is putting its technological prowess for the betterment of ordinary folks. In this regard both countries have failed."

I absolutely agree!

anon: "just around mid-March I receive a number of requests from undergraduate students from India eager to work on summer research projects - not to mention glut of applications for graduate studies. I get none such application from Pakistan"

It's hard to tell for sure but you are probably located in the US. Your personal anecdotal evidence just reflects the difference in the size of the populations in two nations as well as Pakistanis' well-founded fear of post-911 visa rejection to travel to the United States. In recent years, the preferred destination for Pakistanis to study abroad has not been the United States. Most go to Europe, particularly Britain.

According to Spiked-Online, 10,000 Pakistani students are granted student visas to study overseas, mostly Europe..many of them for grad school.

Riaz Haq said...

I the previous comment, I meant 10,000 Pakistani students every year go overseas on student visas.

Here's an excerpt from the Spiked-Online story I referred to earlier:

Pakistan has a population of 165,900,000 (1). Every year 10,000 foreign student visas are granted in Pakistan, including many for British universities. But up to 20 times as many applicants are rejected (2). Between 2004 and 2008, about 42,000 Pakistani students were admitted to the UK (3).

Some are now implying that Britain has allowed 42,000 potential terrorists to come here to build bomb factories and spread violence and hatred, all the while pretending to be brushing up their English at bogus language colleges or studying subjects ranging from physics to international relations. According to a professor of war studies at the prestigious King’s College London, ‘42,000 students from Pakistan in four years may be too many for anyone to check properly’. Though he has many ‘valued Pakistani students’, he now feels that, in light of last week’s arrests, greater restrictions and reduced numbers may be necessary (4).

It requires a great deal of prejudice and a giant leap of imagination to justify shutting the door on thousands of Pakistanis wishing to study in Britain just because 10 individuals are suspected of being involved in a terrorist plot. That adds up to one in every 4,200, or 0.024 per cent, of Pakistanis admitted on student visas in the past four years being arrested as a suspected terrorist.

And why stop at shutting the door on Pakistani students? In 2007, the Higher Education Statistics Agency estimated that there were 330,000 non-EU overseas students studying at UK universities – that’s one in seven British-based students. There had been a particular increase in students from India, Germany, France and Nigeria (5). Following the logic of those now arguing for heavily reducing the number of Pakistani students coming to Britain, these countries, too, could harbour potential terrorists wrangling their way into the UK as bogus students.

The calls for closer scrutiny of and greater restrictions on Pakistani students look like history repeating itself. In the summer of 2007, there were widespread calls for stricter vetting procedures for foreign medical staff in the UK following failed terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow. Eight of the men initially suspected of carrying out the attacks were medical professionals and students. Just as some commentators are now saying that educational institutions are offering an all too easy route into Britain for terrorists, so it was suggested then that the British National Health Service offers an open door to terrorism (6).

When full details behind the 2007 events were established at the end of last year, it turned out that just one NHS employee was found guilty of conspiracy to murder by planning car bomb attacks. This ought to stand as a lesson to avoid jumping to conclusions about individuals suspected of crimes, and to avoid letting the suspected actions of a tiny minority justify clampdowns on free movement for thousands.

Tightening restrictions on the arrival of foreign students in Britain will do nothing to stop terrorism. But it could lead to even more inhumane immigration policies and further deny educational opportunities and freedom of movement to people around the world. It is also likely to poison the relations between academic staff and students if it leads to the legitimisation of authoritarian initiatives such as the government’s recommendation that academic staff snoop on their students. In the long term, all of this would harm the reputation of British academia as a dynamic international research arena.

Anonymous said...

"It's hard to tell for sure but you are probably located in the US. Your personal anecdotal evidence just reflects the difference in the size of the populations in two nations as well as Pakistanis' well-founded fear of post-911 visa rejection to travel to the United States. In recent years, the preferred destination for Pakistanis to study abroad has not been the United States. Most go to Europe, particularly Britain. "

As a former UK resident I can tell that Britain is no better for pakistanis than US when it comes to post 9/11 'trauma'.

As for difference in the size of population, anyone who has some connection in US univ will notice that number of Indian students far exceeds Pak, in fact way above 7 times population difference. In fact until 2 yrs ago Indian students were #1 in US, followed by China. Now China is. Pakistan is no where in the top.
Same for faculty in US colleges and univ. Indians are in large numbers.

Riaz: I don't understand how you manage to convince yourself with lies like this.

Riaz Haq said...

DC: "In fact until 2 yrs ago Indian students were #1 in US, followed by China. Now China is. Pakistan is no where in the top."

This is not surprising given that China and India are #1 and #2 in population. As to the Pakistanis, I saw a great influx of Pakistanis too in Si Valley until 2001, and then saw it suddenly stop post 911.

DC: "As a former UK resident I can tell that Britain is no better for pakistanis than US when it comes to post 9/11 'trauma"

It's true that Pakistani students (and students from most Muslim nations) are being denied visas. Here's an excerpt from Spiked-Online that I mention earlier:

Pakistan has a population of 165,900,000 (1). Every year 10,000 foreign student visas are granted in Pakistan, including many for British universities. But up to 20 times as many applicants are rejected (2). Between 2004 and 2008, about 42,000 Pakistani students were admitted to the UK (3).

DC: "I don't understand how you manage to convince yourself with lies like this."

Everything I talk about is based on credible data.

