Monday, December 10, 2018

Pakistan Continues To Harbour Terrorists, U.S.Should Not Give It Even One Dollar: Nikki Haley

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley with Minister of External affair Sushma Swaraj

NEW YORK: Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists that turn around and kill American soldiers, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said, asserting that Washington should not give Islamabad even a dollar until it addresses the issue.

Haley, the first Indian-American ever appointed to a Cabinet position in any US presidential administration, said the US did not need to give money to countries that wish harm to America, go behind its back and try and "stop us from doing things".

"...I think there should be a strategic view on which countries we partner with, which ones we count on to work with us on certain things, and move forward accordingly. I think we just blindly allow money to keep going without thinking that this is real leverage. We have to use it," Haley told US magazine 'The Atlantic'.

"The one example I'll give you is, look at Pakistan. Giving them over a billion dollars, and they continue to harbour terrorists that turn around and kill our soldiers —that's never okay. We shouldn't even give them a dollar until they correct it. Use the billion dollars. That's not a small amount of change," she said.

Haley will step down as the UN envoy at the end of this year. US President Donald Trump last week nominated chief State Department spokeswoman and a former Fox News journalist Heather Nauert as Haley's successor.

In October, Haley announced that she was leaving the post by the end of the year. The 46-year-old former South Carolina governor has served nearly two years in the post.

She said Pakistan should be told "you have to do these things before we will even start to help you with your military or start to help you on counter terrorism".

Asked if she does not agree that foreign aid can turn an adversary into an ally, or can make a country more favourable than it would be otherwise, Haley said, "no, I think it absolutely can. I think that you do have to use it as leverage".

"I don't think you should blindly give it and then expect goodwill. You have to ask for goodwill and then give it when you see good things happen," she said.

In September, the Trump administration cancelled USD 300 million in military aid to Islamabad for not doing enough against terror groups active on its soil.

Last month, Trump defended his administration's decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying Islamabad does not do "a damn thing" for the US and its government helped late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Referring to Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan, Trump told Fox News, "you know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don't know, I've seen nicer".

"But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there," Trump said.

The US Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces, in a daring helicopter raid, killed Laden in 2011 and demolished the compound.

"We give Pakistan USD 1.3 billion a year... (Laden] lived in Pakistan, we're supporting Pakistan, we're giving them USD 1.3 billion a year - which we don't give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us," he said.

Trump began the new year by launching an attack on Islamabad in his first tweet of 2018, accusing it of "lies and deceit".

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," he wrote.

"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Trump added.

Rights Activists Go Into Slumber When Soldiers' Human Rights Are Violated, Says BJP

File photo of BJP leader Ravinder Raina with security forces

The BJP leader lambasted the human rights activists who, he claimed, surface only for the protection of human rights of "anti-nationals" and go into "slumber" as and when the human rights of a soldier are brazenly violated

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir state BJP president Ravinder Raina said on Sunday that human rights activists raise issues related to "anti-national elements" but go into "slumber" when such rights of soldiers are compromised with.

"Terrorists have no human rights whatsoever and the value of human rights must be considered for the brave security personnel who perform their duty for the love of motherland without any thought for a second," Raina said.

Raina was speaking at a function organised by the party's human rights cell on the eve of 70th international human rights day at BJP headquarters here.

The BJP leader lambasted the human rights activists who, he claimed, surface only for the protection of human rights of "anti-nationals" and go into "slumber" as and when the human rights of a soldier are brazenly violated.

Union minister of state in the Prime Minister's office, Jitendra Singh, also addressed the function, dwelling at length about the adherence to human rights by India since 'Vedic times' and explained the historical perspective of the human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The protection of human rights has been fundamental concept of the BJP and it continues with the same spirit under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

Singh said the concept of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' is a living example of the protection of the human rights of every Indian citizen.

BJP state spokesperson Brigadier (Retd) Anil Gupta said the Indian Army is the best trained and disciplined force in the world owing to which the United Nations seeks the services of Indian peace-keeping forces in the turmoil hit countries across the globe.

He said hue and cry is raised by so called human rights activists upon the alleged acts of human rights violations within the state, but the truth being that the Indian Army is taking into consideration all aspects to protect the lives of the innocents.

Japan-India 'Space Dialogue' To Include Surveillance Sharing

Partners hope to keep tabs on China and Advance Lunar Exploration

Bilateral discussions will help Japan and India coordinate efforts to improve security by tracking satellites and ships

TOKYO -- Japan and India are moving to share satellite data and surveillance technologies, acknowledging the strategic importance of monitoring outer space and the world's oceans.

The Japan-India Space Dialogue, established in October by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims in part to keep pace with the U.S., China and Russia in this area.

The first meeting will be held by March 2019 and focus on the sharing of satellite and radar information, as well as ground infrastructure, to beef up each country's defence capabilities. Japan and India currently have their own systems for monitoring satellite trajectories and ship movements -- both important aspects of national security.

India hopes the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, can help keep tabs on Chinese troop movements along its northern border. Currently, the country receives information collected by U.S. reconnaissance satellites, but wants to diversify sources.

