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Publisher and CEO Blog - Pawan Agrawal Blog

Maximising Security Helicopter Command

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The dynamics of transportation, both military and civilian, have undergone a sea-change since rotary-wing vehicles, known as helicopters, made their debut at around the middle of World War II. More and more helicopters are being used both for direct aerial combat as well as for transportation of men and material propelled by an increasing density of road traffic; congestion at existing airfields, and, as in the case with India, where road transportation is stymied by the difficulties of road and bridge construction in the high Himalayan battlefields. At rapid pace, the feasibility (and necessity) of using unmanned drone rotary winged vehicles from the very heavy lift to miniscule eyes-in-the-sky surveillance platforms is being demonstrated.

This edition of DSA is dedicated to this very important machine which is to play a very vital role in the Indian military arsenal in the years to come given that it is about to be inducted in the hundreds. India is at the tipping point of ending the use of superannuated platforms like the Cheetah and Chetak workhorses and is preparing to induct the modern versions.

Primarily, helicopters are more widely used by the defence forces in India than in the civil arena. The role of helicopters is multi-dimensional and though it is under the total control of the military services, it is the Services that operate the helicopters in the many humanitarian and disaster relief operations given the seasonal depredations that visit the nation cyclically.

There is a growing demand for helicopters, both manned and drones, from not just the armed forces but also the large number of paramilitary / Central Armed Police Forces. The time is appropriate to resurrect a concept that was intended to optimise the use of military assets even while creating a commonality quotient that will improve national security in a holistic manner.

It is acknowledged that each Service has a peculiar requirement dictated by the element in which it operates (the naval versions in particular). Yet, there is scope for creating a common pool of facilities for planning acquisitions in a manner in which the multiplicity of types of helicopters does not become a logistical nightmare. Similarly, a commonality in training and logistics facilities could improve the cost-effectiveness of the entire fleet. One thing is amply clear that the business of building helicopters (we have the indigenously designed and developed Dhruv helicopter and its armed version, the Rudra) will soon have enough orders at hand to make investments in plant and machinery an attractive long-term prospect.

A Helicopter Command mandated to produce a list of contenders ofr acquisition within a short time-frame should have representatives of all end users so that all requirements are assessed and collated on the basis of common features. On the basis of htis list, common training and maintenance and repair facilities can be envisaged and created .This Helicopter Command will also be mandated to strengthen the indigenous research and development infrastructure as well as expanding the involvement of the private sector medium and small scale manufacturers for spare parts and ancillaries.

The core feature of the suggested Helicopter Command is the creation of an ecosystem that will reduce costly multiplicity and at the same time, set up the infrastructure for a self-sustaining helicopter industry that will cater to both the military and the civilian sectors.

I am sure if the Helicopter Command is created, it will be a gerat value addition to the defence and security forces. This edition, dear reader, is one of its own kind to know and understand the importance of helicopters in national security which has been visualised by our esteemed contributors.

Jai Hind!


What Next Against Terrorism?

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For how long must India exercise restraint in the face of the proxy war being conducted jointly by Pakistan and China? It has been more than three decades that we have exhibited the highest level of patience and have lost more than 90,000 persons, both in uniform and civilians, to terrorist attacks. It is not that we have not countered their attempts strongly enough but we have not taken steps to inflict condign punishment on the instigators and masterminds operating from inside Pakistani held territory, both in J&K and along the International Border.


Adequate Budget For Defence

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Defence budget is the most vital element of the budget of the Union of India. Without adequate budgetary provisions for defence requirements, it is not at all possible for the defence forces to fight the challenges, prevailing as of now, for the world’s biggest democratic country like India. After Independence, the scenario for our country has changed drastically to a two-front war with both our adversaries also instigating terror strikes with the intention of undermining Indian unity and cohesiveness through a low-cost game-plan of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ of the kind just perpetrated in Pulwama. Though successive governments have tried to empower the defence forces, the outlays for defence have proved to be inadequate to deal with the prevailing challenges.


LCA TEJAS:Is It Sufficient For India?

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With never-ending assaults on India’s territorial integrity from the very moment of our tryst with destiny, the nation has learned hard lessons in the defence of national sovereignty. Yet while we have made admirable strides in the automobile, telecommunications, atomic energy, and space, we are still heavily dependent on arms imports for national security.

This dependence is most noticeable in military aviation where different types of aircraft have been bought from different sources forcing the nation to rely heavily on imported spare-parts and maintenance support at crucial junctures. The latest deal for the acquisition of the French Rafale fighter aircraft has drawn the spotlight on indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. The question that has come to the fore is: If we can produce the money to pay foreign original equipment manufacturers, why cannot we invest the same at home and create a viable militaryindustrial complex through public-private participation?


Knowing The Indian Army

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Do we really understand the importance of the Indian Army? Once a year we are reminded that it is the single largest group of volunteers in the world who have dedicated their lives to defend their motherland. And to die for it. Every strand of the varied religions, castes, languages and regions are represented in it. This year is also special as it is the centenary year of the end of World War I and occasion to remember and glorify the acts of bravery on foreign soil by warriors from the subcontinent.

Its participation in World War II has a special connotation in that there was general expectation that it would be repaid by the British Raj with the grant of dominion status to a colony that was acknowledged to be the “jewel in the crown”.

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