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USAF : F-35 Could Beat Russia's Stealth PAK-FA or

China's J-31 in a Fight


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017


By: National Interest

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An F-35 fighter pilot says he would be confident flying the Joint Strike Fighter against any
enemy in the world, including Russian and Chinese 5th Generation stealth fighters.

An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be able to use its sensors, weapons and computer
technology to destroy Russian and Chinese 5th-Generation Stealth fighters in a high-end
combat fight, service officials said.

“There is nothing that I have seen from maneuvering an F-35 in a tactical environment that
leads me to assume that there is any other airplane I would rather be in. I feel completely
comfortable and confident in taking that airplane into any combat environment,” Lt. Col.
Matt Hayden, 56th Fighter Wing, Chief of Safety, Luke AFB, Arizona, told Scout Warrior in
a special pilot interview.

Furthermore, several F-35 pilots have been clear in their resolve that the multi-role fighter is
able to outperform any other platform in existence.
Hayden was clear to point out he has not, as of yet, flown simulated combat missions against
the emerging Russian Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA 5th-Generation stealth fighter now in
development or the Chinese Shenyang J-31 5th Generation Stealth aircraft. While he said he
did not personally know all of the technologies and capabilities of these Russian and Chinese
aircraft, he was unambiguous in his assertion regarding confidence in the F-35.

Available information says the Russians have built at least 6 prototype T-50 PAK FAs for
their Air Force and Navy; the Chinese conducted a maiden test flight of its J-31 in 2012. In
addition, China is in pre-production with its J-20 5th-Generation stealth fighter. This fighter,
called the Chengdu J-20, made its first flight in 2011, and is expected to be operational by
2018, according to publicly available information and various news reports.

While Hayden did not elaborate on aspects of the J-20, he did say he would be confident
flying the F-35 against any aircraft in the world.

“All those other countries (Russia and China) are trying to develop airplanes that are
technologically capable as well -- from an F-35 perspective. We are no less capable than any
airplane and any fighters out there,” Hayden described.

In addition to leveraging the best available technologies on a fighter jet, winning a dog-fight
or combat engagement would depend just as much on the air-tactics and decisions made by a
pilot, Hayden explained.

“I have not flown against some of those aircraft. When you fight against an airplane, it
depends upon the airspeed. If I maximize the effectiveness of an F-35, I can exploit the
weaknesses of any other aircraft,” he said.

Many analysts have made the assessment that the J-20 does appear to be closely modelled
after the F-35.

In fact, a Defense Science Board report, cited in a 2014 Congressional assessment of the
Chinese military, (US-China Economic Security and Review Commission) makes reference
to specific developmental information and specs of numerous U.S. weapons systems believed
to be stolen by Chinese computer hackers; design specs and technologies for the F-35 were
among those compromised by Chinese cyber-theft, according to the report.

An AIN Online report from the Singapore Air Show in February of last year catalogues a
number of J-20 features and technologies – including those believed to be quite similar to the
F-35.

Chinese 5th-Generation

From the Report: Original AIN Online Report HERE

“The J-20 is a large multi-role fighter with stealthy features similar to those found in the
American F-22 and F-35. Although very little is known about its intended purpose, the
aircraft appears to offer capability in a number of roles, including long-range interception and
precision attack.
In terms of weapon carriage the J-20 has a similar arrangement to that of the Lockheed
Martin F-22, comprising two lateral bays for small air-to-air missiles such as the agile,
imaging-infrared PL-10, and a large under-fuselage bay for accommodating larger missiles
and precision-guided surface attack weapons. The 607 Institute’s new PL-15 active-radar
missile is thought to be the primary long-range air-to-air weapon, reportedly having been test-
fired from a Shenyang J-16 platform last year. The PL-21, a ramjet-powered weapon in the
same class as the MBDA Meteor, is another possibility for the J-20.

The sensor suite includes an electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) and a large-array AESA
radar, which was developed by the 14th Institute at Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics
Technology (NRIET, 14th Institute), and is possibly designated Type 1475/KLJ-5. Diamond-
shaped windows around the fuselage suggest that a distributed aperture infrared vision system
is installed.