As for Japan, India's ocean surveillance capabilities will help it track Chinese naval vessels in the South China and East China seas, as well as detect signs of North Korean missile activity.

Also planned for discussion will be how to track space debris -- the millions of pieces of man-made junk orbiting the Earth. The debris poses a danger to satellites that provide GPS location, weather forecasts, telecommunications and other vital services.

The Space Dialogue could also help India further its goal of becoming the fourth country after the U.S., former Soviet Union and China to land on the moon. Japan is already collaborating with India in exploring the lunar polar zone, while India has succeeded in putting a probe into orbit around Mars.

Both countries are operating satellite positioning systems similar to America's GPS. The dialogue will examine possibilities of collaboration in this area, too.

The Space Dialogue delegation from Japan -- which already has similar frameworks with the U.S., European Union and France -- will be headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office, and include officials from JAXA and other ministries.

The Indian side is expected to be represented by the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence and the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Kartarpur Corridor: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Dubs It Conspiracy Of Pakistan Army

Claiming that Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa had broken the news of opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their prime minister, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Sunday dubbed the whole affair as a "bigger conspiracy" hatched by the Pak army

The Chief Minister said that he and Sidhu were not at loggerheads as reported by the media and he had absolutely no problems with Sidhu while running the Government.

Claiming that Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa had broken the news of opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their prime minister, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh Sunday dubbed the whole affair as a “bigger conspiracy” hatched by the Pak army. “The opening of the Kartarpur Corridor is clearly a game plan of the ISI,” the Chief Minister said, adding a bigger conspiracy seems to have been hatched by Pakistan Army against India. He admitted that Pakistan was attempting to revive militancy in Punjab and thus everyone should be wary of all of its overtures, no matter how grand they appear to be, an official release, quoting him, said here.

The Sidhu affair was being unnecessarily hyped and those raising it had clearly failed to see the ISI game plan, said Captain Amarinder, lashing out at the Akalis for branding the Punjab minister as stooge of the Pakistan Prime Minister. The Chief Minister hit out at the Akalis and the BJP Central leadership for “indulging” in unwarranted controversy over his (Chief Minister’s) relations with Sidhu. This, he said, was in a bid to divert public attention from the core issue of Pakistan’s continued and deliberate perpetration of terror activities in Punjab with the ultimate aim of destabilising the border state.

Singh said the demand for opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor was pending since partition as several holy Sikh shrines (Sri Nankana Sahib, Sri Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib) had been left in Pakistan. Even former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh had taken up the issue of opening the Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan, he added.

Amarinder said he himself had raised the issue with his Pakistan Punjab counterpart Parvez Elahi and with the then President, Parvez Musharraf during his previous tenure as the chief minister. The Chief Minister said Imran Khan was undoubtedly making efforts to bring peace, tranquillity and harmony with India, but at the same time he should also prevail upon the top brass of Pakistani Army to ensure that killings of our soldiers at borders are stopped immediately.

On why he opted not to go to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, Amarinder said he declined the invite because he could not think of going there while Indian soldiers and civilians were being killed by the Pakistani Army. On the issue of Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony, Amarinder said he had told Sidhu that he had declined the invite by writing a letter to the Pakistan Minister for foreign affairs, and had also shared a copy of the same on the social media.

Despite his advice not to visit Pakistan, Sidhu, went ahead due to his friendship with Imran Khan, said the Chief Minister, adding it was not unreasonable. He said that he himself has many friends there, including the former Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi. “We had been meeting frequently during my previous tenure and Elahi had also been coming to meet me in Patiala”, said Captain Amarinder.

The Chief Minister said that Navjot Sidhu was a “likeable person” and he shared warm ties with even Sidhu’s parents when the cricketer-turned-minister’s father was President of District Congress unit, Patiala, and his (Amarinder) mother Mohinder Kaur who was the Member of Parliament from Patiala.

The Chief Minister said that he and Sidhu were not at loggerheads as reported by the media and he had absolutely no problems with Sidhu while running the Government. Amarinder Singh said that Sidhu always spoke in a forthright manner and his only problem was that “sometimes he shoots before he thinks.” Regarding Sidhu’s remarks that Rahul Gandhi was his Captain, the Chief Minister said this was hardly an issue to be raised as Sidhu had always treated him (Amarinder) as a fatherly figure.

Amarinder Singh warned Pakistan against carrying on with its nefarious designs and urged it to desist from trying to foment trouble in Punjab. He also asked Pakistan to put an immediate end to the killing of Indian soldiers at the borders. The Chief Minister charged the ISI with pursuing its ulterior motive to create law and order problem in Punjab by exploiting the religious sentiments of innocent Sikh youths in Canada, USA and even in Europe, and arming them with funds and weapons.

Captain Amarinder Singh also lashed at the ‘Sikhs For Justice’ for abetting terrorism in Punjab by whipping the religious sentiments of Sikhs. He said that the people of Punjab, especially the Sikhs from rural areas, would not lend support to its so called ‘referendum 2020’. The SFJ’s claims of the Kartarpur Corridor being a gift of Pakistan also had no takers in Punjab, the Chief Minister added.

