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.

Summary:

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

43 comments:

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fathul_Mujahidin

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

Anonymous said...

Riaz,
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.

Data Cruncher 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 an excerpt from an interesting post by an Indian blogger Vijainder Thakur at sawf.com:

August 22, 2008 - While Indian defense industry has had little success with indigenous design and development of weapons system (Arjun, LCA) its record with license production has been equally dismal (Hawk trainers, Su-30MKI fighters and T-90S tanks).

It is amazing how after years of 'license production' of weapon systems like Gnats, MiG variants, Jaguars, Vijayanta tanks our defense industry has failed to come up with a product of its own that our defense forces are ready to buy.

Russian newspaper Kommersant, reporting on a deal between India and Rosoboronexport for the license production of Smerch multiple launch rocket system mocks Indian capabilities saying:

"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."

Rosoboronexport, is facilitating the manufacture of the Smerch multiple rocket system both in India and China and the news report hints at the radically different approaches adopted by the two countries towards assisted production.

China first developed an unlicensed analog to Smerch called the A-100 in the 90s. However, they were unable to indigenously develop solid-fuel rocket motor matching those of the Smerch system. So their current deal with Rosoboronexport for Smerch focuses only on the transfer of solid propellant rocket motor technology through Perm Powder Mill.

The Indian deal on the other hand simply entails license production in India. My hunch is it entails no transfer of critical technology.

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.

http://kuku.sawf.org/Articles/52667.aspx

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 is an interesting post by Dinesh Kumar today on his Asian Defense blog.

More than five decades after it began its quest for self-reliance by establishing a series of government-owned defence research and production units, India has been unable to indigenously develop, produce and export any major weapon system. It remains overwhelmingly dependent on foreign vendors for about 70 per cent of its defence requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defence technology.

India’s defence ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent self-reliance capability for its defence 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.

Although it would be unrealistic to expect any country to be cent percent self-reliant (even the most advanced countries are not), India has not been able to develop any core strength in defence technology to enable it to be placed on the world map, except arguably to a limited extent in missiles and warship design and production.

In contrast, the world’s major and middle-rung military powers, which possess a strong and well-established defence industry and military-industrial complex, are largely self-sufficient in some, if not all, critical cutting edge military technologies. In addition to being major producers of defence technology, these countries are also major exporters of defence equipment, which, in turn, serve as a source of influence in their foreign policy.

This is especially true of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council and also several advanced countries or middle-rung powers such as Israel, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Even though China is a major importer of defence hardware – it is the second largest recipient (in US dollar value) and has signed the third highest number of transfer agreements of defence equipment among developing countries between 2000 and 2007 – yet at the same time it is self-sufficient in certain key military technologies and emerged as the fifth largest exporter of defence equipment to developing countries between 2000-2007.

In contrast, India’s modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defence annual exports averaged a meagre US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. Imports have also meant infrastructure and product support problems for an Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet that comprises 26 different types of fighter, transport and trainer aircraft and helicopters sourced from at least six different countries.

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.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a Washington Post report about China-Pakistan nuclear deal:

"President Obama has strongly advocated for restrictions on the spread of nuclear technology. But his administration has said little publicly about the China-Pakistan deal. Meanwhile, the administration announced Tuesday that China, despite its misgivings, had signed on to a draft U.N. Security Council resolution sanctioning Iran."

"A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk more freely, said the United States is waiting for China to detail how it plans to proceed with this transaction. "We don't have much clarity, and so the issue has not ripened in the government," he said. He said any claim that the reactors are grandfathered "would be a hard case to make," but China could seek a formal exemption from the guidelines -- which are voluntary in any case.

Indeed, complicating matters is that the United States, after hard lobbying, in 2008 won a specific exemption at the NSG for trade with India, Pakistan's nuclear-armed rival. Pakistan has long wanted its own exemption -- and the United States has refused -- but the administration may not want to roil relations with Islamabad at a time when their partnership on counterterrorism is seen as crucial."

"Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the China-Pakistan deal "is some of the fallout of the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement" -- which included the special exemption for nuclear trade. The deal was a Bush administration initiative -- but was avidly supported by then-Sens. Barack Obama, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Hillary Rodham Clinton."

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 are a few excerpts from a Wall Street Journal story today on China's defense industry advances and exports:

Today, Russia's military bonanza is over, and China's is just beginning.