In the cockpit, the J-20 sports three large color displays, plus other small screens, and a
holographic wide-angle head-up display. An advanced datalink has been developed, and a
retractable refueling probe is located on the starboard side of the forward fuselage. Much of
the avionics suite has been tested by the CFTE (China flight test establishment) aboard a
modified Tupolev Tu-204C, in much the same way as the systems of the F-22 were tested in
a Boeing 757.”

Regarding the Russian T-50 PAK FA Stealth fighter, numerous reports suggest the aircraft
has numerous technological problems and is a 5th generation plane “in name only.”

Russian 5th-Generation

The Following is a report on the T-50 PAK FA from Business Insider, also from this year’s
Singapore Air Show….Business Insider Report HERE

“Reporting from the Singapore Airshow 2016, IHS Jane's reports that "Russian industry has
consistently referred to the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA as a fifth-generation aircraft, but a careful
look at the program reveals that this is an 'in name only' designation."

This is largely because of a lack of evolutionary technology aboard the plane compared with
previous jets that Russia and the US have designed. Indeed, the PAK FA's engines are the
same as those aboard Russia's 4++ generation (a bridging generation between fourth- and
fifth-generation aircraft) Su-35. Additionally, the PAK FA and the Su-35 share many of the
same onboard systems.

And even when the PAK FA's systems are different from the Su-35's, the plane's
specifications are still not up to true fifth-generation standards.

RealClearDefense, citing Indian media reports that are familiar with a PAK FA variant being
constructed in India, notes that the plane has multiple technological problems. Among these
problems are the plane's "engine performance, the reliability of its AESA radar, and poor
stealth engineering."
F-35 Sensor Fusion:

Despite various reports about technologies being engineered into the Russian and Chinese
5th-Generation Stealth Fighters, it is in no way clear that either aircraft is in any way
comparable to the F-35. Most publicly available information seems to indicate that the F-35
is superior - however, to some extent, the issue remains an open question. More information
is likely to emerge once the Russian and Chinese aircraft are operational and deployed.

For example, the Chinese J-20 is cited as having an Electro-Optical targeting system, stealth
configuration, datalink, AESA radar and precision weaponry quite similar to the F-35,
according to the AIN report.

The computer algorithms woven into the F-35 architecture are designed to leverage early
iterations of what could be described as early phases of “artificial intelligence.” Broadly
speaking, artificial intelligence refers to fast-evolving computer technology and processors
able to gather, assess and integrate information more autonomously in order to help humans
make decisions more quickly and efficiently from a position of command-and-control.

“If there is some kind of threat that I need to respond to with the airplane, I don’t have to go
look at multiple sensors and multiple displays from multiple locations which could take my
time and attention away from something else,” Hayden added.

The F-35 software, which shows images on display screens in the cockpit as well as on a
pilot's helmet-mounted-display, is able to merge results from various radar capabilities onto a
single screen for the pilot.

“The F-35 takes from multiple sensors around the airplane and combines them together in a
way that is much more manageable and accessible -- while not detracting from the other tasks
that the pilot is trying to accomplish,” Hayden said.

For instance, the F-35's Electro-Optical Target System, or EOTS, is an infrared sensor able to
assist pilots with air and ground targeting at increased standoff ranges while also performing
laser designation, laser range-finding and other tasks.

In addition, the plane's Distributed Aperture System, or DAS, is a series of six electro-optical
sensors also able to give information to the pilot. The DAS includes precision tracking, fire
control capabilities and the ability to warn the pilot of an approaching threat or missile.

The F-35 is also engineered with an Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar, which is
able to track a host of electromagnetic signals, including returns from Synthetic Aperture
Radar, or SAR. This paints a picture of the contours of the ground or surrounding terrain and,
along with Ground Moving Target Indicator, or GMTI, locates something on the move on the
ground and airborne objects or threats.

Hayden added that the F-35 has been training against other F-35s in simulated combat
situations, testing basic fighter maneuvers. Having himself flown other fighter aircraft, he
explained that many other F-35 pilots also fly the airplane after having experience flying an
F-16, A-10 or other combat aircraft.

“The F-35’s low-observable technology can prevent detection. That is a strength that other
airplanes do not have,” he said.

F-35 and F-22:

At the same time, senior Air Force leaders have made the point that F-35 technological
superiority is intended to be paired with the pure air-to-air dogfighting ability of the service’s
F-22 – a stealth aircraft, with its speed, maneuverability and thrust-to-weight ratio, is believed
by many to be the most capable air-to-air platform in the world.

“Every airplane has flaws. When you design an airplane, you design an airplane with
tradeoffs - give something else up. If I was flying against an adversary in actual combat, my
job would be to exploit the enemy weakness and play to my strength. I can compensate for
certain things,” Hayden explained. “There is a certain way to fly and fight in an airplane,
using airspeed to maximize the turning performance of the airplane.”

During a public speech in 2015, the Air Forces Air Combat Commander, Gen. Hawk Carlisle,
said the F-22 is engineered such that it can complement the F-35.

“You will use the F-35 for air superiority, but you will need the raptors to do some things in a
high-end fight to penetrate denied airspace,” he said. “The airplane is designed for multi-role
capability, electronic warfare and sensors. The F-35 will win against any fourth-generation
airplane -- in a close-in fight, it will do exceedingly well. There will be a combination of F-
22s and F-35s in the future.”

Hayden further elaborated upon these claims, arguing that the F-35 has another set of
strategic advantages to include an ability to use internally built sensors. This prevents the
need to use external pods on a fighter jet which can add drag, slowing down and restricting
maneuverability for an aircraft.

“As an F-35 pilot, I can carry bombs to a target area where I can now take out air-to-ground
threats. You have to look at the overall picture of the airplane. The airplane was designed to
overwhelm the battlespace in a non-permissive threatening environment where 4th-gen
fighters are not going to persist,” he added.

The F-35 is engineered with a 25-mm gun and has the ability to carry and fire a wide range of
weapons. The aircraft has already demonstrated an ability to fire an AMRAAM (Advanced
Medium Range Air to Air Missile), JDADM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) or GBU 12
(laser-guided aerial bomb), and AIM 9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

So-called "Block 3F" software for the F-35 increases the weapons delivery capacity of the
JSF as well, giving it the ability to drop a Small Diameter Bomb and 500-pound JDAM.

As a multi-role fighter, the F-35 is also engineered to function as an intelligence, surveillance


and reconnaissance platform designed to apprehend and process video, data and information
from long distances. Some F-35 developers have gone so far as to say the F-35 has ISR
technologies comparable to many drones in service today that are able to beam a “soda
straw” video view of tactically relevant combat locations in real time.

Finally, regarding dogfighting, it is pertinent to point out a “War is Boring” report from 2015
which cited an F-35 fighter pilot explaining how an F-16 was able to win a “mock dogfight”
against an F-35; the F-35 Joint Program Office disputed this claim, saying the F-35 used in
the scenario was in no way representative of today’s operational F-35s. The software,
weapons and sensor technologies used in the mock dogfight were not comparable to the most
evolved F-35.

Furthermore, F-35 proponents maintained that the aircraft’s advanced computer technology
and sensors would enable it to see and destroy enemy fighters from much longer ranges –
essentially destroying enemy fighters before they are seen.

OODA Loop

The idea is to enable F-35 pilots to see and destroy enemies in the air, well in advance of a
potential dogfight scenario. This can be explained in terms of a well-known Air Force
strategic concept pioneered years ago by air theorist and pilot Col. John Boyd, referred to as
the "OODA Loop," --- for observe, orient, decide and act. The concept is to complete this
process quickly and make fast decisions while in an air-to-air dogfight -- in order to get inside
the enemy's decision cycle, properly anticipate, and destroy an enemy before they can destroy
you.

The F-35 is designed with long-range sensors and data fusion technologies such that, as a
fifth-generation aircraft, it can complete the OODA Loop much more quickly than potential
adversaries, F-35 advocates claim.

Mission Data Files

Described as the brains of the airplane, the mission data files are extensive on-board data
systems compiling information on geography, air space and potential threats in known areas
of the world where the F-35 might be expected to perform combat operations, Air Force
officials explained.

Consisting of hardware and software, the mission data files are essentially a database of
known threats and friendly aircraft in specific parts of the world. The files are being worked
on at a reprogramming laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Air Force officials told
Military.com last year. The mission data files are designed to work with the aircraft's Radar
Warning Receiver engineered to find and identify approaching enemy threats and hostile fire.

The mission data packages are loaded with a wide range of information to include
commercial airliner information and specifics on Russian and Chinese fighter jets. For
example, the mission data system would enable a pilot to quickly identify a Russian MiG-29
if it were detected by the F-35’s sensors.