The higher education focus in Pakistan has also strengthened the education sector in Pakistan. Here is some the data from former HEC head Dr. Ataur Rehman:

1. Establishing 51 new Universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008,
2. Tripling university enrollment (which had reached only 135,000 from 1947 to 2003) to about 400,000 in 2008,
3. Establishing a powerful Digital Library which provides free nation-wide access to every student in every public sector university to 45,000 textbooks/research monographs from 220 international publishers as well as to 25,000 international research journals,
4. Establishing video-conferencing facilities in most public sector universities that allow lectures to be delivered live and interactively to students in Pakistan from technologically advanced countries
5. Enhancing salaries of academics so that salaries of University Professors were increased to a level about five times the salaries of Federal Ministers, with a corresponding reduction in tax from 35% to only 5%, in order to attract the brightest young men and women into academia,
6. Promoting research through a massive research grant program which resulted in a 600% increase in ISI abstracted publications from about 600 per year in 2001 to 4300 research publications in 2008, accompanied by about 1000% increase in international citations in the same period,
7. Placing a satellite in space (Paksat-1) which is now used for distance learning by the Virtual University,
8. Establishing video-conferencing facilities in most public sector universities and initiating a lectureship program, allowing live interactive lectures to be delivered from technologically advanced countries,
9. Providing free access to scientists/engineers anywhere in the country to sophisticated instruments installed in any institute in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Dawn report about the US attempting to stop Pakistan bashing after the Times Square incident involving a Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad:

WASHINGTON: Three key pillars of the US administration — the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department — joined hands on Thursday in an effort to tone down anti-Pakistan tirade stirred by the arrest of a Pakistani-American in the Times Square bombing attempt earlier this week.

The most forceful attempt to deflect anti-Pakistan rhetoric came from the State Department, where Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said he would not allow the department’s platform to be used to suggest that all terrorist activities in the world originated in that country.

“I’m not going to entertain a question that implicates one country, and to suggest that all terrorism in the world is the responsibility of one country. That’s not true,” said Mr Crowley.

The State Department also said that US Ambassador Anne Patterson had spoken on Thursday with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi and other senior officials in Islamabad.

She held similar meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Qureshi on Wednesday.

The meetings took place against the backdrop of the countries’ determination to “continue to work together, to investigate the attempted bombing in Times Square,” Mr Crowley said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report today comparing nuclear arsenals of the two South Asian neighbors:

LONDON: Pakistan has 60 nuclear warheads and with two new plutonium reactors nearing completion in Khusab, its weapons grade plutonium production will jump seven-fold, according to latest figures released by Swedish institute SIPRI.

"Our conservative estimates are that Pakistan has sixty warheads and could produce 100 nuclear weapons at short notice," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its latest annual report.

SIPRI also said that Islamabad was developing an air launched cruise missile Ra'ad and had also carried out four tests of its land launched sub-sonic cruise missile Babur. But said it was not clear whether these missiles would be developed to carry nuclear warheads.

The Swedish think-tank said that Pakistan's Khusab I reactor was giving the country 10 to 12 kgs of weapons grade plutonium.

Islamabad had earmarked 32 US supplied F-16 fighters along with short-range Ghaznavi I and Shaheen I missiles as the delivery systems for its nuclear weapons, it said.

SIPRI said while 400-km range Ghaznavi I and 1,200-km Shaheen I missiles were operational, Pakistan's other two potent missiles — medium range ballistic missile Ghauri I and Shaheen II were still in development stage.

In comparison India had also 60 to 70 nuclear warheads, the think-tank said.

New Delhi had only short-range surface to surface Prithvi I (with the range of up to 500 kms) and medium-range Agni I (upto 700 kms) missiles deployed as nuclear weapon delivery system, it said.

The Swedish institute said India's two other missiles Agni II (with the range of 1,200 kms) and Agni III (3,000 kms) were still under development, though Agni II had been handed over to the Army for user trial.

SIPRI also said that New Delhi was also developing a 1,000-km range sub-sonic cruise missile Nirbhay and had also test fired land-based version of the undersea missile K-15 which is being called Shourya.

It said that the deployment of warship-based Dhanush missile was underway.

Riaz Haq said...

The following is an assessment of India and Pakistan nukes by Arms Control website:

Three states—India, Israel, and Pakistan—never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons. Claiming its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program. India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998. Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit to or deny having nuclear weapons, and states that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms. The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.

India: Up to 100 nuclear warheads.
Israel: Between 75 to 200 nuclear warheads.
Pakistan: Between 70 to 90 nuclear warheads.

praneetbajpaie said...

Mr Haq,
I just wanted to say that according to your biography, you are a very successful entrepreneur in America. Under the circumstances, it is unbecoming of you to trash a country on subjects you seem to have limited knowledge.
I would like to correct you on a few things:
Indian IT industry is not all about low tech, call centre jobs. A lot of companies in India actively engage in developing software and do high end work. Some examples TCS, Polaris, HCL Tech, Infosys, Infotech Enterprises, Rolta India, ICSA India.
At the start of our space program, we did took the help of foreign powers, but in the latter years, it was an indigenous effort.
We know we have our challenges. Given your standings, we expect something better from you. Do you see successful Indian entrepreneurs bashing India at every given opportunity?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on Tejas operaional clearance today:

BANGALORE: After a tortuous journey of 27 years, with over 1,500 flight-tests and almost 3,000% jump in overall developmental costs, the much-touted but long-delayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft has finally taken the first step towards induction as a supersonic fighter into IAF.

Amid much fanfare and back-slapping, defence minister A K Antony handed over the Tejas initial operational clearance (IOC) certificate to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik at a ceremony here on Monday.

The IOC basically means that the largely homegrown fighter is now fully airworthy, in its initial configuration, to be flown by IAF pilots but not all weapon and other systems have been fully integrated into the platform. That will happen only by December 2012 when the single-engine, multi-role fighter gets the final operational clearance (FOC).