Maoist Insurgency Losing Steam, Says MHA

The latest data shows that there have been more surrenders particularly from Bihar and Odisha, as the cadre is disenchanted with the ‘outside’ leadership

NEW DELHI: Disenchantment among Maoist cadre has led to more surrenders in 2018, official data from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reveals. The latest data, which has been accessed by this newspaper, shows that there have been more surrenders particularly from Bihar and Odisha, as the cadre is disenchanted with the ‘outside’ leadership. Most of the top leaders of Maoist outfits are from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

According to the data, a total of 391 Maoists have surrendered till August 2018, while the figure was 682 last year. In 2015, 570 ultras had turned themselves in. This year, Chhattisgarh, at 221, recorded the highest number of Red rebels, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with 96 and 27 cadres, respectively.

According to sources, corruption is also an issue that is behind the palpable sense of disillusionment in the Naxal ranks. “The lower hierarchy of the organisation feels that their higher-ups are using funds for their personal benefit,” a senior official said.

Jharkhand is one of the states, which has seen the surrender of not only lower cadre but also top leaders like Kamlesh Ganju, who had a bounty of Rs 25 lakh on his head, official records reveal.

IG Sanjay Latkar, who is overseeing the anti-Naxal operations by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), said, “One Maoist surrendering is more important than one Naxal killed, as those who surrender provide us information and clues about the organisation. These leads have helped us recover several weapons, arrest Naxals and conduct successful encounters.”

Security forces, the Inspector General said, are also making conscious efforts to connect with families of the Maoists. “During our operations, we ask our personnel to repeatedly contact the family members of Naxals and have the kin persuade the cadres to turn themselves in. We ensure that their families are not harassed. Simultaneously, we launch an offensive against these groups. They are continuously forced to be on the run,” he said.

Latkar was of the opinion that surrender helps Maoists spend more time with their families. “In Jharkhand, there are open jails for surrendered cadre where their families can stay with them. The compensation offered by the state is higher compared to other states,” he said.

Simply Put: Why Aircraft Carriers Are Needed

INS Vikramaditya, India’s only aircraft carrier

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has made a strong case for a 2nd indigenous aircraft carrier. While govt considers it too expensive, the Chinese expansion in the Indian Ocean Region cannot be overlooked

A week ago, at his annual Navy Day press conference, Admiral Sunil Lanba said Navy Headquarters was working on a second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier or IAC-2, which would give India a fleet of three aircraft carriers. His statement was unexpected because the government has deferred the decision on the proposal for IAC-2, which it reckons will be unaffordable to build and operate.

The Navy Chief did not reveal the estimated cost of IAC-2, but it is expected to be around Rs 1.6 lakh crore. The Navy has reportedly budgeted for funds for IAC-2 in its financial plans from 2024 onwards.

India currently has only one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, the erstwhile Russian Admiral Gorshkov and inducted into service in 2013. The country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1) — to be formally named INS Vikrant — is being built in Cochin Shipyard. The 40,000-tonne warship has been delayed — the Ministry of Defence approved it in 2003, construction began in 2005, and it was supposed to be ready this year, but it is now expected to be out for sea trials only by 2020.

INS Viraat: In service from 1987 to 2016. Decommissioned on March 6, 2017

Need For Carriers

The ability of a country to project military force away from its shores is largely dependent on the components used for force projection, key among which are aircraft carriers. The Indian Navy has reached a minimum essential requirement of two operational aircraft carriers to carry out its mandated tasks in the country’s Areas of Interest, and to meet its overall maritime security requirements.

Given that one of the carriers is in refit or maintenance, the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan of the Navy envisages a force level of three aircraft carriers, to ensure development of a capability to operate two Carrier Battle Groups (CBGs) at any given time. CBGs are large task formations centred around a carrier, and provide unmatched flexibility, reach and sustainability. These are primary assets for the projection of power, and provide credible deterrence through visibility.

All the world’s advanced navies — those of the US, UK, Russia, Italy, France — operate aircraft carriers. Shore-based aircraft have limited reach in India’s vast maritime area of interest, and can provide limited air defence to the fleet only when operating close to the coast, a rarity in naval concepts of operations.

In the maritime strike role too, shore-based aircraft have limited range with inherent time delays, considering the distance to targets at sea. The surety of support from a shore-based fighter is intrinsically linked to the unpredictable factor of weather.

But the biggest concern for India is the aggressive effort by China to gain a foothold in the Indian Ocean Region. China currently operates two carriers, and is likely to have four by 2028 — with the eventual aim of 10 by 2050. This would be a quantum leap for the People’s Liberation Army Navy, which plans forays deep into the Indian Ocean Region by 2020.

Design For Third Carrier

The concept design of the third aircraft carrier is still on the drawing board, and its specifications are fluid. The Navy Chief said the project would start in the next three years, which is ambitious. This is especially because the Indian Naval concept of operations requires a Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR, a system of launching and recovering aircraft) carrier, which is capable of operating aircraft with higher payloads. Such a would typically displace about 65,000 tonnes, Admiral Lanba confirmed.

Until now, steam, generated preferably by a nuclear plant, has been considered the optimum propulsion for a ship this size. But with advancement in technology, the Navy thinks an all-electric propulsion will provide a more economical and efficient solution. For launch and recovery of aircraft, electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear have replaced the older systems, and will be more suitable for a new project that is likely to remain in service for the next four decades.

Affordability Vs Requirement

It would appear that India simply cannot afford a third aircraft carrier even if it is desirable for power projection and in order to ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. However, an aircraft carrier is a dynamic capability that can be deployed over the entire area of maritime interest for as long as four decades, and is, therefore, one of the most optimum utilisations of resources spent on such an acquisition.

The decision to spend public money to build and operate a third aircraft carrier will be taken by the government, which will consider all aspects. But given the time it will take to construct IAC-2, and the speed and determination of the Chinese naval progress, this decision will have to be made soon.

Service Record

INS Vikramaditya: 45,400 tonnes, modified Kiev-class carrier, formerly Admiral Gorshkov. In service since 2013

INS Vikrant: 19,500 tonnes, Majestic-class carrier, formerly the HMS Hercules. In service from 1961 to 1997. Used as a museum until 2012, and scrapped in 2014-15

INS Viraat: 28,700 tonnes, Centaur-class carrier, formerly HMS Hermes. In service from 1987 to 2016. Decommissioned on March 6, 2017

INS Vikrant (IAC-1): 44,000 tonnes, Vikrant-class carrier. Under construction at Cochin Shipyard, sea trials scheduled in 2020

Can India Be The Next Space Startup Haven, Or Will China Beat Us To It?

China's CZ-3B Launch Vehicle which is in the same class as ISRO's GSLV Mk-II rocket

India and China are competing in the world economy for many things, one of them being the private space industry. There have been over 80 space startups in China since 2014, while India has a mere handful. India’s private space industry has also only raised about $20 million, whereas the Chinese have easily raised more than ten times that amount. In the race to occupy the global space market

by Sandhya Ramesh

ThePrint asks: Can India be the next space startup haven or will it be China?

Country which gives incentives and makes business entrepreneur-friendly will have the most space start-ups

Sanjay Nekkanti - Co-founder, Dhruva Space

If you are just comparing the number of space start-ups in India vs China, then China is already way ahead. There are 15-plus space start-ups in China and the cumulative investment that these companies have raised is over $500 million. Few of these start-ups have already started demonstrating capabilities by either test firing next-generation launch vehicles or launching technology demonstration satellites. What is interesting is that a majority of these start-ups are home-grown.

On the contrary, the number of space startups in India is just a handful and have not yet been able to demonstrate capabilities in orbit nor have they been able to raise any significant amount of capital.

Which country will attract more space start-ups will depend on several factors. Some of them are the availability of skilled manpower, access to cutting-edge technology, cost of manufacturing, ease of doing business, potential clients in the domestic market.

Initiatives such as the starting of a space park by Kerala government with the support of ISRO to attract global space companies can actually be game changers. Exseed Sat-1 built by Exseed Space was the first Indian privately-built satellite to be launched into space. It demonstrated the capabilities of manufacturing satellites in India.

The country which takes steps to make business entrepreneur friendly, provides incentives to build local and sell global and removes entry barriers for new space startups will eventually have the most number of new space companies.

India and China both have a very top-down government-led approach to space activity

Narayan Prasad - Co-founder of Dhruva Space, founder of NewSpace India

If not structurally, but in terms of execution, India and China have had a very top-down government-led approach to space activity. Both the countries enjoy a healthy base of human resource, infrastructure and the sector has the attention of policymakers. India declared space as a key part of the Make in India initiative and China threw open its government-run space programme to private sector participation.

India is now trying to create an ecosystem of start-ups with interest from independent state governments such as Kerala. The key difference between the two ecosystems is that the investors in China seem to have a bigger appetite for risk-taking and have invested over $500 million in their upcoming start-ups. The forecast for potential scaling opportunities for the private sector may be greater in China at the moment due to the integration of space as a key state-run initiative such as the Belt and Road Initiative or its military forces. This may allow Chinese private companies to catalyse their integration into their local economy as well as the global space economy.

Regardless of state involvement, there is tremendous opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs to create services that will use space-based products/services to help tackle problems in society. We shouldn’t be viewing space as building rockets and satellites alone, rather we should treat it as a tool that can help tackle challenges in agriculture, communications, banking, etc. One of the examples of this is SatSure, which uses satellite imagery along with other sensors to create useful analytics for the insurance industry to help settle crop insurance claims by farmers.

Not India or China, Montserrat is the haven for space startups

Abhishek Raju - Co-founder and CEO of SatSure

It may seem that India and China may be in a race with each other to emerge as a space start-up haven, but neither of them has all the right ingredients that make it attractive for a space entrepreneur.

While India has common law, free markets and government flagship programmes like Startup India, the overbearing and omnipresent Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is both a strength and a weakness. Strength, because there is indigenous capabilities, weakness, because ISRO competes with all the other space players in the market, including space start-ups.