The mission data files are being engineered to adjust to new threat and intelligence
information as it emerges. For instance, the system is engineered to one day have all the
details on a Chinese J-20 stealth fighter or Russian T-50 PAK FA stealth aircraft.

As a high-visibility, expensive acquisition program, the F-35 has many vocal detractors and
advocates; the aircraft has, to be sure, had its share of developmental problems over the years.
some of these problems include complications with its main computer system, called ALIS,
and a now-corrected engine fire aboard the aircraft. Overall, most critics have pointed to the
program's growing costs, something program officials claim has vastly improved through
various money-saving initiatives and bulk-buys.

---------------
Kris Osborn became the Managing Editor of Scout Warrior in August of 2015. His role with
Scout.com includes managing content on the Scout Warrior site and generating independently
sourced original material. Scout Warrior is aimed at providing engaging, substantial military-
specific content covering a range of key areas such as weapons, emerging or next-generation
technologies and issues of relevance to the military. Just prior to coming to Scout Warrior,
Osborn served as an Associate Editor at the Military.com. Osborn previously served at the
Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army
- Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air
military specialist at CNN and CNN Headline News. This story originally appeared in Scout
Warrior.

China petrified - After ICBM, India to test 3500 km K-4


from a Submarine
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Monday, January 09, 2017


By: New Indian Express

Source Link: Click Here



Amidst rising concern of China over successful test firing of ICBM Agni-V, India is
contemplating a fresh test of its longest range submarine-launched ballistic missile, code
named K-4, which is capable of delivering nuclear warhead over 3,500 km away.

Sources said, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to


conduct the test from an undersea platform in the Bay of Bengal by month-end.

“The platform is being readied for the test. If everything goes as per the programme, the
weapon system, which has caught the attention of enemy nations, will be tested as per
schedule,” the source told ‘The Express’ on Sunday.

Though it is yet to be known whether the test would be conducted from a submerged pontoon
(replica of a submarine) or the indigenously developed submarine INS Arihant, it would be
from a platform nearly 30 feet deep in the sea.

Once the platform is ready, movement of tracking systems and Naval ships to the area of
mission will be made, the source informed. This would be third test of the missile even as
none of the tests has officially been revealed.

The DRDO, which has designed and developed the missile, had kept the project secret till its
first test in March 2014. The missile, world’s best in this class, will have to undergo a couple
of more developmental trials before being inducted in the armed forces.

The intermediate range submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is about 12 metres tall
with a diameter of 1.3. It weighs around 17 tonnes and can carry a warhead weighing up to
2,000 kg. The missile is powered by solid rocket propellant.

“This time an advanced variant of the missile will be tested to validate new technologies
incorporated in the system. The test would be for a higher range also,” the source added.

A successful trial of the missile would strengthen the country’s position in the exclusive club
of six nations including Russia, USA, France, UK and China which have the capability of
firing nuclear tipped missiles from air, land and undersea.
A defence scientist said, this manoeuvrable missile having an innovative system of
interlacing in three dimensions can also cruise at a hypersonic speed. “This exceptional
feature of the weapon system makes it difficult to be tracked easily and destroyed by any
anti-ballistic missile defence system. The missile has a high accuracy of near-zero circular
error probable (CEP),” he said.

India's amplifying weapons acquisition - Pak prespective


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Monday, January 09, 2017


By: Pak Observer

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According to 2016 arms imports and exports reports of the Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI), Indian stood as the top arms import in the world. The report says
that, between 2011-2015, India imported 14% of the total arms at the global level. It was
followed by China, which accounts for only 4.7 % of world’s arms imports. A stark
difference in the percentage of the arm imports between top two states.

However, for the year 2015, Saudi Arabia stood number one and India at number two
position in the global arms imports. Whereas India maintained the tag of top arms importer,
Russia and U.S maintained their position of top exporters of the weapons, followed by China,
France and Germany.

According to Indian defence experts, the major reason of heavy Indian arms imports is failure
of its indigenous arms production or low quality arms production. Traditionally, India has
been biggest arms importer from former Soviet Union and now Russia. Even today, most of
its weaponry is Russian origin and imports during last two decades were also mostly Russian
in all three arms. Since last one decade, India has started diversifying its weapon imports with
major focus towards United States and European countries. This is basically a drive for
attaining the quality, rather quantity.

The top Indian arms importer status cannot be seen in isolation. The political leadership of
India has the ambition of India attaining the status of major power status, in line with the P-5.
In this regard, recently India conducted test firing of its strategic intercontinental ballistic
missile, Agni-V with a range of 5000 kms. With this drive, India would look for its inclusion
in the club of super five, so far, US, Russia, France, UK and china has this capability of
having ICBM with 5000-5500 kms range. Now Indian missiles can easily target almost all
parts of China, Pakistan, most of Persian Gulf states and even Europe continent is not out of
Indian missile range.

There are three factors in the power projection; the political objectives, the economic
sustainability and military capability. These developments of Indian arms imports, strategic
alliances with US and Western countries, missile programme without any international
condemnation and growing economy indicates the Indian ambition of attaining the status of a
major power.

Regionally, it has already attained the status of a hegemon, constraining all its neighbours.
Furthermore, attaining the status of a major power by India suits the super power, the United
States, as it would be used against the China at the need of hour. U.S sees China as the peer
competitor at the global level, therefore would like to engage it regionally, before it become a
challenge for US globally.

Indian political leadership has always been looking for a bigger status for India, however,
India lacked the economic power to sustain its strategic ambitions. Now, once India started
growing economically, it started arming itself too. The New India Army Chief General
BipinRawat, has also made some of the belligerent remarks, indeed in line with political
leadership of India. After assuming the command of 1.3 million Indian Army he boasted that,
India is all set to fight “two-front war” simultaneously against Pakistan and China.

General Rawat has warned both Pakistan and China with Indian Army capability of carrying
out offensive; the cold start and the two front war. For Pakistan, he even boasted for another
phase of surgical strike, as if India Army really had one, earlier. Nevertheless, General Rawat
has to toe the line of his political leadership, who have been issuing threatening statement in
the past few months. This include; Indian Prime Minister, Interior Minster and Defence
Minister of India, who in violation of all diplomatic norms, threatened Pakistan with dire
consequences, even its disintegration into ten parts.

A combination of the stockpiling of the weapons, the political ambitions and support of super
power encourages India to behave in an abnormal manner. The threatening tone and texture
of both political and military leadership of India has enhanced Indian vulnerabilities both
regionally as well as globally. If US encourages India against China, it does not mean that,
India really can compete with China. Just from the pattern of arms imports, China has 4%
share of global arm imports with the status of world’s second largest economy and huge
vulnerable border and huge military too. It means China has indigenous capability to produce
high quality arms, thus militarily so strong. Can India really challenge the Chinese Military
Might and can it compete Chinese economy? Wars cannot be fought on assumptions and
appreciations from another power, which may have very different agenda, not suiting India.

The way forward is that, India must stop promotion of the arms race in the region. Indian
offensive posture emerged from the statements of its political and military leadership and
massive arms stockpiling isposing a real threat to the regional peace and stability. The
offensive posture of Indian leadership has created a dilemma for Pakistan. Pakistan desires
stoppage of arms race, resolution of issues through talks and peaceful negotiations. India has
adopted a different course of action, aggressive and offensive in nature. With such an
opposite mind set, there cannot be peace and stability. The bilateralism has not worked in the
Indo-Pak relationship, therefore there is a need of global involvement and facilitation for
bringing peace and stability in the subcontinent, otherwise, Indian offensive posture is an
open invitation for a conflict, which may prove disastrous with unimaginable outcome, both
for the region and internationally too.

NSG's 'Future Soldier' programme to be revived with


Make-in-India twist
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Monday, January 09, 2017


By: India Today

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The National Security Guard, India's special forces unit, plans to revive its 'future soldier'
programme, which was shelved in 2013 due to logistics issues. The renewed project comes
with a Make-in-India twist, as the elite force has roped in DRDO and IIT-Mumbai to give a
final shape to the soldier prototype.

About 40 countries are working on similar programmes, including US, UK, France,
Germany, Russia and Israel, that entails future ground warfare and survivability in diverse
terrains. While the West has a clear head start on such projects, India is aiming to achieve the
mission by 2025.