After decades of importing and reverse-engineering Russian arms, China has reached a tipping point: It now can produce many of its own advanced weapons—including high-tech fighter jets like the Su-27—and is on the verge of building an aircraft carrier.

Not only have Chinese engineers cloned the prized Su-27's avionics and radar but they are fitting it with the last piece in the technological puzzle, a Chinese jet engine.

In the past two years, Beijing hasn't placed a major order from Moscow.

Now, China is starting to export much of this weaponry, undercutting Russia in the developing world, and potentially altering the military balance in several of the world's flash points....

This epochal turnaround was palpable in the Russian pavilion at November's Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai. Russia used to be the star of this show, wowing visitors with its "Russian Knights" aerobatic team, showing off fighters, helicopters and cargo planes, and sealing multibillion dollar deals on the sidelines.

This year, it didn't bring a single real aircraft—only a handful of plastic miniatures, tended by a few dozen bored sales staff.

China, by contrast, laid on its biggest commercial display of military technology—almost all based on Russian know-how.

The star guests were the "Sherdils," a Pakistani aerobatic team flying fighter jets that are Russian in origin but are now being produced by Pakistan and China....

That has compounded Russian fears that China has reverse engineered an Su-33 prototype it acquired in 2001 from Ukraine, according to Russian defense experts.

At last year's Dubai Air Show, China demonstrated its L-15 trainer jet for the first time. In June, China made its debut at the Eurosatory arms fair in France.

In July, China demonstrated the JF-17—the fighter developed with Pakistan—for the first time overseas at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain.

China also had one of the biggest pavilions at an arms fair in Capetown in September.

"They're showing up at arms fairs they've never been to before," said Siemon T. Wezeman, an arms trade expert at SIPRI. "Whereas 15 years ago they had nothing really, now they're offering reasonable technology at a reasonable price."

China is generating particular interest among developing countries, especially with the relatively cheap JF-17 fighter with a Russian engine.

The Kremlin has approved the re-export of the engine to Pakistan, as it has no arms business there.

But it was enraged last year when Azerbaijan, an ex-Soviet republic, began talks on buying JF-17s, according to people familiar with the situation...

China's arms exports could have repercussions on regions in conflict around the world. Pakistan inducted its first squadron of Chinese-made fighter jets in February, potentially altering the military balance with India.

Other potential buyers of China's JF-17 fighter jet include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Nigeria, Morocco and Turkey. In the past, China has also sold fighters to Sudan.

The potential customer of greatest concern to the U.S. is Iran, which purchased about $260 million of weapons from China between 2002-2009, according to Russia's Centre for Analysis of the Global Arms Trade.

In June, China backed U.N. sanctions on Iran, including an expanded arms embargo, but Tehran continues to seek Chinese fighters and other weaponry.

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...

In addition to 197 employee suicide across all of India's nuclear facilities and related institutes in the last 15 years, and 1733 other deaths due to various illness, there have been 684 deaths at India's space agency ISRO. Here's a Rediff story on mysterious deaths at ISRO:


When Mumbai-based Right To Information activist Chetan Kothari tried to find out how many of ISRO's employees had died in the last 15 years at the agency and its associate units, he was provided with a bureaucratic jargon.

Although the agency replied that 684 persons had died in the last 15 years at ISRO and its associate units, it had withheld the cause of their deaths.

"All we know is that at ISRO people have been dying at the rate of 45.6 per year and it does not want to tell the public how have they perished," questioned Kothari.

The figure of deaths at ISRO, excluding its headquarters, in the last 15 years is 387, while at its associate units of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking And Command Centre, Space Applications Centre and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and ISRO HQ the figure of dead employees was 297.

"In my appeal, I had emphasised that the identity of the deceased may be withheld to protect the privacy of the families. Giving statistical information on the cause of deaths should not be a problem," said Kothari.

Last year, Kothari had obtained similar information from nuclear establishments and related organizations in which all of the government bodies had provided the cause of death. The revelation then had been startling, as it showed that 197 employees had committed suicide across all the nuclear establishments and related institutes in the last 15 years, while 1733 had died of various illness.

"I was informed by the ISRO that the information related to cause of death is not mentioned in the death certificate that is produced by the family members of the deceased to the ISRO. Majority of the government agencies know the cause of their employee's death, but the ISRO claims that it has no idea how its employees died. This is either sheer callousness on the part of the ISRO or attempt to hide facts from the public," said Kothari.

