Tuesday, April 27, 2010

India-Pakistan Missile Gap, India's "Indigenous" Tech

A Times of India report last year claimed that "Pakistan has surged well ahead of India in the missile arena". It also lamented that "the only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India's arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile".

Along with raising the alarm, the Indian report offered the usual excuse for the alleged missile gap by boasting that "unlike Pakistan, our program is indigenous".

Let's explore the reality of the "indigenous" claim repeated ad infintum by Indian government and New Delhi's defense establishment.

US-European Origins of Indian Missile Program:

APJ Abul Kalam is credited with designing India's first satellite launcher SLV3. Its design is virtually identical to the American Scout rocket used in the 1960s. According to the details published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Abul Kalam spent four months in training in the United States in 1963-1964. He visited NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, where the U.S. Scout rocket was conceived, and the Wallops Island Flight Center on the Virginia coast, where the Scout was being flown. Soon after Abul Kalam's visit, India requested and received detailed technical reports on the Scout's design, which was unclassified.



US Scout and India's SLV3 are both 23 meters long, use four similar solid-fuel stages and "open loop" guidance, and lift a 40-kilogram payload into low earth orbit. The SLV's 30-foot first stage later became the first stage of the Agni.

The United States was followed by others. Between 1963 and 1975, more than 350 U.S., French, Soviet, and British sounding rockets were launched from India's Thumba Range, which the United States helped design. Thumba's first group of Indian engineers had learned rocket launching and range operation in the United States.

India's other missile, the "Prithvi" (earth), which uses a liquid-propelled motor to carry a one-ton payload 150 miles, resembles the widely sold Soviet Scud-B. Indian sources say that the Agni's second stage is a shortened version of the Prithvi, according to Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project.

France also launched sounding rockets from India, and in the late 1960s allowed India to begin building "Centaure" sounding rockets under license from Sud Aviation.

The aid of the United States and France, however, was quickly surpassed by substantial West German help in the 1970s and 1980s. Germany assisted India in three key missile technologies: guidance, rocket testing, and the use of composite materials. All were supposed to be for the space program, but all were also used for military missiles.

The cryogenic stage used in a recent failed satellite launch by India was a copy of the Russian cryogenic rocket engine and the cryogenic technology transferred to India in the 1990s. According to Non-proliferation review of 1997, it has emerged that Russia continued transferring rocket engine technology to India in 1993 after its agreements with the United States stop such transfer under MTCR. This reportedly resulted in the completion of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers to India.

North American Origins of India's Nuclear Bomb:

India's nuclear program would not have advanced without a lot of help from Canadians that resulted in Indian copies of Canadian reactors to produce plutonium for its nuclear bombs.

India conducted its first atomic bomb test in 1974. Indians used 40 MW Canadian Cirus reactor and U.S. heavy water both imported under guarantees of peaceful use and used them openly to make plutonium for its 1974 nuclear blast.

In 1972, Canadian-built 100 MWe Rajasthan-1 nuclear power reactor became operational, serving as the model for later unsafeguarded reactors. Another Rajasthan unit started operating in 1980 and two units in 2000. In 1983, India's 170 MW Madras-1, a copy of Canadian Rajhastan-1 reactor, became operational. A second Madras unit followed in 1985. According to the Risk Report Volume 11 Number 6 (November-December 2005), the heavy water and other advanced materials and equipment for these plants were smuggled to India from a number of countries, including the USSR, China and Norway. Some of the firms, such as West German firm Degussa, were caught and fined by the United States for re-exporting to India 95 kg of U.S.-origin beryllium, usable as a neutron reflector in fission bombs.

In May 1998, India conducted two rounds of nuclear weapon tests. Last year, the media reports indicated that Kasturiranga Santhanam, the coordinator of India's 1998 nuclear tests, went public with allegations that India's Pokhran II test of a thermonuclear bomb in 1998 was actually a fizzle. The device, designed to generate 45 kilotons, yielded an explosion equivalent to only 15 to 20 kilotons of TNT.