I have heard entrepreneurs often saying that they would not do anything to annoy ISRO because that would mean the death to their startup dreams, so, we all try to be politically correct and only say nice things. This prevents us from challenging the status quo and doing things radically different.

Another very important deterrent is the missing venture financing options for space companies. The venture capitalists just don’t understand the business cycles and risks of the space industry, and tend to stay away from such ventures. I am not even getting into the bureaucratic nightmare it is to get a company up and running in India. All attempts at space entrepreneurship in India are purely driven by the aspirations and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs, most of them are struggling to keep their company alive.

China, on the other hand, is a closed economy; you must not only be a Chinese company to succeed but also must have the blessing of the Chinese government. Most Chinese space startups mimic the business models of Western space startups.

Neither India nor China can be a haven for space startups. I place my bet on a tiny country with a nimble government, which understands the needs of the industry and is able to quickly and frequently adapt regulations to keep up with technology and business model advancements, a country which is already a signatory to various UN space treaties, and is willing to participate and invest in the success of its space startups. That country is Montserrat.

China is ahead now, but it’s only a matter of time before India catches up and moves ahead

Sandhya Ramesh - Associate editor, ThePrint

Comparing space startups in India and China is like comparing apples and oranges. China is a closed system where private sector works in close quarters with the government and with the government’s approval as well. Work is divided and delegated there without the kind of hassles India faces.

In India, ISRO holds a monopoly over space. It is almost as if ISRO and private players are in competition with each other. But things are changing. ISRO not only has its own private vendors for launches these days, NewSpace India (smaller private satellite companies) is also starting to boom. There are many companies that provide satellite services to the government itself, while there are also companies that are independently doing their own thing (like launching a private satellite with SpaceX to serve worldwide ham radio).

The healthy competition between ISRO and private players can only provide better cooperation and more innovation in the future. While China will do what its set its mind to in space, India will eventually start doing way more than what is required by the government.

If the two really need to be compared, I’d say that China is ahead now but it’s only a matter of time before India catches up and moves ahead.

Russia Emerges As World's No. 2 Arms Producer

The Sukhoi Su-35 advanced air superiority fighter is one of Russia's prime weapons export

HELSINKI: A Swedish think tank said Monday that Russia has emerged as the world's second-largest arms producer after the United States. Russia surpassed Britain, which had held that spot since 2002 and remains Western Europe's No. 1 arms maker.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its annual report on the world's 100 biggest armaments groups that the combined arms sales of Russian companies amounted to $37.7 billion in 2017, an 8.5 percent rise from a year earlier. Russia's sales accounted for 9.5 percent of a worldwide total of $398.2 billion.

The report includes both domestic and foreign sales around the globe, but doesn't include Chinese companies because of unreliable statistics, the institute said.

Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at the institute, said Russian producers of arms and weapon systems have been on a significant growth path since 2011.

``This is in line with Russia's increased spending on arms procurement to modernise its armed forces,'' Wezeman said.

For the first time in the report's history, a Russian company- the Moscow-based and state-owned Almaz-Antey that makes advanced air defence systems among other things- was listed among the world's top 10 weapons companies.

The report noted Russia started an initiative to consolidate its arms industry in 2007, a process that is expected to be completed soon.

Overall, the U.S. continued to dominate the list with 42 companies accounting for 57 percent of total sales, including the world's largest arms producer, Lockheed Martin Corp.

As a notable development, the report highlighted a 24 percent rise in sales by Turkish arms companies in 2017 from the preceding year. That reflected ``Turkey's ambitions to develop its arms industry to fulfil its growing demand for weapons and become less dependent on foreign suppliers,'' senior researcher Pieter Wezeman said.

14-Year-Old Boy Among 3 LeT Terrorists Killed In Jammu & Kashmir

The image shows a damaged house after the gunfight between militants and forces at Mujgund

SRINAGAR: A 14-year-old boy was among three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed in an 18-hour-long encounter, which also left four security men and three civilians injured at Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday.

The victims were identified as minor Mudasir Rashid Parray, Saqib Mushtaq and Ali Bhai, a Pakistani national. The injured security personnel - an Army jawan, two cops and a CRPF man - were admitted to a hospital. A senior police officer said that a joint team of the Special Operations Group (SOG), CRPF, and Army had launched a search and cordon operation on Saturday on the house where the three were hiding, leading to a fierce gunfight.

While two terrorists were killed on the same day, the operation was suspended due to darkness and resumed on Sunday morning. Mudasir was a Class 9 student, who went missing from his house in Bandirpora's Hajin town, with his school senior, Bilal Ahmad, a Class 11 student on August 29. It was the same day when his neighbourhood saw the encounter of three Pakistani terrorists in an anti-terror operation.

His mother Fareeda Begum said Mudasir, before leaving home, told them he was going to school but did not return. The family filed a missing report in a police station and began a search for him, but they could not trace the teenager for the next few months. It was only on November 29 when a picture went viral on social media with Mudasir holding an AK-47 and a dagger that his family got to know he was alive. 