"Yes, we are working on reviving the future soldier project," NSG director general Sudhir
Pratap Singh told Mail Today. However, Singh refused to divulge more details of the project.

PROJECT MORE PROMISING, RESULT ORIENTED: OFFICIALS ::

Originally mooted in 2011, after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008, the project was
assigned to Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL) but lost steam midway as costs of making of one
unit of armour escalated. Sources said the BEL did come up with a prototype, with a
whopping cost of Rs 12-13 crore for 30 soldiers.

However, a renewed commitment of the current dispensation with Make-in-India factor has
given the 'future soldier' project a fresh thrust. A senior officer in the NSG described the
project as "more promising and result oriented".

Lauding the indigenous push, former NSG DG Arvind Ranjan, who was part of the
programme during his tenure in 2012, said it is important to develop indigenous programme
as no country will share top secret project of this kind.

"I travelled to many countries (to study such projects), but they were willing to share only
rudimentary technology," Ranjan said. "We have the best soldiers in the world, and if they
are provided with the best technology, it will act as a force multiplier."
Comparing the project with US Navy Seals raiding party in 2011, R K Medhekar, also a
former DG of the force, said once the commandos get advanced devices fitted to their body,
NSG operations could be viewed real time by commanding officers as was in the case during
the raid on Osama.

The world watched in bated breath as US Navy Seals swooped down on Abbottabad in a
stealth helicopter killing the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden, with live pictures being
simultaneously broadcast to a control room in White House.

Medhekar said a lot of progress has been made in equipments since NSG's first project was
shelved. "Now we have non-reflective goggles, night-vision glasses and communication on
encrypted codes."

He said the idea of camera on top is to ensure that the soldier is not distracted by reporting
back. "It had other advantages to know location of self and team mates. In the last project too,
DRDO was working on a lighter uniform with GPS devices. But cost overruns took a toll.
Experts said the project aims to equip our soldier with high-tech weapons to undertake
specialised operations through land, air and water.

"We need mobility, lethality, survivability in our forces on par with world's best forces,"
major general (retired) P K Sehgal told Mail Today.

Wary of China, India offers Akash SAM Missile Systems


to Vietnam
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Monday, January 09, 2017


By: TNN

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Highlights

 Sources say discussions are under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence
missiles
 The missiles have an interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters
& drones
 This comes in the backdrop of India & Vietnam deciding to “elevate” their “strategic
partnership”

India is now actively discussing the possible sale of the indigenously developed Akash
surface-to-air missile systems+ to Vietnam, even as the two countries steadily crank up their
bilateral military ties with a watchful eye on a confrontational China in the Asia-Pacific
region.

With Beijing continuing to thwart New Delhi's bid to join the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers
Group and get Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the UN,
while also stepping up its naval forays into the Indian Ocean Region, India is responding by
fast-tracking military ties with countries in China's own backyard. The expanding "strategic
and military partnership" with Japan and Vietnam, in particular, has emerged a major thrust
area.

Sources say the discussions under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence missiles,
which have an interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters and drones,
come after India earlier offered BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Varunastra anti-
submarine torpedoes to the country.

India, of course, will also begin training Vietnamese fighter pilots on its Sukhoi-30MKI
fighter jets from this year, much like it has been tutoring sailors from that country on the
intricate art of operating Kilo-class submarines for the last three years, as reported earlier by
TOI.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar says Vietnam "is a close friend" and several initiatives
are in progress to further boost bilateral defence cooperation, ranging from help in upgrade of
military equipment of the Vietnamese forces to training them on fighters and submarines.
All this comes in the backdrop of India and Vietnam deciding to "elevate" their "strategic
partnership", which was established in July 2007, into a "comprehensive strategic
partnership" during PM Narendra Modi's visit to Hanoi in September 2016.

Sources said Vietnam has shown "deep interest" in the acquisition of Akash missiles, asking
for transfer of technology and joint production of the air defence system.

India, however, thinks it has to be an incremental process, with an initial off-the-shelf


purchase followed by transfer of technology in maintenance and other areas.

"Talks are in progress to arrive at a common plan. It's relatively easier on the Akash front
since the missile system is 96% indigenous," said a source. The two defence secretaries,
incidentally, are slated to meet soon to identify the military projects and equipment under the
new $500 million defence line of credit announced by Modi in September.