To his query seeking information about satellite launches, the ISRO provided the list of 29 successful launches done at the cost of Rs 14,160 crore.

"The information provided only pertains to the successful launch of satellites. There is no mention of failed attempts," said Kothari.

His efforts to attend the hearing of the first appeal made before the joint secretary at Anatarishk Bhavan at New Delhi [ Images ] was stone-walled despite several reminders. Kothari has now submitted an appeal before the Central Information Commission.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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...

India tops arms imports in the world, according to Bloomberg News:

India replaced China as the world’s top weapons importer, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, as it aims to modernize its armed forces and project power through the region.

India received 9 percent of the volume of international arms transfers from 2006 to 2010, with 82 percent of that coming from Russia, Sipri said in a report released today. That topped China, South Korea and Pakistan, it said.

“The increases are substantial, and if you look at the Indian plans for the near future, they are massive,” Siemon Wezeman, a Sipri researcher who helped write the report, said in a telephone interview. “It’s worrying from the fact you are bringing a lot of weapons into an area that isn’t particularly stable, where you’ve got countries that have been at each other’s throats.”

India’s internal security threats and rivalries with Pakistan and China, the nuclear-armed neighbors with which it has border disputes, have driven the increase in expenditures, Wezeman said. The country’s plans to boost defense spending in the next decade to modernize the military have attracted U.S. and European firms banned from selling weapons to China.

The average volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2006-2010 was 24 percent higher than in 2001-2005, the report said. The Asia-Pacific region led the world, accounting for 43 percent of arms imports. It was followed by Europe at 21 percent, the Middle East at 17 percent and the Americas at 12 percent.
Economic Growth

India’s $1.3 trillion economy may expand by as much as 9.25 percent in the next financial year, the fastest pace since 2008, according to a Finance Ministry survey released last month. The World Bank estimates that more than three-quarters of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day.

Purchases by India of submarines, aircraft carriers and transport airplanes “can only be seen in the framework of regional ambitions,” Wezeman said.

India is seeking to buy 126 warplanes in the world’s biggest fighter-jet purchase in 15 years, according to the Indian Defense Ministry. Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA (AM), Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA), Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), Sweden’s Saab AB (SAABB), Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. and European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co., based in Paris and Munich, are competing for the contract.

The outlays on weapons have allowed India to demand technology transfers as part of purchases, Sipri said. The U.S. and Europe have banned weapons sales to China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. U.S. military officials have questioned China’s motives in developing ballistic anti-ship missiles and radar-evading fighter jets.
‘Huge Market’

India is “in a position where they have this huge market at a time when exporters are in desperate need to find export markets,” Wezeman said.

The U.S. remains the world’s largest exporter of military equipment, accounting for 30 percent of arms deliveries between 2006 and 2010, the report said. The Defense Department is requesting $671 billion for the 2012 fiscal year starting Oct. 1, $37 billion less than this year’s request.

Stockholm-based Sipri, founded in 1966, conducts research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament, according to its website. A substantial part of its funding comes from the Swedish government, it said.

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 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.
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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."
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"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.
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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...

Growing Space Focus in Sino-Indian Rivalry, November 12, 2010, By Global Intelligence Report Analysts:

.....
ANALYSIS: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan, signed a loan agreement with the government-owned Export-Import Bank of China on 9 October to finance the ground control apparatus for a new ‘Paksat-1R’ communications satellite, to be launched on 14 August 2011. This bilateral effort to ensure technical interchange illustrates space as a growing area of contestation in regional strategic developments.

Chinese Space Outreach: This satellite project builds upon a substantial history of China serving as a reliable supplier of sensitive military technology to Pakistan. China launched Pakistan’s first indigenous satellite, Badr-A, in 1990 from Xichang Launch Center in Sichuan. The operation of this satellite gave Pakistani scientists practical understanding of telemetry, orbital patterns, surveillance, and Chinese launch platforms.

The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), headquartered in Beijing, was established in 2005 to improve Chinese multilateral space collaboration. APSCO members include Bangladesh, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, and Thailand. International technical cooperation enables Beijing to encourage interoperability with Chinese rocket technology and obtain a greater share of the international commercial launch market.

Achievements in civilian space programs can have great relevance to military projects. Civilian and military rockets utilize similar propulsion, positioning, and control technologies. Space cooperation can therefore serve dual purposes, and support Chinese strategic as well as commercial aims in placing Chinese assistance at the heart of rocket programs of potential allies.

Chinese Strategic Developments: A core aim of Chinese strategic planning is to improve its utilization of space-borne assets. Chinese Air Force Commander General Xu Qilang commented in November 2009 that “as far as the revolution in military affairs is concerned, the competition between military forces is moving towards outer space…this is a historical inevitability and cannot be turned back”.

China’s determination to hold the option of denying the use of space-based capabilities to other states was illuminated in its successful test of an anti-satellite weapon in January 2007, eliminating an old Chinese weather satellite. Building upon this experience, Beijing conducted its first ballistic missile defense (BMD) test on 11 January 2010.

China is developing a geospatial positioning Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS), equivalent to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems. This will further improve military targeting and location abilities, while offering civilians a satellite positioning service that heralds Chinese technical acumen. Beijing also seeks to launch a manned space lab by 2020.

Indian Capabilities: New Delhi shares the recognition by Beijing of the importance of a wide range of space capabilities as an indispensable element of a robust defense. India’s ‘Phase 1′ BMD system incorporates the Prithvi Air Defense missile for high-altitude elimination of adversary missiles, and an Advanced Air Defense system for low-altitude interception. Supportive radar technology for this system has been sourced from Israel.

This system has been successfully tested and is moving toward active service. An improved ‘PDV’ interceptor is in development to replace the Prithvi Air Defense missile. The ‘Phase 1′ system is designed to target missiles with a maximum range of 2,000km, such as the Pakistani Shaheen-2 and Ghauri missiles. A ‘Phase 2′ system is planned for missiles with a range greater than 2,000km, implicitly those of Chinese origin.
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American Leverage: The Indian Space Research Organisation is working with NASA on lunar exploration tasks. Indian diplomats are seeking for Washington to lift remaining restrictions ......

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Counterpunch Op Ed by Yasmin Qureshi on "Militarization of India":

India is today the world's largest importer of arms. These include fighter jet planes, missiles and radar systems for strategic partnerships and geo-political power. India is also investing in security and surveillance to combat foreign threats and resistance from its own people in places like the Kashmir valley, and the North East and tribal regions of Central India. This provides tremendous opportunity for multi-national corporations to sell and invest in India, a country marching ahead as an economic and military power.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) March 14, 2011 revealed that India received 9 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006–10. The international consultancy firm KPMG estimates that India will sign military contracts worth $112 billion by 2016.

This year India increased annual defense spending by about 11.6 percent to $36 billion in order to modernize the armed forces to counter the military inflation and strategic threats posed by China's rapidly expanding military capabilities..

In sharp contrast, allocation for agri culture and allied activities was reduced by 2 percent and allocation of non-plan expenditures on all social services declined by 14 percent from approximately $7.8 billion in 2009-10 to $6.6 billion for 2010-11. The World Bank estimates that 80% of India's population lives on less than $2 a day, comparable to sub-Saharan Africa.

Corporate Diplomacy to Secure Arms Deals

With assistance from their governments, arms corporations in countries such as Russia, US, France, Britain, Sweden and Israel are competing to procure million and billion dollar deals with India.

Last year India saw an unprecedented series of diplomatic visits from head of states of nuclear and defense powers. Notably chief executives of major nuclear and defense corporations had escorted the head of states on their visits. British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to India in July was followed by US President Obama's in November and by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's in December.

A $779 million contract was signed for 57 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers for the Indian military during Cameron's visit. Engine maker Rolls-Royce clinched a $280 million deal to supply engines for the jet trainers for the Indian air force and navy. Seven agreements in key areas such as defense, space and nuclear energy were signed during Sarkozy's visit.

US President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's visits in 2010 were also about strengthening economic and strategic partnerships. Twenty deals totaling nearly $10 billion dollars in U.S. exports were signed during the President's visit. Following that visit, the US reformed its export control regime and removed key Indian defense and civil space entities from U.S. restricted lists to help boost high technology exports and allow for enhanced defense and space cooperation with India.

The close nexus of corporations and governments is evident from the resignation of Timothy J. Roemer as US Ambassador to India on April 28, 2011, soon after the announcement that two US corporations, Boeing and Lockheed Martin had lost the race for procuring a $10 billion contract to supply 126 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force. The US is still hopeful a four billion dollar sale of C17 aircraft will be finalized soon. French company Dassault's Rafale and the Typhoon from the Eurofighter consortium (representing Germany and Spain, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica) have been shortlisted.

Riaz Haq said...

India and Pakistan have added 20-30 nuclear warheads in their arsenal in the past one year, a global think tank said on Tuesday, according to Times of India:

In its latest yearbook, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the neighbours are continuing to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

In 2010, the Indian nuclear arsenal had 60-80 nukes but they have increased to 80-110 warheads. On the same pattern, the Pakistani side also increased its warheads from 70-90 to 90-110 warheads in the same period, SIPRI said in a release.

"India and Pakistan continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes," it said.

India, Pakistan and six other countries -- the US, the UK, Russia, France, China and Israel -- possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons, a drop of more than 2000 since 2009.

More than 5000 of these weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert.

India carried out its first nuclear test in 1974 in Pokhran and followed up again in 1998 at the same place. Soon after the 1998 tests, India declared a 'no-first use' policy of nuclear weapons and has been developing a credible nuclear response capability in view of it.

It has already developed a triad of nuclear delivery systems with the development of land, sea and air-based weapon systems.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pak-added-20-30-nuclear-warheads-in-past-one-year-Report/articleshow/8765499.cms

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.


http://dunyanews.tv/index.php?key=Q2F0SUQ9MiNOaWQ9MzA1NDc=

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.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/22469-pak-astronaut-aboard-chinese-spacecraft-our-natural-aspiration-masood-khan-.html

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.


http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1108/11longmarch/

Riaz Haq said...

AFP Report on Pak cruise missile test:

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said it had successfully test-fired a stealth cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads on Friday.

The military said the "Hatf VII" missile had a range of 700 kilometres (438 miles) and was a "low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pin-point accuracy and radar avoidance features".

Capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the military said the special feature of Friday's launch was the validation of a new multi-tube missile launch vehicle (MLV).

"The three tube MLV enhances manifold (times) the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes," the military said.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars -- two over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.

The neighbours were on the brink of a nuclear conflict in 2002 over tensions about Kashmir, but a slow-moving peace process resumed in March following suspension after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iDTKnWb7cUXOHKdbzhc6iwKd19HQ?docId=CNG.78bd1932c8482f7cb8afcbc7455003ec.291

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Paul Leventhal, Nuclear Control Institute, about US's secret help that led to India's 1974 nuclear test, with the US being a proliferator:

So CIRUS holds a very special place in nonproliferation history and the development of US nonproliferation policy. This needs to be understood if we are to do the right thing in working out a new nuclear relationship with India.

My own personal involvement in this history and policy began with a telephone call I received 31 years ago on a May morning in 1974 when I was a young staffer on the U.S. Senate Government Operations Committee. It was from a Congressional liaison officer of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission who said he was calling to inform me that India had just conducted a nuclear test and to assure me that "the United States had absolutely nothing to do with it."

At that time, I was working on legislation to reorganize the AEC into separate regulatory and promotional agencies. I had begun investigating the weapons potential of nuclear materials being used in the U.S. Atoms for Peace program, both at home and abroad. The official wanted me to know there was no need to consider remedial legislation on nuclear exports because the plutonium used in India's test came not from the safeguarded nuclear power plant at Tarapur, supplied by the United States, but from the unsafeguarded Cirus research reactor near Bombay, supplied by Canada. "This is a Canadian problem, not ours," he said.

It took me two years to discover that the information provided me that day was false. The United States, in fact, had supplied the essential heavy-water component that made the Cirus reactor operable, but decided to cover up the American supplier role and let Canada "take the fall" for the Indian test. Canada promptly cut off nuclear exports to India, but the United States did not.

In 1976, when the Senate committee uncovered the U.S. heavy-water export to India and confronted the State Department on it, the government's response was another falsehood: the heavy water supplied by the U.S., it said, had leaked from the reactor at a rate of 10% a year, and had totally depleted over 10 years by the time India produced the plutonium for its test.

But the committee learned from Canada that the actual heavy-water loss rate at Cirus was less than 1% a year, and we learned from junior-high-school arithmetic that even a 10%- a-year loss rate doesn't equal 100% after 10 years. Actually, more than 90% of the original U.S. heavy water was still in the Cirus reactor after 10 years, even if it took India a decade to produce the test plutonium---itself a highly fanciful notion.

We also learned that the reprocessing plant where India had extracted the plutonium from Cirus spent fuel, described as "indigenous" in official U.S. and Indian documents, in fact had been supplied by an elaborate and secret consortium of U.S. and European companies.

Faced with this blatant example of the Executive Branch taking Congress for the fool, the Senate committee drafted and Congress eventually enacted the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history.


http://www.nci.org/06nci/04/CIRUS%20Reactors%20Role%20in%20a%20US-India%20Nuclear.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's the link to a 1992 article titled "India's Silent Bomb" by David Albright published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which clearly says that the plutonium for India's first bomb in 1974 came from Canada's CIRUS reactor:

http://books.google.com/books?id=pAwAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=bulletin+of+atomic+scientists+india+cirus+plutonium+bomb&source=bl&ots=CVWMVa6_sP&sig=JQL6YRCza7VZpmg6mGuLlRGQl4g&hl=en&ei=4K2-Ts_SAYqfiQK-ifGsAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Then there's another quote from Paul Leventhal, Nuclear Control Institute, about US's secret help that led to India's 1974 nuclear test, with the US being a proliferator:

"We also learned that the reprocessing plant where India had extracted the plutonium from Cirus spent fuel, described as "indigenous" in official U.S. and Indian documents, in fact had been supplied by an elaborate and secret consortium of U.S. and European companies.

Faced with this blatant example of the Executive Branch taking Congress for the fool, the Senate committee drafted and Congress eventually enacted the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history."

http://www.nci.org/06nci/04/CIRUS%20Reactors%20Role%20in%20a%20US-India%20Nuclear.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Whys is India not a scientific power, asks an Op Ed in The Hindu:

.....It is the robustness of scientific research and innovation that sets apart great powers from the mediocre ones.

We have good scientists, but why has India not produced outstanding scientists who make path-breaking discoveries that will make the world sit up and take notice? Should we continue to be satisfied with tweaking borrowed technologies? Is reverse engineering an innovative phenomenon?

All debates about scientific research inevitably end up zeroing in on the deficiencies of our educational system as the root cause of the abysmal record in scientific research. This is only part of the story.

A nation's culture — belief systems, values, attitudes — plays a significant role in determining the quality of scientific research. The Oriental attitudes differ from the Occidental values in many respects. Asian societies are basically collectivist, that is, the collective good of society ranks higher than individual happiness and achievements. People do not ask what they can do for their country; they are always asking what the country will do for them. They look up to the state for guidance, leadership and direction. There is no burning individual ambition to excel and achieve something new.

In the West, individuals try to achieve their potential through their own efforts, aided and facilitated by enabling laws and institutions. Self-reliance is the key objective of life. An independent life requires a free and questioning mindset that takes nothing for granted and constantly challenges conventional wisdom. Children are encouraged to push the frontiers of knowledge by self-examination and open-minded enquiry. It is only a sceptical and dissenting mind that often thinks out of the box to explore new vistas of knowledge.

Collectivism promotes conformism and deference to authority whether it is parents, elders, teachers or the government. It is heresy to question established values and customs.

We pass on our passivity and uncritical attitudes to our children. No wonder, the educational system encourages rote learning and unquestioning acceptance of what is taught in the classrooms and stated in the textbooks. How can we expect our children to suddenly develop an enquiring and inquisitive attitude when they have been brought up in a milieu that discourages ‘disruptive' thoughts?

India and China were once advanced nations before foreign rule drained their resources and sapped their willpower and scientific traditions. Cultures tend to become conservative and defensive when subjected to long spells of colonial exploitation.

Indians are great believers in destiny. But our tradition does not frown upon free will and individual excellence. We must realise that our ability for free action remains unhampered despite what destiny may hold in store for us.
Fear of failure

Another flaw in our culture that prevents individual excellence is the fear of failure. The stigma associated with failure makes our children risk-averse while choosing their courses and careers.

Scientific research is a long-drawn war on received wisdom that requires many battles before it can be won. Science was not built in a day. Some of the battles can end in defeat. In the West, they celebrate failure as a stepping stone to success.

