As Part of CPEC, ‘Chinese Only’ Colony Coming Up In Pakistan


China is building a city for 5,00,000 Chinese nationals at a cost of $150 million in Gwadar

China is building a city for 5,00,000 Chinese nationals at a cost of $150 million in Gwadar as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This will be the first such Chinese city in South Asia. 

Half-a-million Chinese citizens, who will be housed in this proposed city by 2022, will be workforce for the financial district that Beijing is planning to set up in the Pakistani port city of Gwadar. Only Chinese citizens will live in this gated zone, which basically means that Pakistan will be used as a colony of China.

ET has learnt that the China-Pak Investment Corporation bought the 3.6-million square foot International Port City and will build a $150-million gated community for the anticipated 5,00,000 Chinese professionals who will be located by 2022 and work in its proposed new financial district in Gwadar.

China has such complexes or sub-city for its nationals who are part of the workforce for projects in Africa and Central Asia. There are allegations that Chinese have also moved to acquire territory in eastern Russia and northern part of Myanmar, and such exclusive zones for Chinese citizens are also giving rise to considerable local resentment.

Beijing has invested in Pakistan’s pipelines, railways, highways, power plants, industrial areas and mobile networks to advance the geographical mid-way link for BRI.

In return, Chinese inland manufacturing cities have secured better links to shipping lanes and newly made free trade zones through railways, port renovation and block-chain technology.

Of the 39 proposed CPEC projects, 19 are either already completed or underway, with China spending over $18.5 billion since 2015.

India to Induct Most Advanced Nuclear-Tipped ICBM In December


The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is expected to officially induct its most advanced nuclear-capable intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM), the Agni-V, in December, according to local media reports.

The Agni-V, a three-stage ICBM officially designated by the MoD as an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), is expected to undergo one more pre-induction test in the fall. The missile was last test fired from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range on Abdul Kalam island in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of the eastern Indian state of Odisha in June.

It was reportedly the sixth successful test of the Agni-V ICBM. Previous tests occurred in January 2018, December 2016, January 2015, September 2013, and April 2012. Whereas, the June and January as well as the January 2015 tests involved Agni-V ICBMs in deliverable configuration launched from sealed canisters, other missile tests had the Agni-V in ‘open configuration.’

An operational deployment of the Agni-V ICBM–designed to provide India with a second-strike capability–would require at least two additional test launches (user trials) by India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC). Development of the Agni-V kicked off in 2008. The missile features indigenously designed navigation and guidance systems including a ring laser gyroscope based inertial navigation system.

As I noted previously:

The Agni-V, a three-stage solid fuelled missile, has an approximate range of 5,500-5,800 kilometres [the exact range remains classified, but it is assumed that the missile has a range of 6,000-7,500 kilometres], and can carry a 1,500-kilogram (3,300-pound) nuclear warhead. India has reportedly also been working on multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV) for the Agni-V in order to ensure a credible second-strike capability.

Furthermore, I wrote:

While previous nuclear-capable missiles of the series (Agni-I, Agni-II, and Agni-III) were developed to offset Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the Agni-IV, [and] Agni-V (…) given their longer ranges, are designed to provide a credible nuclear deterrent against China.

India’s Defense Research and Development Organization has also been working on a next-generation ICBM, the Agni-VI, a four-stage ICBM with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) and maneuverable reentry vehicle (MaRV) capability with an estimated range of over 10,000 kilometers. As I further explained elsewhere in these pages:

Both the Agni-V and Agni-VI will feature increased accuracy and a reduced launch time, which, paired with India’s burgeoning MaRV and MIRV capability, can have a destabilizing effect on the overall strategic balance in the region.

Notably, India has a No First Use (NFU) policy for nuclear weapon and keeps its nuclear warheads de-mated from the actual missiles.

CSIO develops tech for Tejas’ air-to-air refuelling at night


The Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) laboratory has developed drogue illumination system for light combat aircraft Tejas, making India third in the world after the US and France to have this technology. This will enable airto-air refuelling, which is not possible during night/cloudy skies for fighter aircraft. The system is expected to be ready by year-end. Also, the indigenous lighting system will be one fifth of the cost available with offshore vendors and have greater illumination even than Rafael.

The Rs 2.51 crore project is funded by Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore. The illumination system is fitted outside the cockpit. Presently, the illumination system is undergoing rigorous certification tests by the ‘Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness’, an agency under the IAF.

Usually in fighter aircraft, which carry ammunitions, the external fuel tank is removed to adjust weapons and therefore there is shortage of fuel after 45 minutes of flight time. “However, none of the fighter aircraft in our country has illumination system for night. A pilot cannot land during a military operation and therefore lighting system is significant,” said Harry Garg, a scientist at the CSIO associated with the project. He said, “We have been informed by the IAF that only France and US have drogue illumination systems.”

The drogue light is an external lighting equipment to provide illumination of mother aircraft/tanker (the heavy aircraft that is ahead of the receiver aircraft which needs the refuelling) during air-to-air refuelling at night or low visibility conditions.

During the flight, at high altitudes there is low pressure and lot of drag force that results in vibration. This makes it tough for air refuelling as the system needs to be stabilised during the flight. For correct alignment of the receiver aircraft, the drogue needs illumination. “We have made the system using 5 LEDs, reducing the consumption from 1100 watts t0 200watts. Due to our optical design, we have been able to provide light intensity of 12 LUX, which is the highest as compared to the systems provided in the aircraft by France and the US,” said RK Sinha, director, CSIO. What is drogue?

For air-to-air refuelling, there is a technician inside the tailend of the tanker aircraft (mother aircraft) who unspools a long hose from that side. At the end of the hose is a drogue, that looks like an umbrella and reduces the drag force that vibrates the plane. Once the hose is fully extended, the receiver pilot manoeuvres a retractable probe mounted on the plane’s nose into the drogue. Both the drogue and probe is used for airto-air refuelling.

“As the circumference of the drogue is 40 metres, the pilot of the receiver aircraft cannot see anything and therefore cannot manoeuvre the probe during refuelling during low visibility conditions. So, we have designed the system is such a way that both the technician who refuels and the pilot in the receiver aircraft can see the drogue and the probe getting attached for refuelling,” said Harry Garg, a scientist at the CSIO associated with the project.

 

 

 

Source:-TNN

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CPEC Chimera: Pakistan, China’s Hip Pocket?


Border between China and Pakistan

The significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, has been visualised in terms of the socio-economic development not only of Pakistan rather for the entire region as well.

Primarily, it is conceived as the developmental project focusing on regional connectivity though the highways, railways, pipelines etc. to sort out the energy deficiency and lack of infrastructure of Pakistan and for China, the materialization of its ambitious project of regional connectivity. The enhancement of trade & commerce, peace & development, human resource development, livelihood opportunities along with the ensuring stability and security of the region, are the main focus of the CPEC. Thus, it has been taken as game and fate changers, which could transform Pakistan into a developed economy. The irony is that CPEC is entrapping Pakistan into financial crisis and making it China’s hip-pocket.

CPEC And Pakistan Economy’s Promising Future?

The political and military leadership of Pakistan are holding views that the CPEC would bring the promising future for its economy. The CPEC is the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping as a part of ambitious project under the umbrella of regional connectivity design -the One Belt, One Road (OBOR). The project has been reciprocated very positively by the Pakistan’s ruling civilian and military leadership in speculation of sea of opportunities in terms of economic, security and political offered by the CPEC.

The project is networks of port, pipelines, highways, railways etc. Eventually, it would be helpful in increasing trade and fulfilling energy demand by connecting the Chinese city of Kashgar to the Indian Ocean through the Pakistani port of Gwadar. Corollary, it is anticipated that the proposed project would give a push to the development of infrastructures and growth of economy with the help of FDI ($46 billion) committed on part of China. Now, the same has reached to the value of $ 62 billion.

The Pakistani politicians particularly from the ruling party including media have been calling the CPEC investments as “game and fate changer” for the region. Moody’s Investors Service has called this project as a “credit positive” for Pakistan. While speaking on the 140th birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Peshawar) Pakistani President Mamnoon has projected CPEC as a lifeline for the Pakistan economy. At the same time, he warned the people of Pakistan are to be aware of the internal and external propaganda against the multibillion-dollars project CPEC.

The scholars like Ahmad and Mi (2017) have argued that this project would bring the real economic prosperity for Pakistan. They were also of the conviction that rather it would facilitate in creating a promising future not only for the Pakistan, rather for the entire region as well. In All Parties Meeting (APM) convened (201 May 2015) by the PM had supported the CPEC and the commitment on part of Chinese leadership was taken as a welcome step. The CPEC will improve Pakistan’s current economy as well as the lives of nearly three billion people cutting across the boundaries.

Riaz Ahmad (2018) in his opinion, “CPEC & its Importance”, has dreamt of Pakistani economy that it is likely to emerge as one of the best Asian economies. The World Bank has also predicted that Pakistan’s economic growth will grow at the 5.4% given the increased inflow of foreign investment from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The project has been envisioned as the corridor of development, peace, and prosperity. The project has a lot of potentials to provide a promising future by boosting trade and investment, three to four-time profit out of investment, the creation of new business and job opportunities and elimination of poverty. It has positive impacts on infrastructure, the energy requirements, workforce development and economic progress.

CPEC: Variegated Dilemma

CPEC has received a mixed response- positive and negative. Politically too, this project has taken as both positive and negative. While addressing (August 4, 2016) the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Parliamentary Meeting in Islamabad, PM Sharif called the CPEC a major gift from China. The importance of CPEC for Pakistan could be highlighted by PM Nawaz Sharif’s statement, which believed that the project is going to make Pakistan as, “a regional manufacturing hub and a lucrative market for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”

From the negative side, the CPEC has not going well with the Pakistani businessmen. This can be substantiated by an argument of a businessman (head of a large investment company), who is highly critical of the project, “We have to be careful if we don’t want this [CPEC] to turn into a repeat of the East India Company”. The same views have been echoed by Senator Tahir Mashahdi (Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development) who said, “Another East India Company is in the offing; … but the interests of the state should come first.” One another senator Saeedul Hassan also alleged that, “… will this [project] be a national development or a national calamity? Whatever loans taken from China will have to be paid by the poor people of Pakistan.”

The CPEC has become a bone of contention and controversy among the Federal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Baluchistan governments. However, these allegations and apprehensions were encountered by the Pakistani Planning Ministry spokesman as baseless and unfair fears.

The major cause of concerns and controversies are due to transparency lack in terms of terms, conditions, and financial details related to CPEC. The State Bank of Pakistan Governor, in an interview with Reuters has said that, “I don’t know out of the $46 billion [in CPEC deals] how much is debt, how much is in equity, and how much is in kind. CPEC needs to be more transparent.” In the backdrop of exponentially increasing Chinese FDI, the IMF Chief Christine Lagarde has also cautioned Pakistan about the potentially unfavourable economic fallout.

Chinese Loan: Pakistan-A Hip Pocket

About $50 billion has been committed on part of China to complete the CPEC project by 2030. About $35 bn for energy projects and $15 bn for mass transit schemes, Gwadar development, industrial zones, and infrastructure. Although the energy projects are planned to be competed by 2020 but seems that the same is not going to be competed before 2023 given the bureaucratic hurdles. On the other hand, the infrastructure projects ($10 bn) like highways, roads, airport and port development are anticipated to be concluded by 2025, while the remaining projects ($ 5bn) by 2025-30.

Pakistan debt has been increased many folds and it is anticipated that it would reach to US$ 90 billion in 2019. China has become the largest lender to Pakistan. Out of this debt, about $19 bn including $ 14 bn ( about 1/5 of its total debt) is owed only to China. This inflating amount of debt is seriously abating the Pakistan’s ability to pay the same. Moreover, it is anticipated that the debt would be reaching to the 70 percent of the total size of the GDP during the ongoing fiscal year despite setting the limit of the same at 60 percent of the GDP by the Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, (FRDLA) 2005.

It becomes important to know the health of the Pakistan economy. Some of the commentaries have argued that the health of Pakistan economy has remained comparatively in a better position under the military rule rather than under the civilian political setup. Can the Pakistan watchers may anticipate the health of economy likely to become bad to worse under the stewardship of PM Imran Khan? Generally, it is presumed that the public debt may be the result of the bad governance and there is probability of so in Pakistan given the formation of coalition government as experienced in a number of countries. The external debt had already reached to 70% of the total GDP.

The new government under the stewardship of Imran is going to inherit faltering economy, huge trade deficit, massive foreign debit, currency crisis, low forex, plunging stock market and the balance of payment. Pakistan has also been plagued by the widespread corruption, lack of law enforcement and lack of education, health, water, electricity facilities etc. Fissiparous tendencies have become one of the major security challenges.

The health of the economy is at the lowest ebb. The growth rate has been remain averaged at 4.91 percent between 1952 to 2016. It was reached at the highest and lowest rate (10.22 and 1.80 percent), in 1954 and 1952 respectively. It is facing a high rate of fiscal and current-account deficits, inflation, and poor performance of macroeconomic indicators. The external debt along with liabilities has reached the highest rate of the GDP. Shahid K. K. (2018, July 15) has argued long with other major economies, Pakistan has also been suffering from the same, which is currently standing at 70.7 %.

Chief Executive Officer (Zubair Ghulam Hussain) of the Insight Securities Pvt. (Karachi) has remarked over the currency volatility, “The nation’s current-account deficit had become sizable and foreign debt repayment obligations were also rising.” Pakistan’s Central Bank has devalued its currency three times since December 2017, particularly in the backdrop of worsening and faltering economy. In the background of failures in terms of foreign, defense and economic policies, Rehman Malik has remarked that the Pakistan economy is on the ventilator. In this context, how Pakistan would be able to pay its loan to China when its economy and forex are not suffice to meet its two months imports?

Options To Bailout From Crisis?

In this scenario, what are the options left for Pakistan and what it should learn from the Sri Lankan experience in respect of the developmental project undertaken by China. Sri Lanka had taken billions of dollars in loans from China for developmental projects (Hambantota-port and airport) without bothering the unpropitious economic fallouts. Ultimately, failing to pay the loan, Sri Lanka had to handover Hambantota and airport to China for 99 years.

Along with the faltering economy, the external dynamics are also not in favour of Pakistan. The relations with the US are at the lowest ebb. The US military and economic assistance to Pakistan have partly been suspended. Moreover, it has been put in the grey list due to money laundering and financing terrorism by the international watchdog FATF. It would likely to create several financial challenges in terms of borrowing loans for Pakistan.

Given the off-keel relations with the US, the IMF option is becoming little unrealizable. In this situation, only China and Saudi Arabia are left viable options to bailout Pakistan from this critical time? In the situation of “Only China Option”, would Pakistan be able to protect per se in turning it into “East India Company” as alleged by some people and politician of the country. There is no hope on part the US and even cautioned the IMF to give loan to Pakistan to pay off the Chinese lenders.

How To Come Out of This Quagmire, Is A Major Challenge For Pakistan?

The new government has to puts its own economic system in order, with sound and pragmatic economic policies. It needs to make its own economy strong by putting pragmatic policies in place along with austerity by following the principle of cutting its sheet according to cloth. More and more loan from China likely to make Pakistan, the former’s hip pocket. When out of CPEC, the promising future was anticipated for Pakistan economy, then why every facet of its economy is moving in opposite direction? The new Pakistani government is needs to take into account all the apprehensions and suggestions given by the country’s intelligentsia, scholars and enlightened citizens.

In Potential Challenge To Army, Pakistan Seeks India Talks


Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s comments set up a potential rift with the military top brass, who were said to have supported Imran Khan because they thought he wouldn’t challenge their authority

Pak’s foreign minister called for “uninterrupted dialogue” with India. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said there is “no other option but to engage”. His comments reiterate Imran Khan’s olive branch to India last month

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he will seek talks with India and Afghanistan as part of a regional peace initiative and claimed that foreign policy would be determined by the civilian government, setting up a potential clash with the powerful military.

Qureshi, of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that formed government this month, called for an “uninterrupted dialogue” with India and said he would visit the Afghan capital Kabul to bridge trust in a tense bilateral relationship. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent a letter to Khan that also stated a desire to restart talks between the two nuclear-armed rivals. A government official in New Delhi said PM Modi had sent a general congratulatory letter and declined to comment further.

Pakistan and India “have no other option but to engage,” Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad on Monday. “I want to go to Afghanistan with the message of a new beginning,”

Qureshi’s comments reiterate Khan’s olive branch to India last month, which was greeted with skepticism across the border. Pakistan’s armed forces have for years been accused of supporting and providing sanctuary to terror groups that strike at India and Afghanistan. The army has repeatedly denied the charges, but the military has directly ruled Pakistan for almost half of its 71-year existence and it continues to assert its grip on foreign and national security policies.

In an answer to a question about military influence, Qureshi said “the foreign policy of Pakistan will be formed here at the foreign office.” Those comments set up a potential rift with the top brass, who were said to have supported Khan because they thought he wouldn’t challenge their authority.

Military Dominance

Khan and the military have repeatedly denied those charges and the 65-year-old former cricket star told Bloomberg News in early July that the army was filling a vacuum because Pakistan has “such incompetent people dealing with the government’s foreign policy.”

However, no sitting prime minister has ever completed their five-year term and analysts say the military turned against Khan’s predecessor and now jailed former premier, Nawaz Sharif, because he challenged their dominance.

Pakistan’s outreach to India stands in contrast to Khan’s previous comments on PM Modi, who he called an “anti-Muslim politician” in an interview with Bloomberg News last year. Khan said PM Modi’s handling of the 2002 riots in Gujarat — where roughly 1,000 people were killed, mostly Muslims — constitutes “a black mark on Indian society.”

Qureshi also said Pakistan would seek “straight talks” with the U.S. and that trust in the troubled relationship has to be rebuilt. This year U.S. President Donald Trump has pressured Islamabad to act against terror groups inside the country and suspended military aid. 

Washington also pushed for Pakistan’s inclusion on a global terrorism financing watch list.

Yet it’s the military that own these relationships, said Shaista Tabassum, chairwoman of international relations at the University of Karachi. “Verbally these statements look good, but how will they do it practically remains to be seen.

Army Studying Force Reorganisation And Optimisation


Army now studying force reorganisation and optimisation, flattening headquarters at different levels, cadre review and terms of engagement for officers and Jawans. Results will be discussed at the Army commanders’ conference in October. Feasibility of raising ‘special operations force brigades’ for the borders with Pakistan and China also being considered

NEW DELHI: The over 1.2 million strong Indian Army plans to launch a massive transformative exercise by early-2019 to emerge as a lean, mean, rapidly-deployable and operationally versatile force in the years ahead, grappling as it is with a ballooning revenue expenditure and pension bill that leaves little for modernisation.

Top sources say the results of four ongoing studies, all headed by senior Lt-Generals, on force reorganisation and optimisation, flattening headquarters at different levels, cadre review and terms of engagement for officers and jawans will be discussed at the Army commanders’ conference in October.

Proposal cleared for modernisation of Army’s armoured vehicles

“Army chief General Bipin Rawat will then take stock of the final consolidated and integrated plan towards end-November before it is sent to the defence ministry for clearance. If all goes well, the implementation should begin early next year,” said a source.

It remains to be seen how many of the radical measures under discussion actually translate on the ground due to institutional resistance and general politico-bureaucratic apathy. But there is no getting away from the fact that there is an urgent need to improve the Army’s poor teeth-to-tail ratio and boost its combat capabilities to ensure the force can meet future operational challenges with strategic flexibility and budgetary prudence.

Interestingly, the feasibility of raising “special operations force brigades” for the western and northern borders with Pakistan and China is also being considered under the overall plan. The other proposals range from slashing non-operational or administrative flab and downsizing the Army headquarters in Delhi to creating composite and integrated brigades, with four to five battalions each instead of the existing three, which will be commanded by Major-Generals.

The proposal for these integrated brigades ties in with the ongoing cadre review of officers, which is mulling the radical step of doing away with the rank of Brigadier or brigade commanders to ensure better career prospects and parity with the civil services as well as arrest its greying profile of commanders, as was earlier reported by TOI. 

The integrated brigades will be larger combat forces, with all arms and services under them, and will report directly to the corps headquarters. This will eliminate the need to have divisional headquarters, each of which controls three brigades at present, in the middle.

The Army currently has six operational or regional commands, which have 14 corps and 49 divisions under them, and one training command. “Some divisional HQs, especially under the four strike corps (1 Corps at Mathura, 2 Corps at Ambala, 21 Corps at Bhopal and the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps) may have to be retained but most can be done away with,” said a source. 

Similarly, with the same intention to ensure more officers are available for postings to frontline operational units rather than being deployed for staff duties, a drastic downsizing of the Army HQ at New Delhi is also on the cards.

“The Army HQ has become unwieldy. It’s being examined which branches or directorates can be merged, and the ones that can be closed down or relocated out of Delhi. There is lot of overlap and duplicity in the charter of directorates/branches as of now,” said another source.

“The two directorates for procurement, Perspective Planning and Weapons & Equipment, for instance, can be brought under a single authority. The aim is to improve functional efficiency and usher in faster decision-making in the hierarchy,” he added.

All these measures, it is felt, will transform the Indian Army into an agile and efficient war-fighting machinery, with formations that can rapidly deploy from one front to the other. China, incidentally, has re-organised its 2.2-million People’s Liberation Army into five theatre commands to crank up its offensive capabilities as well as establish better command-and-control structures. Its Western Theatre Command now handles the entire 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with India, instead of the earlier Chengdu Military Region in the east and the Lanzhou Military Region towards the north.

Hardliners Upset As Imran Khan Skips Kashmir In His Address After Becoming Pak PM


Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain (R) administers the oath to Imran Khan (L) as Prime Minister of Pakistan in Islamabad, Pakistan. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan here on Saturday morning

Abdul Basit, a former High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi, tweeted that he was “saddened” that the PM didn’t express solidarity with Kashmiris

The newly installed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan skipping any reference to Kashmir in his maiden address to the nation after taking over reins of the country has upset the hardliners in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in Pakistan.

Imran Khan after being sworn in as Prime Minister on Saturday in his address to the nation did not touch the Kashmir issue and confined himself to the internal situation and worsening economic scenario of Pakistan.

Irked over the issue, Abdul Basit, a former High Commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi, was the first to react by tweeting that he was “saddened” that the PM didn’t express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Many among Basit’s followers on his Twitter account were quick to snub him for raking up the Kashmir issue in his every tweet and regretted that he never talked about real issues like water, energy, health, education and terrorism.

Basit during his stint in New Delhi repeatedly made controversial statements about Kashmir and was in regular touch with the anti-India Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani. His reaction to Imran Khan’s address is being seen as the viewpoint of the hardliners in Pakistan.

During an earlier address after winning the elections, Imran Khan had last week expressed “solidarity” with Kashmiris but in his speech after becoming PM, he said that Pakistan was desirous of peace with its neighbouring countries as only peace was the key to development and prosperity.

The valley-based separatists had relished the earlier speech of Imran Khan but were apparently disappointed now as his address as PM was virtually the official policy of the new government.

Separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said while extending his best wishes to Imran Khan, “hope that Mr Khan is instrumental in the resolution of our long-standing dispute & peace in the subcontinent”.

Keeping in view Pakistan’s continued hostility, residents of the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir are taking the peace slogan of Imran Khan with a pinch of salt unless he takes some concrete steps to check frequent unprovoked shelling in civilian areas by the Pakistan troops and their active support to terrorists to infiltrate into India.

The border residents recall the 10 years between 2003 and 2013 as the golden period during which not a single gunfire was exchanged on the international border and the Line of Control (LoC). The NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the UPA government led by Manmohan Singh ruled the country during the period.

Indian Scientists Solve Major Glitch in Homegrown Anti-Tank Nag Missile


Indian defense scientists have finally solved a problem that had been delaying the induction of the locally-developed Nag missile, dubbed as one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world, into the country’s armed forces.

On Sunday, the Indian Defense Ministry said that the HELINA (helicopter launched Nag) missile was successfully flight tested from an army helicopter in Pokhran. The weapon system was tested for its full range of seven kilometers.

The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode. It is one of the most advanced Anti-Tank Weapons in the world,” a Defense Ministry statement reads.

The country-made IIR provides day and night operational capabilities against low silhouette tanks, both static and fast moving. This was the first trial of the HELINA using an upgraded 640x512px focal plane array IIR that helped directly hit the target’s heat signature. Earlier, it had a problem locking onto the heat signature of a tank target in very hot conditions as the target’s heat signature merged into its surroundings.

The anti-tank guided missile can be launched from both land and air-based platforms. The strike range of the land variant and air version of the missile is up to 4 km and up to 7 km, respectively.

The DRDO has been working on the Nag missile since 2009, spending approximately $47 million on its development.

 

 

 

 

Source:- Sputnik News
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North and South Korea to shut down some border guard posts: Seoul

North and South Korea have agreed to close some guard posts along their border on a trial basis, Seoul’s defence minister told parliament Tuesday amid a rapid diplomatic thaw.

The Demilitarized Zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953 is, despite its name, one of the most fortified places on earth, with the areas on either side of it bristling with minefields and barbed-wire fences.

Song Young-moo said the South would withdraw around 10 guard posts as part of confidence-building measures following the landmark summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in in April.

“What it means is that we will first withdraw one or two guard posts and gradually expand it,” Song told lawmakers, adding the North would take reciprocal measures.

“The North and South agreed to withdraw guard posts that are closest to each other,” he added.

“The closest is about 700 metres away and we will begin withdrawing guard posts that are within one kilometre.” A defence ministry official told AFP the issue was still being discussed and declined to clarify whether the posts would be physically removed.

The 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war.

The DMZ, designated as a buffer zone, bisects the Korean peninsula and is about four kilometres wide. It includes a Joint Security Area around the truce village of Panmunjom, where negotiations take place.

Russia may start S-400 missiles supplies to India in 2020


Russia may start shipping its S-400 air defense missile system to India in 2020, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said Monday.”If we sign a contract with India by the end of the year, I think we can indeed expect deliveries in 2020,” Shugaev was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reached an agreement on the supplies of S-400 at talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2016.

According to earlier reports, the value of the deal was estimated at around six billion U.S. dollars.

However, Shugayev said that Moscow is selling the system at a discount because India is considered Russia’s strategic partner.

The official conclusion of the deal is expected to take place in October, ahead or at the 19th Russian-Indian summit.

Shugayev said that Russia and India had prepared everything necessary for signing the deal.

The S-400 air defense missile system is considered the most advanced of its kind in Russia, capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 400 km and a height of up to 30 km.

Shugayev said that there is an opportunity to restart the joint Russian-Indian project of creating a fifth-generation fighter jet for the Indian Air Force, but did not provide details.

However, negotiations had reached a deadlock over the transition to a stage of full-fledged development of the aircraft, according to multiple media outlets.

 

 

 

 

Source:- Xinhua
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World War III Fears: India To Buy S-400 Missile Systems From Russia


India will buy the cutting-edge S-400 missile systems from Russia. The units can destroy aerial targets from up to 248 miles away

RUSSIA has agreed to sell five surface-to-air missile systems to India in a deal worth a staggering £5billion ($6.5billion)

Under the trade agreement, India will buy the cutting-edge S-400 missile systems from Russia to boost its military prowess.

The “next-generation” units can destroy aerial targets from up to 248 miles (400 km) away, according to Russian state media.

Indian officials want the systems to counter the ballistic missiles and stealth aircraft being developed by China.

Defence chiefs in Moscow hope to confirm the deal in October, when Russia and India are due to hold a bilateral summit.

India is a strategic partner for us, so we made certain concessions

Dmitry Shugaev, who oversees Russia’s arms exports, said: “As for the S-400, we have already prepared everything to sign this contract.

“All the main technical and commercial aspects have been agreed upon, and I think that we are close to making this happen.

“We hope to sign both contracts with our Indian partners by the end of the year.

“If we sign the deal until the end of this year, I think the deliveries to India will be possible in 2020.”

Mr Shugaev said Moscow had agreed to lower the price after considering the “strategic partnership” between Moscow and New Delhi.

He said: “India is a strategic partner for us, so we took into account the wishes of our partners, and made certain concessions.”

The deal was first proposed during a meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Indian leader Narendra Modi in 2016.

It was recently reported that Russia and India were planning to jointly design a fifth-generation fighter jet.

But the Russian official revealed the proposals are on hold, telling Sputnik: “It is frozen for now. “But we hope that we will return to the dialogue on the fifth-generation fighter.”

His comments came after India’s commerce minister hailed the “time-tested relations between the two countries”.

Speaking an aviation event in New Delhi, Suresh Prabhu said: “India is full of opportunities for the expanding aviation industry.

“Both India and Russia can together work to change the present aviation scenario.”

PM Modi Writes To Imran Khan, Underlines Good Relations, Meaningful Engagement


In the letter, Modi has also underlined the need to make the Indian subcontinent “free of terror and violence” — which also outlines the BJP-led NDA government’s core concern on terrorism

by Shubhajit Roy

In his letter, PM Narendra Modi also stressed that India looks forward to “constructive and meaningful engagement with Pakistan.”

In what is being seen as an outreach to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and has expressed a commitment to build “good neighbourly relations” and pursue “meaningful and constructive engagement” for the benefit of the region, sources said on Monday.

This was part of Modi’s letter to Khan, which was written on August 18, the day he was sworn in as the new Prime Minister.

In the letter, Modi has also underlined the need to make the Indian subcontinent “free of terror and violence” — which also outlines the BJP-led NDA government’s core concern on terrorism.

However, the outreach is significant, since Khan had — in his victory speech — said that if India takes one step, Pakistan will take two steps.

According to sources, Modi, who wrote to Khan and congratulated him on his assumption of charge, “expressed the belief that the smooth transition of Government in Pakistan would strengthen and cement people’s belief in democracy”.

This is also a message of support to Khan’s electoral victory, which has been questioned by Opposition parties in Pakistan who have called the elections “rigged” and “unfair”.

In the letter, sources said, Modi “recalled their telephone conversation, in which they spoke of their shared vision to bring peace, security and prosperity in the Indian subcontinent, in order to make it free of terror and violence, and to focus on development”.

“The Prime Minister expressed India’s commitment to build good neighbourly relations between India and Pakistan and pursue meaningful and constructive engagement for the benefit of the people of the region,” sources said.

Information about Modi’s letter to Khan was disclosed by newly elected Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday when he told Pakistan’s media that Modi had sent a letter with a message about starting the path of dialogue.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson later clarified that Qureshi had not said that “the Indian Prime Minister had made an offer of a dialogue”, but had said “that the Indian Prime Minister in his letter to Prime Minister, Imran Ahmed Khan, had also mentioned something similar to what the Foreign Minister elucidated earlier, that is, that the way forward was only through constructive engagement”.

“The Foreign Minister was also briefed about the same positivity and constructive environment prevailing during the meeting of the former Minister of Law & Information with the Indian External Affairs Minister during his visit to India on 18 August 2018 to attend the funeral of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” the Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson said.

“Pakistan looks forward to a mutually beneficial, uninterrupted dialogue with India to resolve all issues. Any attempts to instigate controversy and vitiate the environment are counter-productive and against the spirit of responsible journalism,” the spokesperson said, in a statement released by Pakistan High Commission in Delhi.

The letter from Modi to Khan comes about three weeks after Modi had called up Khan and congratulated him for emerging as the largest political party in the National Assembly of Pakistan in the recently conducted general elections.

“Prime Minister expressed hope that democracy will take deeper roots in Pakistan…and had also reiterated his vision of peace and development in the entire neighbourhood”, an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs had said, without making any reference to “terror-free atmosphere”.

The emphasis on “terror-free atmosphere” has been Delhi’s standard language template in response to Pakistan’s overtures in the last two-and-half years.

After the telephone conversation between the two leaders, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria had met Khan on August 10 and had gifted a cricket bat autographed by the Indian cricket team. They had discussed the prospects of the India-Pakistan relationship and a range of issues, according to Bisaria. According to Khan’s party colleagues, the PM-elect had raised the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir.

In its first reaction on general elections in Pakistan, the MEA’s official spokesperson had hoped the new government in Islamabad will work constructively to build a safe, stable and secure South Asia “free of terror” and “violence”.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that India desires a “prosperous and progressive Pakistan at peace with its neighbours”. He had also said that India welcomed that the people of Pakistan have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections.

“We hope that the new government of Pakistan will work constructively to build a safe, stable, secure and developed South Asia free of terror and violence,” Kumar had said.

India, Japan Resolve To Deepen Maritime Cooperation


On India’s proposal to procure the US-2 amphibious aircraft, the statement said the ministers noted the effort made by both countries over it

India and Japan today decided to expand their maritime cooperation and work together to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, which is witnessing growing Chinese assertiveness, officials said.

The two countries also decided hold the first-ever joint Army exercise later this year besides deepening cooperation in co-development of military hardware and weapons.

The decisions were taken during wide-ranging talks between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera.

The India-Japan defence dialogue came a day before Chinese defence Wei Fenghe arrives here on a four-day visit.

Officials said the two ministers also exchanged views on India’s long-pending proposal to procure the US-2 ShinMaywa amphibious aircraft from Japan for its Navy.

The two sides also firmed up a project in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and robotics, marking the start of first such bilateral initiative.

They said Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Indian Navy are working towards firming up an arrangement for deeper cooperation between the two navies.

“The ministers shared the recognition that it is important for the two countries to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the ‘Japan-lndia Special Strategic and Global Partnership’ that aligns Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ with India’s ‘Act East Policy’,” a a joint press statement said.

It said Sitharaman and Onodera recognised that stability of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean are crucial for ensuring the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

The two ministers also deliberated on the situation in Korean Peninsula.

“The ministers reaffirmed that they have shared interests in expanding cooperation in the maritime security domain and welcomed the fact that Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Indian Navy are working towards the signing of the Implementing Arrangement for Deeper Cooperation between the two navies,” the statement said.

On technology sharing, it said engagement between the Acquisition, Technology and Logistical Agency (ATLA) of Japan and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has resulted in a joint project in the area of development of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and Robotics.

“The Ministers recognised the importance of promoting defence equipment and technology cooperation through a joint effort between the public and private sectors in order to bilaterally strengthen technological capability,” said the statement.

On India’s proposal to procure the US-2 amphibious aircraft, the statement said the ministers noted the effort made by both countries over it.

Iran unveils first domestic fighter jet

Iran unveiled its first domestic fighter jet at a defence show in Tehran on Tuesday.

Images on state television showed President Hassan Rouhani sitting in the cockpit of the new “Kowsar” plane at the National Defence Industry exhibition.

It is a fourth-generation fighter, with “advanced avionics” and multi-purpose radar, the Tasnim news agency said, adding that it was “100-percent indigenously made”.

State TV said the plane had already been through successful testing and showed it waiting on a runway for its first public display flight.

The plane was first publicly announced on Saturday by Defence Minister Amir Hatami, who had said it would be unveiled on Wednesday.

He gave few details of the project, focusing instead on Iran’s efforts to upgrade its missile defences.

Hatami said the defence programme was motivated by memories of the missile attacks Iran suffered during its eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s, and by repeated threats from Israel and the United States that “all options are on the table” in dealing with the Islamic republic.

“We have learned in the (Iran-Iraq) war that we cannot rely on anyone but ourselves. Our resources are limited and we are committed to establishing security at a minimum cost,” he said in a televised interview.

The US has sold hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to Iran’s regional rivals, but has demanded that Tehran curb its defence programmes, and is in the process of reimposing crippling sanctions in a bid to force its capitulation.

India Refutes Pakistan’s Claim of PM Modi Offering Talks In Letter To Imran Khan


Pakistani Foreign Minister SM Qureshi claimed on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an offer of talks in his letter to newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistani Foreign Minister SM Qureshi claimed on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an offer of talks in his letter to newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. But citing sources Indian media reported that the letter written by PM Modi to his Pakistani counterpart was congratulatory in nature and contained no such proposal.

India has reportedly rejected any possibility of dialogue unless Pakistan makes a complete clampdown on terror emanating from its soil.

While addressing the media at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Qureshi, who took oath of office as part of Khan’s cabinet, said, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to PM Imran Khan in which he indicated the beginning of talks between the two countries.”

He said that there was need for “continued, uninterrupted dialogue” between the two neighbours but did not forget to raise the Kashmir issue.

“India and Pakistan have to move forward keeping realities before them,” he asserted adding that the issues between the two nations are “complicated and we may face hurdles in resolving them”.

“We will have to admit that we are facing problems, we must admit that Kashmir is a reality,” he said.

Recalling late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Pakistan when he was the Prime Minister of India, Qureshi said that the “Islamabad declaration is a part of our history”. He was referring to joint declaration of SAARC nations at the 12th Summit meeting held in Islamabad on 4-6 January 2004.

“We may have a different approach and line of thinking, but I want to see a change in how we behave,” Geo News quoted him as saying.

According to Geo News, Qureshi also directly addressed Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urging her to resolve issues through dialogue.

“I want to tell the Indian foreign minister that we are not just neighbours; we are atomic powers. We have a lot of common resources. We have long-standing issues; both of us know these problems. But we have no other option but to engage in dialogue. We cannot afford adventurism,” he said.

Imran Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), took oath as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on 18 August following his victory in the General Elections on 25 July 2018.

Meanwhile, newly reinstated Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that he would be very happy if India and Pakistan hold talks while expressing his happiness at the appointment of his “long time friend” SM Qureshi as the foreign minister.

Anil Ambani To Rahul Gandhi: Congress Misinformed On Rafale Deal 


Anil Ambani last week wrote to Rahul Gandhi saying not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by his group for the 36 Rafale jets India is buying from France, the company said in a statement. French company Dassault, which is supplying the fighter jets, has entered into a joint venture with Reliance Group to meet its offset requirement of the contract

NEW DELHI: Reliance Group on Monday said its chairman Anil Ambani has written to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the Rafale fighter jet deal saying his party has been “misinformed, misdirected and misled” by “malicious vested interests and corporate rivals” on the issue. 

Ambani, who had first written to Gandhi on the issue in December, last week again wrote to him saying not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by his group for the 36 Rafale jets India is buying from France, the company said in a statement.

Gandhi has been attacking the government + for inking the deal at a much higher price than the one the previous UPA regime had negotiated. While he has accused the government of changing the deal to benefit “one businessman”, his party has demanded a JPC probe into the deal.

“Allegations of Reliance benefiting by thousands of crores is a figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests,” the company statement said, quoting from Ambani’s letter. “Simply put, no contract exists with the Government of India.”

French company Dassault, which is supplying the fighter jets, has entered into a joint venture with Reliance Group to meet its offset requirement of the contract.

Under defence offset, a foreign supplier of equipment agrees to manufacture a given percent of his product (in terms of value) in the buying country. Sometimes this may take place with technology transfer.

While direct offsets are linked to the original defence contact where companies often agree to transfer relevant technological know-how or use local suppliers to build the equipment they are selling to the government, indirect offsets have nothing to do with the deal and can include the company making up investments in local industries.

In case of Rafale deal, which will give new comer Reliance Group a foothold in the defence industry, the companies have not specified what components will they manufacturer in India.

Ambani in the letter expressed “deep anguish over continued personal attacks by Rahul Gandhi on him”, the statement said. He termed all allegations as “baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate”

Explaining the role of Reliance in offset exports/ work share with Dassault, he said: “The Congress has been misinformed, misdirected and misled by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals.”

He said Rafale fighter jets are not being manufactured by Reliance of the Dassault Reliance joint venture. “All 36 planes are to be 100 per cent manufactured in France, and exported from France to India.”

“There is no contract from the Ministry of Defence to any Reliance Group company related to 36 Rafale aircraft,” the statement said.

Ambani said his group’s “role is limited to offset/ export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) will participate in this, along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

“This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities, and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA government itself from 2005 onward.”

He said Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, “months before the intention for the purchase of Rafale aircraft”.

2+2 dialogue important opportunity to enhance engagement with India: US

Describing India as an “all-weather partner”, the US has said the upcoming 2+2 dialogue with the country is an important opportunity to enhance engagement on a range of diplomatic and security issues and discuss how to operationalise India’s status as a major defence partner.

US Secretary of State Micheal Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis will travel to New Delhi next month for the 2+2 dialogue, the format of which was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were to travel to Washington to take part in the meeting with their US counterparts in July.

But the US had postponed the dialogue citing “unavoidable reasons.” After June last year, the two countries have tried to schedule the dialogue many times with several dates having been considered. Earlier this year also, the ‘2+2 dialogue’ had been postponed due to uncertainty over the confirmation of Pompeo as President Donald Trump’s new Secretary of State.

“With India, we are looking forward to the inaugural 2+2 dialogue with Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis traveling for these meetings in New Delhi on September 6,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells told reporters yesterday.

“It is an important opportunity to discuss and enhance our engagement on a range of diplomatic and security priorities and really is an indication of the deepening strategic partnership that we enjoy with India,” she said.

Wells was addressing a Foreign Press Centre video conference from Washington on “US Policy in the Indian Ocean Region” during which she previewed her upcoming travel to the Indian Ocean Conference hosted by the India Foundation in Hanoi on August 27-28.

She said India plays a central role in US national security adding that it is “enshrined in the President’s national security strategy as well as the administration’s South Asia and Indo-Pacific strategies.”

She said at the upcoming 2+2 ministerial, the US is looking to discuss “how do we operationalise India’s status as a major defense partner.”

India was designated a major defence partner by the US in 2016.

Defence cooperation between India and the US has grown from “essentially zero dollars” in 2008 to USD 18 billion today.

The US does more military exercises with India than with any other country in the world “but how do we take this partnership to a new level so that it is not just going to be defense acquisitions but really a way of framing how we see challenges and how we want to be able to respond together to address these challenges.”

Highlighting that the India-US partnership is rooted in shared democratic values and commitment to rules-based order, Wells said the two nations are going to be able to demonstrate at the 2+2 dialogue the facts of this maturing partnership.

On a question about trade relations with India, Wells said opening up trade with India is a “key strategic objective” for the Trump administration.

Bilateral trade currently stands at about USD 126 billion, an increase of more than USD 10 billion from last year and there have been critical purchases by Indian firms in the commercial aviation, energy as well as the defense sectors She however added that impediments do remain between the two countries on trade.

“Tariff and non-tariff barriers have been a subject of longstanding concern and intellectual property rights as well. So we are continuing a very intensive dialogue with the Indian government on how do we address these irritants and unlock the trade that is of great interest to US firms when they look at the Indian market and its potential,” she said.

Wells added that looking outside of India, Washington wants to work together with New Delhi and identify projects whether they be in Sri Lanka or Nepal.

“One of the great new elements of our relationship with India is that we are working in third countries,” she said as she cited the example of the assistance and developmental level work with India in Africa on health-related issues and peacekeeping training. She said India and the US worked together in programmes that involved bringing Afghans to India for cost-effective training.

“India really is an all-weather partner as we look ahead to how to ensure that the Indo-Pacific remains free and open.”

During the press briefing, Wells previewed her upcoming travel to the Indian Ocean Conference and how it supports the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

The annual conference, hosted by the India Foundation along with its partners from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will focus on the theme of ‘Building Regional Architectures’.

Forget the F-22 or F-35: Why Sixth-Generation Jet Fighters Could Be Revolutionary


The American development and deployment of Fifth-Generation stealth aircraft like the F-35 Lightning is one of the central stories of today’s security zeitgeist. But behind the scenes, several countries are already looking ahead to the design of a Sixth-Generation jet.

The relentless pace of research is arguably driven less by combat experience—of which there is little—and more by a sober assessment that development of a successor will take multiple decades and is better started sooner rather than later.

The Sixth-Generation fighter developers can be divided into two categories: the United States, which has developed and deployed two stealth fighter types, and countries that have skipped or given up on their attempt to build Fifth Generations jets. These latter countries have concluded that doing so is so time-consuming and expensive that it makes more sense to focus on tomorrow’s technology than try to catch up with today’s.

The latter include France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which are in the preliminary stages of developing sixth-generation FCAS and Tempest fighters; Russia, which has given up on developing its Su-57 stealth fighter for at least a decade , but is talking up a conceptual sixth-generation MiG-41 interceptor; and Japan, which is contemplating a domestic sixth-generation F-3 stealth jet, but may settle for a foreign-inspired fifth generation design.

Currently, the United States has two projects: the Air Force’s ‘Penetrating Counter-Air’—a long long-range stealth fighter to escort stealth bombers—and the Navy’s FA-XX. So far, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and Northrop-Grumman have unveiled sixth-generation concepts.

Furthermore, a third set of countries, notably including India and China, are still refining the technology for the manufacture of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft.

Stealth and Beyond-Visual Range Missiles Are Here to Stay

The various Sixth-Generation concepts mostly feature many of the same technologies. Two critical characteristics of Fifth-Generation fighters will remain centrally important to the Sixth: stealthy airframes and long-range missiles. As cost-effective ground-based air defense systems like the S-400 can now threaten vast swathes of airspace, stealth aircraft need to be capable of penetrating ‘anti-access/area-denial’ bubbles and eliminate air defense from a safe distance. Additionally, stealth jets also steeply out-perform non-stealth aircraft in aerial war games.

Thus, low radar cross-sections and radar-absorbent materials will be a necessary, but not sufficient, feature of sixth-generation fighters. Some theorists argue that stealthy airframes may eventually be rendered obsolete by advanced sensor technology—and stealthy airframes can’t be upgraded as easily as avionics and weapons. Therefore, jamming, electronic warfare, and infrared obscuring defenses will also rise in importance.

Beyond-visual-range missiles will remain a key technology. Extent missiles like the AIM-120D can already hit targets over one hundred miles away, but realistically must be fired much closer to have a good chance of a kill against an agile, fighter-sized target. However, new ramjet-powered high-speed air-to-air missiles like the British Meteor and Chinese PL-15 point to why future air warriors may mostly fight at great distances from their adversaries.

Awesome ‘X-Ray-Vision’ Pilot Helmets

The F-35 has pioneered sophisticated Helmet Mounted Displays that can see ‘through’ the airframe for superior situational awareness, display key instrument data, and target missiles via a Helmet Mounted Sight (although that last technology is decades old ). Though these helmets currently have significant teething issues , they will likely become a standard feature in future fighters, possibly supplanting cockpit instrument panels. Voice-activated command interfaces may also ease the hefty task-load expected of fighter pilots.

Larger Airframes, More Efficient Engines

As airbases and carriers become more vulnerable to missile attacks, warplanes will need to be able to fly longer distances, and carry more weapons while doing so—which is difficult when a stealth jet must rely solely on internal fuel tanks and weapons loads. The natural solution is a larger plane. As air forces expect Within-Visual-Range aerial dogfights to be rare and possibly mutually suicidal, they are showing a greater willingness to tradeoff maneuverability to emphasize high sustainable speeds and a greater payload.

These design imperatives may gel well with the development of advanced adaptive g variable-cycle engines that can alter their configurations mid-flight to perform better at high speeds (like a turbojet) or more fuel-efficiently at low speeds (like a high-bypass turbofan).

Optionally-Manned

For several decades air power theorists have forecast a transition to crewless combat jets which won’t have to bear the added weight and risk to life and limb necessitated by a human pilot. However, while drone technology has proliferated by leaps and bounds in that time, navies and air forces have been slow to explore pilotless fighters, both because of the expenses and risks, but also likely for cultural reasons. For example, U.S. Navy pilots successfully lobbied to re-purpose a planned carrier-based stealth attack drone into a tanker to refuel manned aircraft.

Sixth Generation concepts are therefore advancing the idea of an optionally-manned aircraft that can fly with or without a pilot onboard. This has the shortcoming of requiring additional design effort to produce an airplane that will still have the downsides and expensive training requirements of a manned airplane. However, optional-manning may help ease the transition to an unmanned fighter force, and on the short term give military leaders the possibility of deploying aircraft on high-risk missions without risking pilots’ lives.

Sensor Fusion with Friendlies on the Ground, Sea, Air and Space

One of the F-35’s key innovations is its ability to soak up sensor data and share it via datalinks to friendly forces, creating a composite ‘picture.’ This could allow a stealth aircraft to ride point and ferret out adversaries, while friendly forces maneuver into advantageous positions and sling missiles from further back without even turning on their radars.

Because this tactic promises to be such a force multiplier, fused sensors and cooperative engagement will become a standard feature of sixth-generation jets—and the fusion will likely be deepened by integrating satellite and even drones deployed alongside jet fighters.

Cyber Warfare and Cyber Security

Sensor fusion and optional-manning, however, imply that sixth generation jets will rely heavily on datalinks and networks which could be disrupted by jamming or even invaded through hacking. Ground-based logistics networks, such as the F-35’s ALIS, promise significant improvements in efficiency, but also expose even landed aircraft to potential cyberattack.

Thus, sixth-generation avionic systems not only must be designed for resilience versus electronic and cyber warfare—but may be capable of launching such attacks on adversaries. For example, the Air Force has successfully tested the ability to invade networks and insert data packets (such as viruses), a capability of the Navy’s fighter-borne Next Generation Jammer.

Artificial Intelligence

One problem is that all of these sensor, communication and weapons systems have become so complex that they threaten to exceed the task-processing ability of the human brain—remember, the pilot also has to fly the plane! While some Fourth-generation jets incorporated a back-seat Weapon Systems Officer to help out, Fifth-Generation stealth fighters have all been single-seaters.

Thus, air forces are turning to AI to handle more mundane tasks of fighter management and determine which data should be presented to the pilot. Furthermore, AI and machine learning may be used to coordinate drones.

Drones—and Drone Swarms

In October 2016, two FA-18 Super Hornet deployed 103 Perdix drones in a test over China Lake (you can watch the video here ). Animated by an AI hivemind, the drones swarmed down like a cloud of locusts over a designated target point. Kamikaze drones have already been used in action, and it is easy to see how relatively small and cheap drones could become a particularly terrifying weapon.

Theorists of future warfare posit that inexpensive and expendable networked drones may prove far more difficult to defend against than a small number of costly and well-protected weapons platforms and missiles. However, sixth-generation fighters will likely also work with larger, faster and fancier drones to serve as sensor-bearing scouts, weapons platforms, and decoys.

Directed Energy Weapons

Swarms of drones, missiles, and even obsolete jet fighters can threaten to over-saturate an advanced stealth jet’s offensive and defensive capabilities. One commonly cited countermeasure may be Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) such as lasers or microwaves, which can be fired quickly, precisely and with a nigh-limitless magazine capacity given sufficient electricity.

The U.S. Air Force envisions three categories of airborne DEWs: lower-powered lasers for disrupting or damaging enemy sensors and seekers, a mid-level tier capable of burning incoming air-to-air missiles out of the skies, and high-power class capable of destroying aircraft and ground targets. The air warfare branch plans to test an anti-missile laser turret in the early 2020s which may eventually be installed on bombers and F-35s.

Sixth-generation fighter programs remain strictly conceptual today, especially given the enormous expenses and effort devoted to working out the kinks in the Fifth-Generation. Many of the component technologies such as lasers, cooperative engagement, and unmanned piloting, are already in well under development, but integrating them into a single airframe will still prove a significant challenge.

At the earliest, sixth-generation fighters may crop up in the 2030s or 2040s—by which time concepts in air warfare will likely have evolved yet again.

 

 

 

 

Source:- National Interest

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Situation in Kashmir valley stable but fragile, says GoC of 15 Corps

SRINAGAR: The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is stable but fragile, according to Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt, General Officer Commanding of the Indian Army’s 15 Corps.

“The situation in the valley is stable in most areas but fragile in certain parts,” Bhatt told ET in an exclusive interview, even as sources said the army has upgraded its counter-infiltration system and has been changing its deployment patterns in relation to the concentration of terrorists.

In the years-old conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, India has foiled several infiltration attempts along the line of control (LoC).

The ceasefire agreement signed between the nuclear-armed neighbours in 2003 has been violated several times, with hundreds of terrorists and civilians being killed in the ensuing skirmishes.

Now, the army faces a new challenge— that of halting local recruitment of terrorists. To curb this, authorities have prohibited large gatherings at funerals—often cited as strong motivators for such recruitment—started counselling services for the youth, and taken initiatives to bring fresh recruits back into the mainstream after approaching their parents.

The Srinagar-based 15 Corps, which Bhatt heads, is tasked with overseeing counter-terrorist operations in Kashmir.

This year alone, Indian forces have neutralised over 100 terrorists, according to Bhatt.

“From January. we’ve foiled more than 10 attempts, which resulted in killing of 36 terrorists. In addition, 12 attempts of infiltration have also been prevented,” he said.

According to sources, in the last five to seven years, the army has not only increased its strength in its counter-infiltration grid along the LoC, but also strengthened its anti-infiltration obstacle system.

The army is trying to make the latter “smarter” by installing day and night cameras and thermal sights, they said. But this has not been without the challenges of terrain and weather.

While these measures have helped, the army says there has been a decline in the number of foreign terrorists in J&K over the years. Local radicalisation has been growing to pose a new challenge, army said.

As part of CPEC,

NEW DELHI: China is building a city for 5,00,000 Chinese nationals at a cost of $150 million in Gwadar as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This will be the first such Chinese city in South Asia.

Half-a-million Chinese citizens, who will be housed in this proposed city by 2022, will be workforce for the financial district that Beijing is planning to set up in the Pakistani port city of Gwadar. Only Chinese citizens will live in this gated zone, which basically means that Pakistan will be used as a colony of China.

ET has learnt that the China-Pak Investment Corporation bought the 3.6-million square foot International Port City and will build a $150-million gated community for the anticipated 5,00,000 Chinese professionals who will be located by 2022 and work in its proposed new financial district in Gwadar.

China has such complexes or subcity for its nationals who are part of the workforce for projects in Africa and Central Asia. There are allegations that Chinese have also moved to acquire territory in eastern Russia and northern part of Myanmar, and such exclusive zones for Chinese citizens are also giving rise to considerable local resentment.

Beijing has invested in Pakistan’s pipelines, railways, highways, power plants, industrial areas and mobile networks to advance the geographical mid-way link for BRI.

In return, Chinese inland manufacturing cities have secured better links to shipping lanes and newly made free trade zones through railways, port renovation and blockchain technology.

Of the 39 proposed CPEC projects, 19 are either already completed or underway, with China spending over $18.5 billion since 2015.