Soon after the photo surfaced online, Fareeda took to social media to appeal to her son to "shun the path of terrorism and come back home". She asked the terror outfits to ensure his safe return as his father was "an ailing man", who could not make ends meet. Fareed has two other children - a daughter and a hearing-impaired son.

According to police, Mudasir had no criminal records before joining the terror outfit, although he had been a part of stone-pelting crowds on some occasions. The other terrorists were wanted in several terror cases. Sources said at least six houses in the locality were gutted as the terrorists kept changing their location. ADGP law & order Munir Khan said, "On Saturday, forces tried to persuade the terrorists to come out and surrender but instead they fired on the forces, triggering an encounter."

After news of the encounter spread on Sunday, violent clashes erupted in Hajin with people pelting stones at security forces. Protesters chanted pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans but were dispersed after police resorted to teargas shells and lathi charge. Authorities have suspended mobile internet services in Bandipora and Srinagar districts as a precautionary measure.

Surface-To-Air Missile Tests A Hit

Indian Air Force tests the advanced AKASH surface-to-air missile

Vijayawada: The Indian Air Force successfully tested surface-to-air missiles of four different class– Akash, Spyder, OSA-AK-M and IGLA at the Air Force Station at Suryalanka over the past three days day and night in an integrated network environment.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff, arrived at Air Force Station Suryalankla on a two-day visit and witnessed the combined guided weapons’ firing exercise of Surface to Air Missiles, code-named Exercise CROSS BOW – 18.

Air Marshal B. Suresh, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Air Command and Gp Captain R.M. Kumarasamy, Station Commander, Air Force Station Suryalanka received Birender Singh Dhanoa and explained about the CROSS-BOW-18 exercise arrangements.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that this was a first of its kind exercise undertaken by the Indian Air Force in which firing of four different classes of missiles – Akash, Spyder, OSA-AK-M and IGLA- were successfully carried out for three days during day and night in an integrated networked environment.

He along with AOC-in-C Southern Air Command and number of other dignitaries witnessed the missile launch.

Later, while interacting with the station personnel and the missile combat crew, ACM Dhanoa lauded IAF’s efforts towards the successful conduct of the exercise. He conveyed that Exercise Crossbow-18 was yet another major milestone achieved by the IAF.

He said that this exercise will help to improve the combat skills of the missile Squadron crew and will go a long way in strengthening the Air Defence preparedness of the country.

Addressing the missile combat crew, ACM Dhanoa stressed that improving professional skills during exercises of this kind will improve the combat capability of the IAF. He also advised Air warriors to be operation-ready at all times.

India Demands New Tests For $500 Million Spike Anti-Tank Missile, Delays Purchase

Jerusalem: India demands new tests for Israeli made anti tank missile 'Spike'. The $500 million deal will undergo additional tests that will focus on the missile's infrared systems.

Israel’s Rafael weapons manufacturer has hit a snag amid requests from New Delhi that the 100 surface-to-air Spike missiles undergo additional tests. India questions the Spike missile's durability in high temperatures, reports Haaretz.

Spike is a portable "Fire and Forget" anti-tank missile. India is demanding new tests for the Israeli homing missiles in the summer of 2019.

India's main argument for the additional tests is that the missile has so far failed to withstand high temperatures. According to foreign reports, this is a particular concern for India as it plants to operate them in desert conditions. 

The deal, therefore, could only be completed in late 2019 at the earliest – and even then pending an agreement between the governments of Israel and India.

And yet a growing concern is India is reconsidering the deal altogether, and instead may rely on Indian weapons manufacturers. 

Significant diplomatic efforts have gone into the missile deal, namely Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India last January. During that visit, Netanyahu declared that the "Spike deal is back on the table" after India's Defence Ministry pulled out of a similar deal. 

The Spike missile, with its different versions, is one of Rafael's best-selling products. It is a precision-guided missile capable of being launched from gunships, planes, warships and vehicle, with a range of up to 30 kilometres.

To date, Rafael has sold more than 30,000 Spike missiles to some 30 countries. In recent months talks have reportedly been launched to sell the weapons to Estonia, the Philippines and Australia. None of these transactions, however, comes close in scope to the planned deal with India.


China And Pak Supported Mizo Insurgency, Reveals Mizo National Front Leader In A New Book

Zoramthanga talks about his meeting with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in his autobiography

Aizawl: Once a dreaded militant and now a leading politician in North East, Zoramthanga has completed writing his autobiography, which, he terms, will be a very controversial book and is likely to be objected by both Pakistan and Chinese governments because of detail accounts of their “support” to the insurgency in Mizoram.

The two-volume book, to be called ‘MILARI’ in Mizo language, is currently being translated into English and the Mizo National Front President Zoramthanga plans to make it into a Hollywood movie in future with the potential of being at par with the flicks on the life of legendary revolutionary Che Guevara.

In an exclusive interview to PTI, the two-time Chief Minister of Mizoram expressed confidence of his party forming the next government in the state and said he will release the Mizo version of the book post the election results on December 11.

“I have written my autobiography in two volumes. It will be really, let us say, a very controversial book. (It) may be objected by Pakistan government and the Chinese also,” Zoramthanga said.

The book will have detailed descriptions of his 20 years of underground days, which will include how Dhaka had failed with the capture of Lieutenant General AAK Niazi’s one lakh troops by Indian forces, he added.

Zoramthanga informed that MNF cadres were mixed with commandoes of East Pakistan and were captured by Lieutenant General JS Arora, but later all escaped and went into jungle again.

The autobiography will talk about “how we made a dead devil James Bond type escape to East Pakistan through Rangoon and through the Arakan forest marching for days and days, how we met Bhutto and how we started peace talk with the Government of India in foreign countries”, he added.

Zoramthanga said it will also mention about how he and MNF insurgents had gone to China and “met Premier Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, Lin Biao and Chiang Ching” along with other Chinese leaders.

“…and how we here got a help from the Chinese government in the form of arms etc. This has to be recorded. Some of the publishers dare not publish these things. But anyhow, I have written these in Mizo language and it is now being translated (into English),” the MNF President said.

Asked when he plans to release the book, Zoramthanga said the printing of the two volumes in Mizo language is already completed and once he forms the government in the state post Assembly results, it will be released.

Talking about the release of the English version, he said: “I don’t not know. Translation is starting now. (It) depends upon when it is finished. Some Mizo professors are translating it. I believe that I will find a good publisher.” Expressing his desire to see his life on the silver screen, Zoramthanga said his autobiography has all the spices and plots to become a wonderful Hollywood movie if any producer comes forward.

He, however, is not interested in giving the book to Bollywood as the Mumbai-based industry may not have the courage to showcase everything that includes MNF’s fights and strategies against the Indian government… and many other sensitive information.

“So in India, they may not like to make it into a Bollywood movie. But in the United States, where everything they dare to make it, I believe that it will be at some sort of par with the Che Guevara’s those underground days movie. And I will try to publish these and make it into a movie. And it will be a very good movie for the Hollywood people,” Zoramthanga said.

After releasing the English version of the book, if any Hollywood movie maker shows interest, he is ready to discuss and make the project successful, he said enthusiastically.

‘MILARI’ is the name of Zoramthanga’s daughter. It is also a collection of initials of different words.

“MI stands for Mizoram, LA stands for Lalpa that means Lord and R stands for arrangements — Remruatna arrangement. The last one ‘I’ took it for myself. That is, Mizoram — the lord’s arrangements and myself. And the book is going to be called MILARI,” he added.

He informed that he had dictated the autobiography to his stenographer, who typed it for him.

When the Mizo Freedom Movement started in 1966, Zoramthanga joined the underground agitation and moved to the jungle.

MNF’s secessionist movement came to an end in 1986, when it signed the Mizo Peace Accord with the Government of India and created a separate state for the Mizos, called Mizoram. When the MNF formed the government in 1987 under the leadership of Laldenga, Zoramthanga looked after Finance and Education departments. In 1990, when Laldenga died, he became the President of the MNF.

In the Assembly elections of 1998, he led his party to victory and became the Chief Minister of Mizoram and was re-elected in 2003 for the second consecutive term.

MNF this time has fought in all the 40 constituencies during the Assembly polls, which took place on November 28, and the party is hoping to win over 25 seats.

ISRO To Launch Dedicated Military Satellite For IAF End December

A GSLV Mk-II rocket will launch India's new Military Satellite for the IAF into orbit

Once ISRO places GSAT-7A in the Geo stationary orbit, the communication satellite will enable the IAF to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS aircraft. It will boost the air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations

NEW DELHI: After the heaviest satellite GSAT-11 mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch a dedicated communication satellite for the Indian Air Force.

Talking to TOI, ISRO chairman K Sivan said, “ISRO will launch a communication satellite GSAT-7A dedicated for the IAF in the third week of this month. In January, there will be a PSLV launch and then communication satellite GSAT-31 will be launched from French Guiana that will replace INSAT-4CR, whose end of life is expected soon. And then we have the Chandrayaan-2 mission in January, whose launch window is from January 3 to February 13.”

Once ISRO places GSAT-7A in the Geo stationary orbit, the communication satellite will enable the IAF to interlink different ground radar stations, airbases and AWACS aircraft. It will boost the air force’s network-centric warfare capabilities and enhance its global operations.

Costing around Rs 500-800 crore, GSAT-7A will have a lifetime of nine years. It will have Ku-band transponders and two deployable solar arrays. The satellite weighing 2.2 tonnes will be launched by GSLV Mk II.

GSAT-7A will be the second satellite dedicated to the military. Earlier, ISRO had launched GSAT-7 or RUKMINI on September 29, 2013 exclusively for the Navy. RUKMINI has helped the Navy monitor the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as the satellite has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile ‘footprint’ and provides real-time inputs to Indian warships, submarines and maritime aircraft.

GSAT-7A will also boost drone operations as it will help the navy upgrade from existing ground control stations to satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The transition will boost the range, endurance and flexibility of UAVs. This comes at a time when India is in process of acquiring US armed Predator-B or Sea Guardian drones, which are high-altitude and long endurance satellite-controlled UAVs that can fire at enemy targets from long distances.