Heavy Dependence on Imports:

India is overwhelmingly dependent on foreign imports, mainly Russian and Israeli, for about 70 per cent of its defense requirement, especially for critical military products and high-end defense technology, according to an Indian defense analyst Dinesh Kumar. Kumar adds that "India’s defense ministry officially admits to attaining only 30 to 35 per cent s elf-reliance capability for its defense requirement. But even this figure is suspect given that India’s self-reliance mostly accrues from transfer of technology, license production and foreign consultancy despite considerable investment in time and money".

On the same theme, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that "India has had little success with military equipment production, and has had problems producing Russian Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90S tanks, English Hawk training jets and French Scorpene submarines."

On India's perennial dependence on imports, here's how blogger Vijainder Thakur sees India's loose meaning of "indigenous" Smerch and other imports:

"The Russians will come here set up the plant for us and supply the critical manufacturing machinery. Indian labor and technical management will run the plant which will simply assemble the system. Critical components and the solid propellant rocket motor fuel will still come from Perm Powder Mill. However, bureaucrats in New Delhi and the nation as a whole will be happy. The Smerch system will be proudly paraded on Rajpath every republic day as an indigenous weapon system.

A decade or so down the line, Smerch will get outdated and India will negotiate a new deal with Russia for the license production of a new multiple rocket system for the Indian Army.

China will by then have developed its own follow up system besides having used the solid propellant motors to develop other weapon systems and assist its space research program."

India does export some armaments but its modest record of producing and exporting weapon systems is evident from the fact that India’s defense annual exports averaged only US$ 88 million between 2006-07 and 2008-09. By contrast, Pakistan exported $300 million worth of military hardware and munitions last year.

Summary:

There is plenty of evidence and documentation from sources such as the Wisconsin Project to show that the Indian missiles and bombs are no more indigenous than Pakistan's. The fact is that neither India nor Pakistan were first to split the atom, or to develop modern rocket science. The Industrial Revolution didn't exactly start in India or Pakistan or even in Asia; it began in Europe and the rest of the world learned from it, even copied it.

The differences between India and Pakistan in terms of the technology know-how and the knowledge base are often highly exaggerated to portray India as "technology power house" and Pakistan as a backwater. Some of these analyses by Indian Brahman pundits and commentators have racial and religious overtones implying that somehow Brahmin or Hindu minds are superior to those of the people of other religions or castes in South Asia.

What is often ignored by such anti-Pakistan Indian analysts is the fact that neither of the two Indian pioneers, nuclear scientist Homi Bahbha and rocket scientist Abul Kalam, belong to the Hindu faith or the Brahmin caste. The false sense of Indian superiority is pushed by self-serving Indian and some western analysts to justify their own biased conclusions.

These analysts have fed what George Perkovich described in his book "India's Nuclear Bomb" on page 410 as "general Indian contempt for Pakistan's technical capabilities" and may cause serious miscalculations by the Indian security establishment about Pakistan's defense capabilities. Indian chauvinistic analyses have been put in perspective by another piece in Newsday (Friday, May 15, 1998; Page A5: "India Errs Nuclear Power Isn't Real Power"), in which George Perkovich talked about the rise in India of a radicalized, ultra-nationalistic BJP for the "glory of the Hindu race and rashtra (nation)". Perkovich added that "the Bharatiya Janata Party, has long felt that nuclear weapons offer a quicker ride to the top. Like atavistic nationalists elsewhere, they believe that pure explosive power will somehow earn respect and build pride."

The extreme right-wing influence on South Asian analysts has the potential for serious miscalculations by either India or Pakistan in the nuclear and the missile arena, and it does not augur well for the future of Indo-Pak region and the world at large.

Related Links:

India's Nuclear Bomb by George Perkovich

Cyberwars Across India, Pakistan and China

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High-Tech

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Scientist Reveals Indian Nuke Test Fizzled

The Wisconsin Project

The Non-Proliferation Review Fall 1997

India, Pakistan Comparison 2010

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

Global Firepower Comparison

Evaluation of Military Strengths--India vs. Pakistan

Only the Paranoid Survive

India Races Ahead in Space

21st Century High-Tech Warfare

World Military Spending

Indian Attempts to Scuttle F-16s For Pakistan

Attrition Rates For IAF and PAF

Mockery of National Sovereignty

21 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts from a Wall Street Journal story today on China's defense industry advances and exports:

Today, Russia's military bonanza is over, and China's is just beginning.

After decades of importing and reverse-engineering Russian arms, China has reached a tipping point: It now can produce many of its own advanced weapons—including high-tech fighter jets like the Su-27—and is on the verge of building an aircraft carrier.

Not only have Chinese engineers cloned the prized Su-27's avionics and radar but they are fitting it with the last piece in the technological puzzle, a Chinese jet engine.

In the past two years, Beijing hasn't placed a major order from Moscow.

Now, China is starting to export much of this weaponry, undercutting Russia in the developing world, and potentially altering the military balance in several of the world's flash points....

This epochal turnaround was palpable in the Russian pavilion at November's Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai. Russia used to be the star of this show, wowing visitors with its "Russian Knights" aerobatic team, showing off fighters, helicopters and cargo planes, and sealing multibillion dollar deals on the sidelines.

This year, it didn't bring a single real aircraft—only a handful of plastic miniatures, tended by a few dozen bored sales staff.

China, by contrast, laid on its biggest commercial display of military technology—almost all based on Russian know-how.

The star guests were the "Sherdils," a Pakistani aerobatic team flying fighter jets that are Russian in origin but are now being produced by Pakistan and China....

That has compounded Russian fears that China has reverse engineered an Su-33 prototype it acquired in 2001 from Ukraine, according to Russian defense experts.

At last year's Dubai Air Show, China demonstrated its L-15 trainer jet for the first time. In June, China made its debut at the Eurosatory arms fair in France.

In July, China demonstrated the JF-17—the fighter developed with Pakistan—for the first time overseas at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain.

China also had one of the biggest pavilions at an arms fair in Capetown in September.

"They're showing up at arms fairs they've never been to before," said Siemon T. Wezeman, an arms trade expert at SIPRI. "Whereas 15 years ago they had nothing really, now they're offering reasonable technology at a reasonable price."

China is generating particular interest among developing countries, especially with the relatively cheap JF-17 fighter with a Russian engine.

The Kremlin has approved the re-export of the engine to Pakistan, as it has no arms business there.

But it was enraged last year when Azerbaijan, an ex-Soviet republic, began talks on buying JF-17s, according to people familiar with the situation...

China's arms exports could have repercussions on regions in conflict around the world. Pakistan inducted its first squadron of Chinese-made fighter jets in February, potentially altering the military balance with India.

Other potential buyers of China's JF-17 fighter jet include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Nigeria, Morocco and Turkey. In the past, China has also sold fighters to Sudan.

The potential customer of greatest concern to the U.S. is Iran, which purchased about $260 million of weapons from China between 2002-2009, according to Russia's Centre for Analysis of the Global Arms Trade.

In June, China backed U.N. sanctions on Iran, including an expanded arms embargo, but Tehran continues to seek Chinese fighters and other weaponry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a Wall Street Journal report on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi:

Mr. Wen sought during the visit to strengthen commercial ties with big-ticket investment proposals and a promise to further open China's markets to India.

On Wednesday, Indian and Chinese companies signed more than 40 deals in the power, commodities and telecoms sectors for a combined $16 billion. Many of the deals were Chinese bank financing agreements for large Indian orders of Chinese exports of telecom and power-producing equipment.

During the first 10 months of 2010, China exported goods valued at $32.87 billion to India, but its imports totaled only $17 billion.Mr. Wen reiterated that Beijing will heed New Delhi's request to broaden access of Indian exports such as pharmaceuticals, information technology and agricultural products to shrink India's trade deficit.Mr. Wen also said in his speech to the diplomats that China understands and supports India's desire to play a bigger role at the United Nations, including the Security Council. China has long opposed a permanent seat for India on the council, and Mr. Wen's comments Thursday didn't appear to represent a change to that position. President Barack Obama during a visit to India in November for the first time publicly backed India's inclusion as a permanent member of the Security Council.

India, concerned over its trade deficit of $19 billion last fiscal year, wants better market access for its exports. For now, India's main export to China is iron ore, while it imports large amounts of high-value manufactured goods.

"The two sides agreed to take measures to promote greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India's trade deficit," the two countries said in a joint statement.

India-China trade ties have often been rocky, as India continues to impose antidumping duties—the highest by any country at the World Trade Organization last year—against Chinese products, alleging that the prices of some goods are set artificially low.

China has also raised objections to India's stringent regulations in sourcing power and telecommunications equipment, calling them discriminatory.

China and India have shared interests in reform of the council, with both supporting expanded representation of developing countries, Mr. Wen said Thursday.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India report on Tejas operaional clearance today:

BANGALORE: After a tortuous journey of 27 years, with over 1,500 flight-tests and almost 3,000% jump in overall developmental costs, the much-touted but long-delayed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft has finally taken the first step towards induction as a supersonic fighter into IAF.

Amid much fanfare and back-slapping, defence minister A K Antony handed over the Tejas initial operational clearance (IOC) certificate to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik at a ceremony here on Monday.

The IOC basically means that the largely homegrown fighter is now fully airworthy, in its initial configuration, to be flown by IAF pilots but not all weapon and other systems have been fully integrated into the platform. That will happen only by December 2012 when the single-engine, multi-role fighter gets the final operational clearance (FOC).

"Today is a historic day...A state-of-the-art indigenous combat aircraft will go a long way in enhancing national security,'' said Antony, showering praise on the entire LCA team led by Aeronautical Development Agency, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The euphoria was somewhat justified, given that the supersonic fighter has been built from scratch in a country with an extremely poor defence-industrial base and in the face of international sanctions for several years.

But there has to be a reality check, even if it seems harsh. Even Antony admitted that Tejas had reached just "the semi-final stage'' at this point. As was first reported by TOI earlier, the overall developmental cost of the Tejas project, including the naval variant and trainer, has zoomed up to Rs 17,269 crore from the initial Rs 560 crore earmarked for it in 1983. With each Tejas to cost around Rs 200 crore over and above this, India will end up spending well over Rs 25,000 crore on the programme.

Moreover, the real induction of the first 40 Tejas jets will begin only towards end-2013, with the first two squadrons becoming fully operational at the Sulur airbase (Tamil Nadu) by 2015 or so, a full three decades after the LCA project was first sanctioned to replace the ageing MiG-21s.

That's not all. The first test-flight of the Tejas Mark-II version, with more powerful American GE F-414 engines, will be possible only by December 2014, with its production beginning in June 2016. And even then, the Tejas will just be a medium to low-end fighter, not a high-end air dominance one.

ACM Naik, in fact, described Tejas as a "MiG-21 plus-plus'', and made it clear that it was not even a fourth-generation fighter at present but would be in the future, indicating it will primarily be used to plug the gap in numbers.

Consequently, India's frontline combat fighters will the 270 Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs already being inducted for around $12 billion, the 126 new medium multi-role combat aircraft to be acquired in the $10.4 billion MMRCA project and the 250 to 300 fifth-generation fighter aircraft to be built with Russia in the gigantic $35 billion project.

Yes, there is no getting away from the critical fact that India has to be self-reliant in military hardware and software if it wants to emerge as a superpower on the global stage. But the Tejas saga puts serious question marks on the defence indigenisation model being followed.

The fighter, for instance, is still only around 60% indigenous despite being 27 years in the making. It, for example, is powered by American GE engines, with the indigenous Kaveri engine failing to pass muster despite Rs 2,839 crore being spent on it since 1989.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Washington Post report on "doubling of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal":

Pakistan's nuclear arsenal now totals more than 100 deployed weapons, a doubling of its stockpile over the past several years in one of the world's most unstable regions, according to estimates by non-government analysts.
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Wary of upsetting Pakistan's always-fragile political balance, the White House rarely mentions the country's arsenal in public except to voice confidence in its strong internal safeguards, with warheads kept separate from delivery vehicles. But the level of U.S. concern was reflected during last month's White House war review, when Pakistan's nuclear security was set as one of two long-term strategy objectives there, along with the defeat of al-Qaeda, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A publicly released summary of the classified review document made no reference to the nuclear issue, and the White House deflected questions on grounds that it was an intelligence matter. This week, a spokesman said the administration would not respond to inquiries about the size of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to Obama's assurance at last spring's Nuclear Security Summit that he felt "confident about Pakistan's security around its nuclear weapons program." Vietor noted that Obama hs encouraged "all nations" to support negotiations on the fissile cutoff treaty.

"The administration is always trying to keep people from talking about this knowledgeably," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a leading analyst on the world's nuclear forces. "They're always trying to downplay" the numbers and insisting that "it's smaller than you think."

"It's hard to say how much the U.S. knows," said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the annual global nuclear weapons inventory published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. "Probably a fair amount. But it's a mixed bag - Pakistan is an ally, and they can't undercut it with a statement of concern in public."

Beyond intelligence on the ground, U.S. officials assess Pakistan's nuclear weapons program with the same tools used by the outside experts - satellite photos of nuclear-related installations, estimates of fissile-material production and weapons development, and publicly available statements and facts.

Four years ago, the Pakistani arsenal was estimated at 30 to 60 weapons.
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Only three nuclear countries - Pakistan, India and Israel - have never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. India is estimated to have 60 to 100 weapons; numbers are even less precise for Israel's undeclared program, estimated at up to 200. North Korea, which has conducted nuclear tests and is believed to have produced enough fissile material for at least a half-dozen bombs, withdrew from the treaty in 2003.

Those figures make Pakistan the world's fifth largest nuclear power, ahead of "legal" powers France and Britain. The vast bulk of nuclear stockpiles are held by the United States and Russia, followed by China.
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While continuing to produce of weapons-grade uranium at two sites, Pakistan has sharply increased its production of plutonium, allowing it to make lighter warheads for more mobile delivery systems. Its newest missile, the Shaheen II, has a range of 1,500 miles and is about to go into operational deployment, Kristensen said. Pakistan also has developed nuclear-capable land- and air-launched cruise missiles.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
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He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
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"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
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Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
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When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story of Pakistan's successful short range missile (Hatf 9 or Nasr) test to counter India's "cold start" threat, as reported by The Hindu:

Pakistan on Tuesday claimed to have successfully conducted the first flight test of the newly developed Short Range Surface-to-Surface Multi Tube Ballistic Missile `Hatf IX’ (NASR). Viewed by some strategic analysts as Pakistan’s answer to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, NASR has a range of 60 km and ``shoot-and-scoot’’ nuclear delivery capability.

Announcing the test, the Inter Services Public Relations said the quick response system of NASR addresses the need to deter evolving threats. Addressing the gathering at the undisclosed site of the test, Director General of the Strategic Plans Division Khalid Ahmed Kidwai said the successful flight marked an important milestone in consolidating Pakistan’s strategic deterrence capability at all levels of the threat spectrum.

Further, Lt. Gen (retd) Kidwai pointed out that in the hierarchy of military operations, the NASR Weapon System provided Pakistan with short range missile capability in addition to the already available medium and long range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in its inventory.

Welcoming the test, security analyst, Shireen Mazari, said in a statement that now Pakistan has acquired tactical nuclear capability with a low yield that can be used in the battlefield. ``It will act as a deterrent against use of mechanised conventional land forces. This was essential in the wake of India’s adventurist war-fighting doctrine formulations which envisaged the use of rapid deployment of armed brigades and divisions in surprise and rapid attacks.’’

Referring to India’s Cold Start Doctrine, Ms. Mazari added: ``India has always felt that Pakistan had a loophole in terms of lacking short range battlefield nuclear weapons, which it could exploit on the assumption that it made little sense for Pakistan to respond to such conventional attacks with strategic nuclear weapons. With NASR, Pakistan has plugged that loophole. Indian dreams of a limited war against Pakistan through its Cold Start strategy have been laid to rest. This will allow for a reassertion of a stable nuclear deterrence in the region.’’

Riaz Haq said...

It is alleged that Pakistan learned from the American BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile that crashed in Pakistani territory during a US attack on Bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Now there are reports of US helicopter stealth tech in Pakistani hands after the Abbottabad raid:

Despite the crash of one of the U.S.'s Black Hawk stealth helicopters, the aircraft which had previously been a well-kept secret may have been key to the success of the raid that led to Osama bin Laden’s death.

One of the helicopters was blown apart during the assault, but photographs of the tail section that remained in Pakistan show modifications to quiet noise and reduce chances of radar detection.

The New York Times reports that people in the helicopter industry said the rear section looked nothing like the tail of a regular Black Hawk helicopter. They said it looked like the Black Hawk had added some of the features of the proposed stealth helicopter Comanche, which was canceled by the Pentagon in 2004.

Another reported that the downed helicopter had five or six blades in its tail rotor, as opposed to the usual four in a Black Hawk. That may have permitted operators to slow the rotor speed and reduce the familiar chop-chop sound made by most helicopters.

Daniel Goure, a defense specialist at the Lexington Institute think tank, said the helicopter crash may have been caused by the unusual aerodynamics which came from the aircraft's modifications.

"It could be much more difficult to fly at slow speed and landing than you would expect from a typical Black Hawk," Goure said to the Huffington Post.

It had been thought that the Navy SEAL teams in the attack had used modified MH-60 Black Hawk or Sea Hawk helicopters in the raid of the compound.

Mail Online reports the Black Hawk has a crew of three or four and can carry 11 soldiers prepared for combat. It first began flying in 1978.

It has been alleged that during the killing of bin Laden, the SEALS involved were able to use the Air Force's secretive RQ-170 pilot-less drone, which has been known as 'The Beast of Kandahar'.

Riaz Haq said...

India and Pakistan have added 20-30 nuclear warheads in their arsenal in the past one year, a global think tank said on Tuesday, according to Times of India:

In its latest yearbook, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the neighbours are continuing to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

In 2010, the Indian nuclear arsenal had 60-80 nukes but they have increased to 80-110 warheads. On the same pattern, the Pakistani side also increased its warheads from 70-90 to 90-110 warheads in the same period, SIPRI said in a release.

"India and Pakistan continue to develop new ballistic and cruise missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons. They are also expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes," it said.

India, Pakistan and six other countries -- the US, the UK, Russia, France, China and Israel -- possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons, a drop of more than 2000 since 2009.

More than 5000 of these weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert.

India carried out its first nuclear test in 1974 in Pokhran and followed up again in 1998 at the same place. Soon after the 1998 tests, India declared a 'no-first use' policy of nuclear weapons and has been developing a credible nuclear response capability in view of it.

It has already developed a triad of nuclear delivery systems with the development of land, sea and air-based weapon systems.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pak-added-20-30-nuclear-warheads-in-past-one-year-Report/articleshow/8765499.cms

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Business Recorder report on Pakistani satellite launch by China:

The Pakistan Communication Satellite Paksat-1R is due to be launched in space from Chinese satellite launching site located at Xichang city in the second week of August, depending on weather conditions.

Paksat-1R will replace Paksat-1 which is going to complete its useful life in 2011. "Launching of a communication satellite is going to be a new symbolic development in Pakistan-China relations, as this will broaden the horizons of our cooperation," Khan said.

He said during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Pakistan in December last year, our two governments had decided to deepen cooperation in space science and technology. "Paksat-1R, as the satellite is called, is a big step in that direction.

It will revolutionize the use of broadband Internet, digital television broadcasting and mobile telephony; spur our economy; and strengthen the education and health sectors.

It will also help us with disaster preparedness and response. Besides, young scientists and engineers are gaining new valuable expertise in the area of satellite technology.

Such cooperation with China also helps us move towards self-reliance" he noted. Tracing the history of cooperation between the two countries in the realm of space science, Ambassador Masood Khan said that it goes back to the 1990s when Pakistan launched its first low earth orbit satellite Badr-1. "Since then we have been enhancing our cooperation in space science and technology.

Many Pakistani scientists and engineers have studied aerospace sciences in Chinese universities and institutions," he added. He mentioned that: "We are now looking at cooperation in remote sensing satellites. It is a long term project with many civilian uses.

A remote sensing satellite will cover areas like agriculture, oceanography, disaster management and mitigation, crop monitoring, earth observation, water resources management, weather forecasting, and urban planning.

Such an application will have a direct positive impact on Pakistan's socio-economic development." China, Ambassador Khan said, has helped us in the development of our satellite industry for which we are extremely grateful.

Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is establishing the necessary space technology infrastructure, he said, adding thus we are developing common technology platforms with China.

In due course of time Pakistan will want to develop its spaceflight programme, he added. Ambassador Khan said that during his visits to the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) he observed that professionals there are hardworking, intelligent, ingenious and resourceful.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/22469-pak-astronaut-aboard-chinese-spacecraft-our-natural-aspiration-masood-khan-.html

Riaz Haq said...

AFP Report on Pak cruise missile test:

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan said it had successfully test-fired a stealth cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads on