The allegations of impropriety raised against the $1.4 billion Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles contract with Israel Aerospace Industries have elicited a response from the IAI, which has come out with a guarded denial to these allegations by issuing a statement without naming any specific contract, customer or country.
Indian defense procurement, which had hitherto been steaming ahead via the fast track procedure for procurement is facing the prospect of delays due to the two-month long general elections slated to commence this month.
• Sales in 2008 reach $3.6 billion, compared to $3.3 billion in 2007, an increase of 9 percent
• $91 million net profit in 2008, compared to $118 million in 2007, a decrease of 23 percent
• Profit before early retirement expenses reaches $195 million, compared to $157 million in 2007, an increase of 24 percent
• Backlog as of December 31, 2008, reach $7.1 billion, reflecting two years worth of sales
• Cash flow from current projects reaches $123 million
Army sources think the upsurge is the result of a number of factors coming together. “The receding winter, melting snows, opening of passes, the upcoming general elections and the increase in the influence of the Taliban in Pakistan are why this is happening, said the officer, who added, “Pakistan may also take this as an opportunity to divert attention from itself.” Ironically, the 12-15 feet of snow covering the LoC has made it easy for militants to cross the fence as they can simply walk over it.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will after all be conducting tests on its MiG 29 fighter aircraft to satisfy safety concerns according to PTI. The agency quoted Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Maintenance command as saying, “The IAF will conduct ultra sound examination of certain components of the MiG 29 at 11 Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the force.”
The General Officer Commanding, Kilo Force will be convening disciplinary proceedings against the three personnel, which could later result in them being cashiered from the army and even imprisoned.
In his almost four-decade-long service he has served in a variety of Command Staff and Instructional appointments. He has 3085 flying hours to his credit. The Air Marshal Naik also served in the 1971 war. Before taking over as VCAS, he was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Allahabad-based Central Air Command.
Both, the IAF as well as the Indian Navy, are concerned that the withdrawal from service of 90 Russian Air Force MiG-29s for repairs may lead to delays in delivery as well as quality issues in the upgrading and production of new aircraft for the two forces.
The Indian Navy is worried the issue of maritime security may be losing the priority and urgency given it after the 26/11 attacks as it would like the structure for managing maritime security and intelligence to be sorted out out as soon as possible, especially if it is expected to take over as the lead agency from the Coast Guard, as announced by the Defense Minister last week.
While the IAF has the abilities to deal with non-state actors, it has a long way to go in developing optimal capabilities. Reducing the sensor-shooter gap to zero where the sensor will have to be the shooter is critical. This will provide the fastest possible decision cycle.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) officer said, “While it can be seen as funny – perhaps a humorous parody, it’s likely to hurt the sensitivities of many people. Maybe Rafael should have thought of this before producing something like this.”
The promotional video was produced by the Israeli arms company Rafael and aired at Aero India 2009 held in Bangalore last month. The video has been derided by some commentators as badly produced and virtually all consider it invariably funny. The StratPost story has made news with the New York Times, with Ronald Mackey writing about it in the blog The Lede, not to mention in other commentaries and observations on the internet.
Matiur Rahman Nizami, the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, said while addressing a meeting of his party, “The killing mission was executed from Indian intelligence headquarters through close monitoring.” He also added that India pulled a masterstroke by destroying the border guards and trying to weaken Bangladesh’s army and national security.
The fighter aircraft company has been accused of corruption in pushing forward sales to South Africa with Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu coming out strongly against the South African arms contract, which also raises common allegations against South African president-in-waiting Jacob Zuma. Other deals with Hungary and the Czech Republic have also been under the scanner for alleged kickbacks being paid for the proposed purchase of the Gripen fighter.
French newspaper Liberation reported the virus to have infected the French Navy’s databases leaving the Rafales ‘nailed to the ground’ on January 15 and 16 this year. The Dassault aircraft Rafale is one of the six contenders for the 126 MMRCA tender issued by IAF.