The US had earlier used these deadly UAVs against Taliban targets in Afghanistan which were operated by ground-based pilots sitting at the air force base in Nevada some 12,000 km away. The IAF is also likely to get another satellite GSAT-7C, within a few years that will boost its network-centric operations.

Currently, there are 320 military satellites currently orbiting the earth, with the US owning half of them, followed by Russia and China. Of late, China, considered to be India’s biggest rival, has taken huge strides in developing military assets in space, testing even ASAT (Anti-Satellite) weapons against “low-earth satellites” in January 17.

India, on the other hand, currently possesses around 13 military satellites. Most of these remote-sensing satellites like CARTOSAT-series and RISAT satellites are placed in the near-earth orbit which help in better scanning of the earth. However, some of these military satellites have also been put in the Geo orbit. The forces use these satellites for surveillance, navigation and communication purpose. The remote sensing satellites had also helped the military in the surgical strike against Pakistan to destroy terror launchpads.

ASTRA Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Expected To Be Inducted Into IAF In 2019

IAF conducts successful final development trials of ASTRA BVRAAM

Indian Air Force conducted a series of flight trials of ASTRA Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) from 26 September 2018 to 3 October 2018 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore, as part of final development trials of the missile.

The trials were a combination of complex tests for engagement of pilotless target in different modes of manoeuvring, off-bore sight, medium and long ranges. The missiles were telemetered for evaluation of online performance of all sub-systems especially the data link, RF seeker and proximity fuse for end-game performance.

ASTRA has been tested six times under different launch conditions and ranges as part of the final development trial. The missile has engaged targets and all the mission objectives have been met. With IAF’s active participation, DRDO has developed the missile and integrated the weapon on Su-30 and other air platforms. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Nasik, has been instrumental in the modification of a number of Su-30 aircraft for ASTRA weapon integration and support during trials. More than 50 private and public sector industries are involved in the development and production of different sub-systems of the missile. The missile is expected to be inducted into IAF in 2019.

Our Bureau

Navy Riposte To Chinese Presence

Undertaken 113 port calls this year, says officer

In the backdrop of increasing responsibilities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and increased Chinese presence increasing the tempo of overseas deployments and exercises to an all-time high, Indian Navy has embarked on a major capability upgrade. Highlighting this, a Navy officer said that this year on an average 35 Navy ships were deployed every day.

The Navy has undertaken 113 port calls including operational turnarounds this year and has participated in 21 exercises including the Indra series with Russia which began on Sunday,” the officer said.

With Navy ensuring the presence of at least one major ship at all critical choke points in the IOR under its Mission Based Deployments, the operational requirements have significantly gone up. On the other hand, India has significantly increased its military to military engagement with friendly nations as part of its defence diplomacy and the Navy is at the forefront.
“As on today, 32 ships and submarines are presently under construction in Indian shipyards. These include the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant, Project-15B destroyers, Project-17A stealth frigates, P-28 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvettes, Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) and Scorpene class submarines… In addition, Government approval has also been accorded for 56 Ships and six submarines,” Navy Chief Adm Sunil Lanba said last week.

The 56 ships are in various stages of procurement and include replacements for existing platforms as well as new additions. “Construction activity will be spread over a decade,” Adm Sunil Lanba stated.

These include next generation frigates and destroyers, four stealth frigates from Russia, four Landing Platform Decks (LPD), 16 shallow water craft, 12 mine sweepers, five Fleet Support Ships (FSS), four survey vessels, 2 Diving Support Vessels (DSV) among others.

The six submarines under Project-75I are being procured through the Strategic Partnership (SP) route for which the submarine specific guidelines are expected to be issued shortly taking the much delayed project forward.

Process is also on for procurement of 57 carrier based fighter aircraft, 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH), 24 Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH). There is a larger requirement of 123 MRHs which will fly from ship decks.

The Navy currently has 117 ships, 15 submarines and over 200 aircraft and has set an ambitious target of 200-ship force by 2027.

All this comes in the backdrop of China increasing its presence and establishing permanent facilities in the IOR. Adm Lanba stated that China deploys six to eight warships in the IOR at any given time and the eighth Chinese submarine since 2013 to enter the region returned to its base in October.

India has of late signed a series of logistics agreements -- US, France, Singapore and more in the offing -- which the navy expects will increase its reach and also offset the deficiencies in numbers in the near term. Navy has also signed white shipping agreements with 19 countries of which 12 have been operationalised for increased Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

Outlining an aircraft carrier based force structure for the Navy, Adm Lanba said, “In my opinion a three Carrier Battle Group (CBG) will suffice the Indian Navy’s role to provide maritime security in the IOR.”

While Navy is looking for more submarines, Adm Lanba said the high cost of a carrier is justified by the capability a CBG can bring to bear. “A submarine can’t do the same role as a CBG or a carrier can do. Submarine is an ideal platform for sea denial, while a CBG is the most potent platform for sea control,” he added.

However, the force enhancements are contingent on increased budgetary allocation which has not seen a major increase over the years. Also all three services are on a major modernisation drive putting further pressure on the limited resources.