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May 2018

PULL IAF OUT OF THIS QUICKSAND

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Author: AIR MARSHAL SUMIT MUKERJI (RETD)

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has dragged its heels in virtually every capital acquisition. As a case file transits, each department seems to possess its own interpretation of policy and procedure. Given the absolute lack of accountability and total apathy towards a stated task, the system takes advantage of the multiple decision agencies in the chain which, in turn, necessitates duplication of processes. The entire exercise, as is evident, is more a hurdle than facilitation.

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OBSOLESCENCE AND TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

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Author: COMMODORE ANIL JAI SINGH (RETD)

The Indian Navy’s conventional sub-sea capability has some very visible deficiencies which need urgent attention but the current pace of progress is not telling an encouraging story. In an increasingly dense regional sub-sea environment with a clear and present threat to our maritime aspirations, this is a critical vulnerability which we can ill-afford. Current requirements require a submarine force level of five SSBNs, six SSNs and about 18 SSKs. This could, however, take the better part of two decades to materialise, thus leaving no room for complacency.

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PAUCITY OF NON-LETHAL WEAPONRY

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Author: LT GEN MUKESH SABHARWAL (RETD)

One area of concern that remains is the avoidable shortages in procurement of non-lethal weapons and crowd control equipment. The CAPFs are called in to support the State police forces on numerous occasions. In J&K especially, the selection, quality and efficacy of the non-lethal weapons and their availability in sufficient quantities leaves much to be desired and definitely needs to be looked into by the MHA and the State security establishments.

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EXTENDED RANGE AND LETHALITY

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Author: CMDE RANJIT B RAI (RETD)

The INS Vindhyagiri and Taragiri (earlier Leander class frigates) were ingeniously fitted out with UAV control containers that extended their search range especially for missile attacks. Both ships are de-commissioned and it was hoped that new orders would be placed. The INS Vikramaditya’s MiG-29K fighters have just about enough take-off length with full payload and fuel which has to be reduced in high humid tropical conditions and planning and funding for a third aircraft carrier needs to be re-started.

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CONFUSING SIGNALS

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Author: AIR MARSHAL ANIL CHOPRA (RETD)

While the trend world-wide is to have limited fighter fleet types, IAF is mired by multiplicity of fleets with Jaguars, Mirage 2000s, Su-30s, MiG-21s and 29s, LCA and soon to be inducted, Rafale. Ideally, IAF could have settled for SU-30 MKI, Rafale and LCA fleets in the long run with new fighter and FGFA and AMCA later.

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