But it will be more complicated to sell the 290-km range BrahMos — or transfer technology
— to Vietnam because the missiles are produced here under a joint Indo-Russian venture.
BrahMos missiles still have an import content of over 60% from Russia.

On other fronts, however, India is fast expanding its military training, technology sharing,
joint exercises, visits and exchange of experts with Vietnam. Faced with a belligerent China,
Vietnam too has been strengthening its military capabilities by inducting Kilo-class
submarines and Sukhoi fighters from Russia, both of which have been operated by Indian
armed forces for years.

It was in 2013 that India had kicked off the training of a large number of Vietnamese sailors
in "comprehensive underwater combat operations'' in Navy submarine school INS
Satavahana, Visakhapatnam.

Agni Trials: By threatening India over test-firing of


ICBMs, China has revealed its insecurity
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Sunday, January 08, 2017


By: First Post

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There is something curious about the latest round of confrontation between India and China
on the former's final testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile. It's not as if that by testing
one ICBM, albeit with a capacity to carry a nuclear warhead into Chinese mainland, India has
caught up with China's military might and drew parity with their vastly superior strategic
nuclear weaponry. With a GDP five times that of India's and a defence budget that at $150
billion outstrips India's by four times, China is bent upon world domination and dreams of
replacing US as the next global superpower.

It therefore sounded a little jarring when Chinese media on Thursday indulged in nakedly
aggressive posturing over India's final test-firing of Agni-IV and played its Pakistan card
rather openly, warning India that more missile testing will develop into an arms race in south
Asia because it won't shy away from arming Islamabad to match India's arsenal.

This represents an interesting new deviation in Chinese policy. Though this wasn't an
"official response" to India's flight-testing of Agni-IV that carries a strike range of 4,000km,
the country's state-run media is traditionally used to convey messages that are considered too
incendiary for official conduits. The diplomatic reaction, transmitted through China's foreign
ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, wasn't too staid either as Beijing accused India of
breaking UNSC resolutions through the testing of ballistic missile.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has long given Deng Xiaoping's '24-character strategy' a
quiet burial in favour of a muscular, assertive foreign policy but that geopolitical aggression
is usually masked by plausible deniability or an exaggerated show of humility. Not exactly
Gandhian principle of "true power speaks softly" but China rarely indulges in sabre-rattling
even as under Jinping it goes about pursuing the 'Chinese Dream' and translating aggressively
its might as world's second-largest economy into hard military power.

Its revisionist policies under the new "core leader" and leveraging of economic prowess into
geostrategic depth and political weight-throwing has always gone hand in hand with a
perverse modesty.
Not this time.

India's test-firing of DRDO-developed long-range weaponry that may carry nuclear


weaponry deep into Chinese territory seems to have touched a raw nerve that prompted
Beijing to launch an open threat and use the one card that it prefers to hide beneath its sleeves
— Pakistan.

The Global Times editorial wrote: "In general, it is not difficult for India to produce
intercontinental ballistic missiles which can cover the whole world. If the UN Security
Council has no objection over this, let it be. The range of Pakistan's nuclear missiles will also
see an increase."

Beijing's use of Pakistan to contain India is nothing new. It has exploited the animosity
between the neighbours to great effect. Whereas on one hand, it has built strategic depth
inside Pakistan by almost-colonising the economically bankrupt nation, it has also propped
up the warmonger Rawalpindi generals by supplying arms and military technology so that
they may remain up to scratch in an arms race and keep India within their crosshairs. But in
every step of the way, China has maintained a façade of neutrality. What explains the
departure?

In his book Choices, former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon provides some
valuable insights. According to Menon, who served as India's foreign secretary and was
instrumental in engineering the 1993 Border Peace Agreement with China during the
Narasimha Rao regime, the balance of power between India and China is of great importance
to the latter. Though Beijing never shies away from pointing out the difference between India
and China in terms of economic and military might, it is perennially worried about India
inching towards some sort of parity.

The shades of this were evident in the border dispute between the two countries. While China
had vastly improved its military and civilian infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border in
the 1980s and 1990s, it became — according to Menon who served as India's envoy to China
from 2000-03 — extremely annoyed when New Delhi tried to close the infrastructure gap and
enhance military deployments and capabilities along the LAC. The Chinese, says the author,
has been pressing hard of late for an agreement that would "freeze the existing imbalance"
along the border.