"Today is a historic day...A state-of-the-art indigenous combat aircraft will go a long way in enhancing national security,'' said Antony, showering praise on the entire LCA team led by Aeronautical Development Agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The euphoria was somewhat justified, given that the supersonic fighter has been built from scratch in a country with an extremely poor defence-industrial base and in the face of international sanctions for several years.

But there has to be a reality check, even if it seems harsh. Even Antony admitted that Tejas had reached just "the semi-final stage'' at this point. As was first reported by TOI earlier, the overall developmental cost of the Tejas project, including the naval variant and trainer, has zoomed up to Rs 17,269 crore from the initial Rs 560 crore earmarked for it in 1983. With each Tejas to cost around Rs 200 crore over and above this, India will end up spending well over Rs 25,000 crore on the programme.

Moreover, the real induction of the first 40 Tejas jets will begin only towards end-2013, with the first two squadrons becoming fully operational at the Sulur airbase (Tamil Nadu) by 2015 or so, a full three decades after the LCA project was first sanctioned to replace the ageing MiG-21s.

That's not all. The first test-flight of the Tejas Mark-II version, with more powerful American GE F-414 engines, will be possible only by December 2014, with its production beginning in June 2016. And even then, the Tejas will just be a medium to low-end fighter, not a high-end air dominance one.

ACM Naik, in fact, described Tejas as a "MiG-21 plus-plus'', and made it clear that it was not even a fourth-generation fighter at present but would be in the future, indicating it will primarily be used to plug the gap in numbers.

Consequently, India's frontline combat fighters will the 270 Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs already being inducted for around $12 billion, the 126 new medium multi-role combat aircraft to be acquired in the $10.4 billion MMRCA project and the 250 to 300 fifth-generation fighter aircraft to be built with Russia in the gigantic $35 billion project.

Yes, there is no getting away from the critical fact that India has to be self-reliant in military hardware and software if it wants to emerge as a superpower on the global stage. But the Tejas saga puts serious question marks on the defence indigenisation model being followed.

The fighter, for instance, is still only around 60% indigenous despite being 27 years in the making. It, for example, is powered by American GE engines, with the indigenous Kaveri engine failing to pass muster despite Rs 2,839 crore being spent on it since 1989.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on "doubling of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal":

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world's most unstable regions, according to estimates by non-government analysts.

Wary of upsetting Pakistan's always-fragile political balance, the White House rarely mentions the country's arsenal in public except to voice confidence in its strong internal safeguards, with warheads kept separate from delivery vehicles. But the level of U.S. concern was reflected during last month's White House war review, when Pakistan's nuclear security was set as one of two long-term strategy objectives there, along with the defeat of al-Qaeda, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A publicly released summary of the classified review document made no reference to the nuclear issue, and the White House deflected questions on grounds that it was an intelligence matter. This week, a spokesman said the administration would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to Obama's assurance at last spring's Nuclear Security Summit that he felt "confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons program." Vietor noted that Obama hs encouraged "all nations" to support negotiations on the fissile cutoff treaty.

"The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a leading analyst on the world's nuclear forces. "They're always trying to downplay" the numbers and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."

"It's hard to say how much the U.S. knows," said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the annual global nuclear weapons inventory published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. "Probably a fair amount. But it's a mixed bag - Pakistan is an ally, and they can't undercut it with a statement of concern in public."

Beyond intelligence on the ground, U.S. officials assess Pakistan's nuclear weapons program with the same tools used by the outside experts - satellite photos of nuclear-related installations, estimates of fissile-material production and weapons development, and publicly available statements and facts.

Four years ago, the Pakistani arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons.
Only three nuclear countries - Pakistan, India and Israel - have never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. India is estimated to have 60 to 100 weapons; numbers are even less precise for Israel's undeclared program, estimated at up to 200. North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests and is believed to have produced enough fissile material for at least a half-dozen bombs, withdrew from the treaty in 2003.

Those figures make Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power, ahead of "legal" powers France and Britain. The vast bulk of nuclear stockpiles are held by the United States and Russia, followed by China.
While continuing to produce of weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Pakistan has sharply increased its production of plutonium, allowing it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery systems. Its newest missile, the Shaheen II, has a range of 1,500 miles and is about to go into operational deployment, Kristensen said. Pakistan also has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on lagging research in India:

DHARWAD: India may not compete with other countries in the field of science and technology (S&T) if our scientists fail to make serious efforts to improve the track record in the field of scientific research and development (R&D), said VTU vice-chancellor H Maheshappa.

Inaugurating a six-day workshop on `Graph algorithms' jointly organized by the department of Computer Science, Karnatak University, and VTU here recently, he said India's track record in the field of scientific R&D has remained insignificant when compared with countries like China. This trend has to be changed if we really wish to emerge as successful competitors and carve a niche for India in the field of S&T, he said.

Pointing out the progress achieved by China in this regard, he said China is far ahead of India in the field of scientific R&D. "While the researchers from China file hundreds of patent applications everyday, India stands not even nearer to China in this respect. He said India has potential, including talented pool of teachers and researchers, state-of-the-art research institutes and financial investment by the government for the promotion of scientific R&D.

Expressing concern over the lack of teachers with research background in technical educational institutes, he said though the state has nearly 200 engineering colleges, the number of teachers with research degrees is minimal. "This scenario has to be changed. VTU has plans to tie up with universities like Karnatak University to assist engineering college teachers on understanding of basic science and research methodology," he added.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

PM says Abbottabad and Mehran base attacks raised false concerns about safety of nukes, according to Dunya News:

He pointed to the simultaneous propaganda onslaught against Pakistan and its nuclear programme.

Chairing the 19th meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA), Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani reviewed issues of national importance and developments in the regional and global security environment.

The NCA expressed satisfaction at the security and safety of Pakistan’s strategic programmes and facilities, besides approving the National Nuclear Programme 2050 and the Space Programme 2040.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in his statement expressed government’s firm resolve to protect the country’s strategic and nuclear assets at all costs. “Such baseless, and certainly motivated, campaign against Pakistan will neither deter us from proceeding ahead.”
He said the strategic programme forms the core of Pakistan’s national security paradigm.

The Pakistan Armed Forces, and in fact the whole nation, takes its responsibility for national defence as a sacred duty. No one should ever under estimate our capability and resolve in this regard.

He said concerns have also been expressed internationally over potential threats from non-state actors to the security of strategic assets and facilities. While media reports have speculated on the possibility of sabotage and existence of contingency plans to take over Pakistan’s nuclear assets.

“Any such nefarious designs shall be thwarted effectively by the armed forces with full support of the people of Pakistan.”
The PM also pointed to the several developments that have taken place at the national, regional and international levels in the last few months.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder report on Pakistani satellite launch by China:

The Pakistan Communication Satellite Paksat-1R is due to be launched in space from Chinese satellite launching site located at Xichang city in the second week of August, depending on weather conditions.

Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1 which is going to complete its useful life in 2011. "Launching of a communication satellite is going to be a new symbolic development in Pakistan-China relations, as this will broaden the horizons of our cooperation," Khan said.

He said during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan in December last year, our two governments had decided to deepen cooperation in space science and technology. "Paksat-1R, as the satellite is called, is a big step in that direction.

It will revolutionize the use of broadband Internet, digital television broadcasting and mobile telephony; spur our economy; and strengthen the education and health sectors.

It will also help us with disaster preparedness and response. Besides, young scientists and engineers are gaining new valuable expertise in the area of satellite technology.

Such cooperation with China also helps us move towards self-reliance" he noted. Tracing the history of cooperation between the two countries in the realm of space science, Ambassador Masood Khan said that it goes back to the 1990s when Pakistan launched its first low earth orbit satellite Badr-1. "Since then we have been enhancing our cooperation in space science and technology.

Many Pakistani scientists and engineers have studied aerospace sciences in Chinese universities and institutions," he added. He mentioned that: "We are now looking at cooperation in remote sensing satellites. It is a long term project with many civilian uses.

A remote sensing satellite will cover areas like agriculture, oceanography, disaster management and mitigation, crop monitoring, earth observation, water resources management, weather forecasting, and urban planning.

Such an application will have a direct positive impact on Pakistan's socio-economic development." China, Ambassador Khan said, has helped us in the development of our satellite industry for which we are extremely grateful.

Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is establishing the necessary space technology infrastructure, he said, adding thus we are developing common technology platforms with China.

In due course of time Pakistan will want to develop its spaceflight programme, he added. Ambassador Khan said that during his visits to the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) he observed that professionals there are hardworking, intelligent, ingenious and resourceful.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's PakSat-1R launched today in China, according to Spaceflight Now:

China deployed a communications satellite for Pakistan on Thursday aboard a Long March 3B rocket launched from a mountainous spaceport in the southwest China's Sichuan province.

Artist's concept of the PakSat 1R satellite in orbit. Credit: SUPARCO

The fresh spacecraft, called PakSat 1R, replaces Pakistan's aging national communications satellite launched in 1996.

The Long March 3B rocket soared off the launch pad at 1615 GMT (12:15 p.m. EDT). It was 12:15 a.m. local time Friday at the Xichang space center.

The 180-foot-tall rocket streaked off the launch pad with the help of four strap-on boosters, turned east from the Xichang space base and deployed PakSat 1R in orbit about 26 minutes after liftoff, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The satellite weighed about 11,000 pounds at the time of launch.

PakSat 1R was placed in an oval-shaped orbit stretching from a low point of approximately 110 miles to a high point of about 26,000 miles. Its orbital inclination was about 24.8 degrees, according to independent tracking data.

The spacecraft will reach a circular orbit about 22,300 miles above the equator in the coming weeks. PakSat 1R will enter service after testing of its engineering systems and communications payload.

Stationed at 38 degrees east longitude, PakSat 1R will provide communications and broadcasting services to Pakistan and neighboring regions for at least 15 years. The satellite carries 18 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders, according to Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Commission, or SUPARCO.

SUPARCO is Pakistan's national space agency, which fields the government's Earth observation and communications satellites.

PakSat 1R was built by the China Academy of Space Technology and is based on the DFH-4 spacecraft platform. China has reached agreements to build DFH-4 communications satellites for several non-traditional players in the space industry, including Pakistan, Nigeria, Venezuela, Laos and Bolivia.

Thursday's flight was the seventh space launch of the year for China. All of the missions have been successful.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Hindustan Times story titled "Assembled in India":

The ministry of defence should rename itself the ministry of imports. India earned the undesirable honorific of being the world's largest buyer of foreign arms in the latest 'Trends in International Arms Transfers' report. The ultimate oxymoron in New Delhi today is 'defence self-reliance'. This state of affairs will continue so long as the ministry continues to believe in the State-owned defence sector.

India's imports of defence equipment surged 38% to $12.7 billion from 2007-11, say the authors of the report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The only better defence growth figures? Number of speeches by defence minister AK Antony declaring self-reliance to be his goal.

At the time the report was released, Antony spoke at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). He complained that DRDO had "many deficiencies", that it was "slow" in implementing recommended reforms. A few days earlier he called for change at Hindustan Aeronautics, another stalwart of India's government defence industry whose core competence is assembling imported airplane kits.