Educational reforms must be preceded by mental deconditioning of parents, teachers, educationists and policymakers — throwing away the cobwebs of uncritical submissiveness to conventional knowledge. Let us bring up a generation that will not hesitate to ask inconvenient questions. This generation will be the torch-bearer of a scientific revolution that will unleash cutting-edge research to make the Nobel Prize committee sit up and take notice....


http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article2704625.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Russian analyst Anatol Karlin on India's prospects and its comparison with China:

It is not a secret to longtime readers of this blog that I rate India’s prospects far more pessimistically than I do China’s. My main reason is I do not share the delusion that democracy is a panacea and that whatever advantage in this sphere India has is more than outweighed by China’s lead in any number of other areas ranging from infrastructure and fiscal sustainability to child malnutrition and corruption. However, one of the biggest and certainly most critical gaps is in educational attainment, which is the most important component of human capital – the key factor underlying all productivity increases and longterm economic growth. China’s literacy rate is 96%, whereas Indian literacy is still far from universal at just 74%.
-----------
The big problem, until recently, was that there was no internationalized student testing data for either China or India. (There was data for cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai, but it was not very useful because they are hardly representative of China). An alternative approach was to compare national IQ’s, in which China usually scored 100-105 and India scored in the low 80′s. But this method has methodological flaws because the IQ tests aren’t consistent across countries. (This, incidentally, also makes this approach a punching bag for PC enforcers who can’t bear to entertain the possibility of differing IQ’s across national and ethnic groups).
--------------
Many Indians like to see themselves as equal competitors to China, and are encouraged in their endeavour by gushing Western editorials and Tom Friedman drones who praise their few islands of programming prowess – in reality, much of which is actually pretty low-level stuff – and widespread knowledge of the English language (which makes India a good destination for call centers but not much else), while ignoring the various aspects of Indian life – the caste system, malnutrition, stupendously bad schools – that are holding them back. The low quality of Indians human capital reveals the “demographic dividend” that India is supposed to enjoy in the coming decades as the wild fantasies of what Sailer rightly calls ”Davos Man craziness at its craziest.” A large cohort of young people is worse than useless when most of them are functionally illiterate and innumerate; instead of fostering well-compensated jobs that drive productivity forwards, they will form reservoirs of poverty and potential instability.

Instead of buying into their own rhetoric of a “India shining”, Indians would be better served by focusing on the nitty gritty of bringing childhood malnutrition DOWN to Sub-Saharan African levels, achieving the life expectancy of late Maoist China, and moving up at least to the level of a Mexico or Moldova in numeracy and science skills. Because as long as India’s human capital remains at the bottom of the global league tables so will the prosperity of its citizens....


http://www.sublimeoblivion.com/2012/02/04/china-superior-to-india/

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.--------------


http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/ColumnsOthers/Assembled-in-India/Article1-834008.aspx

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.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/12-Apr-2012/pakistan-loading-up-n-weapons-report

http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Publications/modernization/assuring-destruction-forever.pdf

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.


http://www.defensenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012306170005

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Michael Krepon in armscontrolwonk.com 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.


http://krepon.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/3498/the-next-civ-nuke-deal

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Nuclear Book on "non-strategic" nuclear weapons possessed by Pakistan:

In this Nuclear Notebook, the authors write about nonstrategic nuclear weapons—starting with the difficulty of finding a universal definition for them. Although the United States and Russia have reduced their nonstrategic stockpiles, significant inventories remain. And other nuclear weapons states appear to have nonstrategic nuclear weapons as well. Today, at least five of the world’s nine nuclear weapons states have, or are developing, what appears to meet the definition of a nonstrategic nuclear weapon: Russia, the United States, France, Pakistan, and China. The authors present information on the weapons at each of these arsenals.
-----------
Like France, Pakistan characterizes all its nuclear weapons as strategic. However, Pakistan is developing a new short-range rocket with nuclear capability that certainly would be characterized as a nonstrategic nuclear weapon if it belonged to Russia or the United States. Moreover, even the Pakistani statements about the weapon clearly place it in a different category.

The new weapon, the Nasr, is a 60-kilometer ballistic missile launched from a mobile twin-canister launcher. Following its first test launch in April 2011, the Pakistani military news organization, Inter Services Public Relations, described the Nasr as carrying a nuclear warhead “of appropriate yield with high accuracy,” with “shoot and scoot attributes” that was developed as a “quick response system” to “add deterrence value” to Pakistan’s strategic weapons development program “at shorter ranges” in order “to deter evolving threats” (Inter Services Public Relations, 2011).

This language, which has been repeated after subsequent Nasr tests, strongly indicates a weapon with a new mission that resembles nonstrategic nuclear weapons.


http://bos.sagepub.com/content/68/5/96.full

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.

thanks

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.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indias-arms-imports-almost-three-times-of-China-Pak-SIPRI-report/articleshow/32190097.cms

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.
Raghotthamacharya