Not surprisingly, this has become the latest flashpoint of conflicting interests and Chinese
irritation has been further exacerbated by Indian steps along the 120,000 square-mile long
LAC. As a Times of India report points out, New Delhi has decided to base the first squadron
of Rafale fighter jets at Bengal's Hashimara base from 2019 as part of "conventional
deterrence against China". Other steps include additional Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, spy drones
& helicopters in the North East, deployment of T-72 tanks in eastern Ladakh and Sikkim,
new infantry divisions, Mountain Strike Corps, Super Hercules Aircraft and the works,
according to the report.

The Chinese threats, therefore, are an expression of insecurity that should help India gain
strategic leverage against the Dragon.
China to set up world's highest altitude telescopes at
border with India
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Saturday, January 07, 2017


By: TNN

Source Link: Click Here


Highlights

 Telescopes will be set up to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe, may
reveal more about Big Bang Theory
 At budget of USD 18.8 million, these will be the highest altitude telescopes in the
world
 They will be located in Tibet, close to Line of Actual Control with India

China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet, close to
Line of Actual Control with India, with a budget of USD 18.8 million to detect faintest
echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.

Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of
Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National
Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Parts of Nagri is last Tibetan prefecture at China's border with India.

The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on
primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Yao said the second phase involves a series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No 2, to be
located about 6,000 meters above sea level.

He did not give a time frame for construction of Ngari No 2. The budget for the two-phase
Ngari gravitational wave observatory is an estimated 130 million yuan (USD 18.8 million).

The project was initiated by the Institute of High Energy Physics, National Astronomical
Observatories, and Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, among
others, the report said.

Ngari, with its high altitude, clear sky and minimal human activity is said to be one of the
world's best spots to detect tiny twists in cosmic light.

Yao said the Ngari observatory will be among the world's top primordial gravitational wave
observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and the facility in Chile's Atacama
Desert.

Gravitational waves were first proposed by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity 100
years ago, but it wasn't until 2016 that scientists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-
Wave Observatory announced proof of the waves' existence, spurring fresh research interest
among the world's scientists.

Last September, China commissioned the world's largest radio telescope in a mountainous
region of southwest China's Guizhou Province to search for more strange objects space, gain
better understand the origin of the universe and to boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial
life.

The installation of the telescope's main structure -- a 4,450-panel reflector as large as 30


football pitches was built at unique valley in Guizhou Province.

China to set up world's highest altitude telescopes at


border with India
 Facebook
 Twitter
 Google+
 Linked in

Saturday, January 07, 2017


By: TNN

Source Link: Click Here


Highlights

 Telescopes will be set up to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe, may
reveal more about Big Bang Theory
 At budget of USD 18.8 million, these will be the highest altitude telescopes in the
world
 They will be located in Tibet, close to Line of Actual Control with India

China is setting up the world's highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in Tibet, close to
Line of Actual Control with India, with a budget of USD 18.8 million to detect faintest
echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.

Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of
Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture, said Yao Yongqiang chief researcher with the National
Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Parts of Nagri is last Tibetan prefecture at China's border with India.

The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on
primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Yao said the second phase involves a series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No 2, to be
located about 6,000 meters above sea level.

He did not give a time frame for construction of Ngari No 2. The budget for the two-phase
Ngari gravitational wave observatory is an estimated 130 million yuan (USD 18.8 million).

The project was initiated by the Institute of High Energy Physics, National Astronomical
Observatories, and Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, among
others, the report said.

Ngari, with its high altitude, clear sky and minimal human activity is said to be one of the
world's best spots to detect tiny twists in cosmic light.

Yao said the Ngari observatory will be among the world's top primordial gravitational wave
observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and the facility in Chile's Atacama
Desert.

Gravitational waves were first proposed by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity 100
years ago, but it wasn't until 2016 that scientists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-
Wave Observatory announced proof of the waves' existence, spurring fresh research interest
among the world's scientists.

Last September, China commissioned the world's largest radio telescope in a mountainous
region of southwest China's Guizhou Province to search for more strange objects space, gain
better understand the origin of the universe and to boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial
life.

The installation of the telescope's main structure -- a 4,450-panel reflector as large as 30


football pitches was built at unique valley in Guizhou Province.