SIPRI's report underlines the true trend in India's defence industry. Namely, that the louder the mantra 'self-reliance' is chanted by defence officialdom, the further the goal moves away from India.

It's not just that the Indian defence sector can't build simple trainer airplanes or armoured vehicles. It even struggles to design usable rifles or make good boots. "Indian soldiers", says Commodore Uday Bhaskar of the National Maritime Foundation, "prefer to buy their uniforms from private tailors rather than wear free government issue".

Antony's criticisms should mean that his office at least understands the problem. But the reforms the ministry advocates are, ultimately, about preserving the defence sector's commanding heights for the State-owned firms. And it's this "tweak the status quo" mindset that ensures India's security increasingly depends on how fast it can import.

Rising Indian arms purchases and stiff offset requirements - roughly half the cost of foreign purchases must be outsourced to Indian firms - means billions of dollars' worth of contracts will float out of the windows of South Block. Antony is asking DRDO and company to get their act together so they can cash in on this bonanza.

The ministry's hope is that these State-owned firms will absorb some imported technologies, recycle them and preserve the myth of indigenous defence production for another decade. The subtext to Antonyspeak should be: you need to change so you can keep pulling the wool over India's eyes.

The defence ministry loves the term 'technology transfer'. These are weasel words. Every study shows this to be a way to temporarily get obsolete knowhow. Transfers are like cheat-sheets. They keep you from doing the hard work of really learning something. The State-owned defence firms are like students who mug enough to get past each exam and graduate with blank minds.

In 2005, DRDO spoke of making 70% of Indian defence equipment at home. But the figures haven't change in all these years, says Air Vice-Marshal Kapil Kak of the Centre for Air Power Studies. "Government stonewalling has meant there has been no energising of the defence sector." Officially, India is at 30% indigenisation. So much of this is screwdriver work, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, "That the actual figure is 20% or less."

The Tatra truck, left-hand drive after 25 years, is only a more glaring example of this import-and-assemble game.--------------

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on nuclear weapons in South Asia as published by The Nation:

Estimated to have 80-100 nuclear warheads, India is modernising its nuclear arsenal to increase the diversity, range, and sophistication of its delivery vehicles, a report said Tuesday,At the same time, it estimates that Pakistan has more nuclear weapons than India, saying Islamabad is rapidly developing and expanding its atomic arsenal at a cost of $2.5 billion a year. The report “Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Modernisation around the World” said India is developing a range of delivery vehicles, including land- and sea-based missiles, bombers, and submarines.“There are no official estimates of the size of India’s stockpile of fissile materials, though it is known that India produces both HEU (highly enriched uranium) for its nuclear submarines and plutonium for weapons,” said the 150-page report by ‘Reaching Critical Will of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.’The part of the report dealing with India was contributed by Professor MV Ramana, a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Programme on Science and Global Security, both at Princeton University, a physicist who works at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University. “There has been speculation that India has used reactor-grade plutonium in its nuclear weapons, in which case, the nuclear arsenal could potentially be much larger, as India has approximate 3.8 to 4.6 tons of separated plutonium from its power reactors. Its fast breeder reactor programme also provides another potential source of producing weapon-grade plutonium”Based on its Dec. 2011 recent missile tests, the report said, “It appears that India is aiming to have all legs of its nuclear triad operational by 2013. There are also plans to expand the nuclear weapons and missile production complex as well as the capacity to enrich uranium. “The expansion of India’s nuclear and missile arsenals are part of a larger military build-up and consistently increasing military spending.
It is estimated that Pakistan could have a stockpile of 2750 kg of weapon - grade HEU and may be producing about 150 kg of HEU per year,” it said.Estimates suggest Pakistan has produced a total of about 140 kg of plutonium, the report said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News piece on India abandoning domestic jet engine program:

India has abandoned its efforts to build its own engine to power the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark-2, according to Indian Defence Ministry sources.

The Kaveri engine, which Indian defense scientists are trying to build, has failed to meet Indian Air Force requirements two decades after the project began, the MoD sources said.

This means the LCA Mark-2 will be powered only by U.S. company General Electric’s GE-414 engine, which was short-listed earlier over Germany’s Eurojet to power the LCA Mark-2. The aircraft, under development at Bangalore’s Aeronautical Development Agency, is expected to be ready around 2017.

While an MoD official would not say that the engine project has been abandoned for the aircraft, he did say that the Kaveri engine does not fully meet the Air Force’s thrust requirements. The MoD has now decided to use the Kaveri engine to power only UAVs, the official added.

India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the agency that is building the Kaveri, had been in consultation with French company Snecma for the past three years to help complete the engine.

DRDO and Snecma had been negotiating to co-develop and co-produce the engine, but they have yet to sign an agreement, the MoD official said.

While the official would not say why the negotiations failed, an Indian Air Force source said the Kaveri project to power the LCA has been all but abandoned. Beyond powering UAVs, the engine also will be a technology demonstration project.

The Air Force source added that besides the failure to meet the thrust level, the Kaveri also has technical problems with its compressor, turbine and engine control system.

Meanwhile, the LCA Mark-1 is readying for induction by 2014, nearly 15 years behind schedule. It will be powered by the GE-404 engine, also from General Electric.

For the LCA Mark-2 program, ADA will order 99 GE-414 engines and the rest will be manufactured in India under technology transfer arrangements.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Michael Krepon in on the results of US-India nuclear deal:

The only true believers in the civil-nuclear deal, besides its U.S. boosters, were the stewards of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. After the deal was struck, Pakistan’s requirements for credible deterrence, which were set high to begin with, appear to have grown higher still. Three related developments seem especially noteworthy: the start-up of construction on a fourth plutonium production reactor to increase Pakistan’s inventory of nuclear weapons, the imposition of a veto against negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty, and the explicit requirement for battlefield, or tactical, nuclear weapons. The first two appear to have been a direct consequence of the deal; the third was a consequence of the Indian military’s adoption of a “pro-active” defense doctrine (known as “Cold Start” in some circles) and a growing disparity in Indian and Pakistani conventional capabilities, as well as the deal.

The civ-nuke deal added insult to injury in Pakistan, where it was perceived as providing an international escort for India to sit at the high table of states possessing nuclear weapons, while leaving Pakistan out in the cold. The deal was characterized as a threat to national security because it permitted a significant influx of foreign-origin nuclear power plants and fuel; because Indian authorities stated their intention to build eight new, unsafeguarded domestic power plants; and because India’s breeder-reactor program would produce a flood of new fissile material.

These worst-case planning factors have not panned out. True, India has purchased uranium from abroad for its power plants, freeing up domestic material for bomb-making, but the Indian Parliament continues to resist liability limits for foreign companies, which stands in the way of power-plant construction for the United States and other sellers. Domestic construction of power plants also remains in the doldrums, and the ambitious plans of India’s Department of Atomic Energy for breeder reactors are as suspect as those of the Defense Research and Development Organization for the development of tanks, planes, and missiles. [For a withering critique of the DAE and DRDO, see Verghese Koithara’s outstanding new book, Managing India’s Nuclear Forces (2012).]

DRDO’s promises have become even more wildly optimistic under the leadership of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, who is now promoting effective, near-term ballistic missile defenses for Delhi and Mumbai. Just as few in the Pakistani media question their military’s nuclear requirements, few in the Indian media question the claims of DRDO and DAE. Instead, they serve as a transmission belt and lobbying arm for these enclaves.
The civil-nuclear deal and DRDO’s record of poor performance suggest that it would be wise to avoid unduly optimistic and pessimistic assessments about Indian missile defenses. Nonetheless, U.S. technology transfers for BMD, like the civ-nuke deal, would have little up-side potential and considerable down-side risk. These transfers would not help India produce an effective missile-defense system, nor change New Delhi’s embrace of strategic autonomy. They would, however, add further impetus to a three-cornered nuclear arms competition in southern Asia. President Obama has not endorsed BMD transfers, but President Romney might.

Anonymous said...

Firstly understand that Hindus, and more specifically brahmins are peace loving people and are not interested in wasting time on useless items like bombs. Try to understand people before ridiculing.

The fact that both Homi Bhabha and Abdul Kalam are Indians is more important when you are speaking about India.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Riaz your whole blog and comments is filled with comments regarding india or focus around indian strength or weakness. You cut paste information from some websites which are generally comes in our daily news papers and blogs that doesn't means that every thing is going wrong. We knows very well that where we are so humble request to you that divert your discussion to other issues which pak needs to be traced.


Riaz Haq said...

India's continuing abject failure to build a robust defence industrial base (DIB) has come to into focus once again, with an international thinktank holding its arms imports are now almost three times as high as those of the second and third largest arms importers, China and Pakistan.

As per the latest data on international arms transfers released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the volume of Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111% between 2004-08 and 2009-13, and its share of the volume of international arms imports increased from 7% to 14%.

The major suppliers of arms to India in 2009-13 were Russia (accounting for 75% of imports) and the US (7%), which for the first time became the second largest arms supplier to India, said SIPRI. As earlier reported by TOI, the US has already bagged defence deals close to $10 billion over the last decade in the lucrative Indian defence market, with the latest being the $1.01 billion one for six additional C-130J "Super Hercules" aircraft.

The other deals on the anvil are the ones for 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, together worth another $4 billion or so.

SIPRI, on its part, said the USA's share of Pakistani imports in the same period was 27%. China was also a major supplier in the region, accounting for 54% of Pakistani arms imports and 82% of Bangladeshi imports.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI. In particular, China and the US appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, he added.

The five largest suppliers of major weapons during the five-year period 2009-13 were the United States (29% of global arms exports), Russia (27%), Germany (7%), China (6%) and France (5%).

Despite India's emergence as the world's largest arms importer over the last decade, the modernisation of its armed forces continues to take place in a haphazard manner due to the lack of concrete strategic planning in tune with the country's long-term geopolitical objectives, as reported by TOI earlier.

The Indian armed forces are still grappling with critical shortages in fighter jets, submarines, helicopters, howitzers, night-fighting capabilities and the like. The IAF, for instance, is down to just 34 fighter squadrons when it requires at least 44 to be "comfortable" against the twin-challenge posed by Pakistan and China.

A K Antony, who has been India's longest-serving defence minister, may have often chanted the mantra of "indigenisation" during his seven-and-a-half year tenure, especially after defence scams erupted one after the other, but failed to deliver meaningful systemic reforms on the ground.

There was, for instance, no concrete revamping of the DRDO and its 50 establishments as well as the five defence PSUs, four shipyards and 39 ordnance factories to ensure they deliver weapon systems without huge cost and time overruns.

Raghotthamacharya said...

Super article, although I am sometimes (only sometimes) pained by the India bashing that happens in this site, I am not pained by this one. Truth, as bitter as it might be, has to be accepted.

Riaz Haq said...

#Canada-#India 3000 ton uranium deal will spur nuclear proliferation, experts warn. #Pakistan #Iran ... some nuclear proliferation experts say India has been able to make such a deal without abiding by the rules set out for most other countries that abide by the international non-proliferation regime. And they warn that countries the West has been attempting to bring into the rules-based system — such as Iran — will be less inclined to submit when they see the rules don't apply to India....Canadian technology used to gain bomb...India shocked the world when it conducted its first nuclear test in 1974. By then, the world had already grown used to the idea of an established club of nuclear nations, the same five that held permanent seats at the UN Security Council: the U.S., the Soviet Union, China, Britain and France....Israel and South Africa had already succeeded in developing nuclear weapons by working together, but neither country had tested them and their nuclear arsenals were still a well-kept secret....It was a bedrock principle of international security that no new nation should be allowed to join the nuclear weapons club....The Indian blast would set off an arms race on the subcontinent that culminated in a nuclear test by Pakistan in 1998. Today, the sub-continent is considered one of the most likely flashpoints for a future nuclear conflict.

Riaz Haq said...

#India cruise missile #Nirbhay missile test "an utter failure" A flight-test of subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Odisha on Wednesday was “an utter failure”, informed sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said. The sources added that the failure was caused by the wing-deployment problem in the second stage of the missile, which flies like an aircraft.

Out of four Nirbhay missions so far, three, including Wednesday's flight-test, have ended in failure.

On Wednesday afternoon, after the missile took off from Launch Complex-III of the ITR, it did not follow the required flight path.

“The booster engine in Nirbhay's first stage started working. The missile lifted off from its launcher. But it started veering dangerously towards one side in less than two minutes of its lift-off,” DRDO officials said.

The missile started flying beyond the safety corridor and threatened to fall on the land. So the “destruct” mechanism in its first stage was activated and it was destroyed.

The DRDO sources called the mission “an utter failure” because the missile started veering towards one side in the “initial phase” of the flight itself. They said, “It is a big failure. We should have a thorough re-look at what has been done so far. Out of four Nirbhay missions, three have ended in failure.”

The sources ruled out any problem with the missile's configuration. They said it could be “a hardware failure” that led to the mission being aborted. “This is a hardware element issue. This is a reliability issue with a component,” they explained.

A successful Nirbhay mission would have lasted for more than an hour. In a normal mission, the contraption will take off vertically like a missile, then a mechanism in its first stage will tilt the missile horizontally and the first stage, with its booster engine, will jettison into the sea. Then the second stage with the turbo-engine will start cruising horizontally like an aircraft with its wings spread out at a subsonic speed of 0.7 Mach.

The missile, conceived, designed and developed by the DRDO, can take out targets 1,000 km away. It can carry a 300 kg warhead.

Previous tests

Nirbhay’s debut flight on March 12, 2013 was a failure. After 20 minutes of lift-off, it deviated from its path and its “destruct” mechanism was activated to ''kill'' it.

The second flight on October 17, 2014 was a big success. The missile travelled 1,010 km instead of the targeted 800 km.

The third mission on October 16, 2015 was again a failure. After 70 seconds of its flight, when it was cruising like an aircraft after the first stage had fallen off as planned, it lost control and fell within the safety zone.

Unknown said...

India made its own reactor in 1956. So, please don't keep citing Canada reactors as the key to nuclear bombs was already found. Also, the 1965 war with India was aimed at Indian nuclear programme which was sanctioned by Shastri. USSR connived with Indira Gandhi to assassinate Shastri to put a restriction on nuclear programme.

The rocket principles were also learnt by Indians on their own. Just saying that it was based onscud is not meaningful. Rocket principles is basic physics. Moreover, the USSR and USA also gained it from German V2 rocket. It is not their own either. Liquid fuel rockets were initial stages of every rocket program. India didn't do any special.

India has made its own MRBL - Pinaka before 2010 itself. India may be import dependent, but it is capable of making lot of weapons on its own

Riaz Haq said...

#India has 140 #Nuclear Warheads and estimated to have produced enough military plutonium for 150-200 nuclear warheads. India maintains 3 or 4 nuclear strike squadrons of French-made Mirage 2000H and Jaguar IS/IB aircraft targeted at #Pakistan and #China.

“India is estimated to have produced enough military plutonium for 150 to 200 nuclear warheads, but has likely produced only 130 to 140,” according to Hans Kristensen and Matt Korda of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. “Nonetheless, additional plutonium will be required to produce warheads for missiles now under development, and India is reportedly building several new plutonium production facilities.”

In addition, “India continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal, with at least five new weapon systems now under development to complement or replace existing nuclear-capable aircraft, land-based delivery systems, and sea-based systems.”

Unlike the missile-centric U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, India still heavily relies on bombers, perhaps not unexpected for a nation that fielded its first nuclear-capable ballistic missile in 2003. Kristensen and Korda estimate India maintains three or four nuclear strike squadrons of Cold War-vintage, French-made Mirage 2000H and Jaguar IS/IB aircraft targeted at Pakistan and China.

“Despite the upgrades, the original nuclear bombers are getting old and India is probably searching for a modern fighter-bomber that could potentially take over the air-based nuclear strike role in the future,” the report notes. India is buying thirty-six French Rafale fighters that carry nuclear weapons in French service, and presumably could do for India.

India’s nuclear missile force is only fifteen years old, but it already has four types of land-based ballistic missiles: the short-range Prithvi-II and Agni-I, the medium-range Agni-II and the intermediate-range Agni-III. “At least two other longer-range Agni missiles are under development: the Agni-IV and Agni-V,” says the report. “It remains to be seen how many of these missile types India plans to fully develop and keep in its arsenal. Some may serve as technology development programs toward longer-range missiles.”

“Although the Indian government has made no statements about the future size or composition of its land-based missile force, short-range and redundant missile types could potentially be discontinued, with only medium- and long-range missiles deployed in the future to provide a mix of strike options against near and distant targets,” the report noted.

India is also developing the Nirbhay ground-launched cruise missile, similar to the U.S. Tomahawk. In addition, there is Dhanush sea-based, short-range ballistic missile, which is fired from two specially-configured patrol vessels. The report estimates that India is building three or four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, which will be equipped with a short-range missile, or a bigger missile with a range of 2,000 miles.

It’s an ambitious program. “The government appears to be planning to field a diverse missile force that will be expensive to maintain and operate,” the report points out.

What remains to be seen is what will be the command and control system to make sure these missiles are fired when—and only when—they should be. And, of course, since Pakistan and China also have nuclear weapons, Indian leaders may find that more nukes only lead to an arms race that paradoxically leaves their nation less secure.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz

Thanks for this post, Sir I had some questions, according to this post of yours, it was actually America and Canada who helped India in the making of its nuclear program. In this post it says that the main purpose why America and Canada agreed to help India in making its nuclear program was so that India could use it for civil purposes eg. for generating electricity and etc.

But your post says that later Indian government and Indian millitary used this nuclear program for making nuclear bomb. My question is that was American and Canadian government aware of this ? As you said in this post that India openly started to design and develope its nuclear bomb by using this nuclear program, so don't you think that Americans must be aware of this? If they were aware of this ,why didn't they impose sanctions on India?

I hope my questions are clear


Ahmed said...

Hello Mr.Rahul

You said:
Again an article, with full feelings of frustration. (Anyone would be surprised of the fact that USA provided India with designs of launch vehicles, when India was aligned with the Russia). Ok....I would not debate your facts(because you get some unknown source with full of inauthenticity), so its fruitless to debate them..


My comment:
I can quote a video from youtube here and show you how US President and Indian Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi both had a meeting and in a press conference US President clearly said that how both India and America have benefited from the mutual cooperation in the field of energy and technology in the early 1980s, was not India at that time in Soviet Union block?

Since last many decades India was in Russian(Soviet block) and was aligned with Russia ,it is only after 1990s when I think India started to strengthen its relations with America.

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmed: " If they were aware of this ,why didn't they impose sanctions on India?"

US did impose sanctions on India when it was already too late.

Please read the following:


By Victor Gilinsky; Paul Leventhal June 15, 1998

You wouldn't know it from news reports, but most of the military plutonium stocks India dipped into for its recent nuclear tests came from a research project provided years ago by the United States and Canada. India had promised both countries it would not use this plutonium for bombs.

If Washington and Ottawa were now to keep India to its promise, and verify this, India would lose more than half the weapons-grade plutonium for its nuclear bombs and missiles. The United States and Canada should make this an essential condition for the lifting of economic sanctions.

The plutonium in question is the approximately 600 pounds -- enough for about 50 bombs -- produced in India's CIRUS research reactor since it began operating in 1960. This was an "Atoms for Peace" reactor built by Canada and made operable by an essential 21 tons of heavy water supplied by the United States. In return for this assistance, India promised both suppliers in writing that the reactor would be reserved for "peaceful purposes."

India used plutonium from this reactor for its 1974 nuclear explosion. When the facts emerged, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi insisted there had been no violation of the peaceful-use commitments because India had set off a "peaceful nuclear explosion." The Indian scientist then in charge, Raja Ramanna, now has admitted it was a bomb all along. And India now has declared itself a nuclear-weapons state on the basis of its current tests. With the decades-old "peaceful" pretense stripped away, the United States and Canada should make unambiguously clear that India may not use CIRUS plutonium for warheads or related research.

The fact that neither capital has uttered a peep about this matter is symptomatic of Western complicity in the South Asian nuclear crisis and of the present paralysis in dealing with it. There is also the matter of a 1963 agreement covering two U.S.-supplied nuclear power reactors at Tarapur and their fuel. The radioactive used fuel from these reactors is in storage and contains most of India's "reactor-grade" plutonium. India has said it will reprocess the used fuel to extract the plutonium for use as civilian power-reactor fuel. But reactor-grade plutonium also is explosive and, once separated, it could be used by India's scientists for rapid deployment in warheads. There is enough Tarapur plutonium for hundreds of them.

Under the 1963 agreement, India must get U.S. approval to reprocess. India disputes this and insists it is free to reprocess the used fuel at any time. The State Department, historically reluctant to tangle with India, rationalized Tarapur as an unnecessary irritant in U.S.-India relations and put this disagreement in the sleeping-dogs category.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz

Trust me mashallah I have no words for your wonderful and tremendous knowledge which you have on this topic. May Allah(swt) bless you with a long and healthy life.

Sir so it means that Indian government and Indian millitary has cheated both Canada and America.

Now my question is that isn't their any sort of resentment amongst the American officials in the US government about the deception of Indian government?

Sir do you know that even on the matter of Kashmir , Indian government has decieved and cheated both Pakistan and America. When ever American officials ask Indian government about the issue of Kashmir, the Indian government says that "IT IS A BILATERAL ISSUE BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN AND WE DON"T NEED ANY KIND OF INTERVENTION OR INTERMEDIARY IN THIS MATTER".

But when Pakistani authorities sit with Indian authorities on the table for talks on Kashmir, then Indian government says to Pakistani authorities that "KASHMIR IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF INDIA".

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz

According to some of my relatives who live in America especially in Texas state, most of the Americans don't like Indians, Is this true?


Ahmed said...

Dear Sir Riaz

Thanks for your comment.

Sir so it means that Indian government and Indian millitary has cheated both Canada and America.

Now my question is that isn't their any sort of resentment amongst the American officials in the US government about the deception of Indian government?

I hope my question is clear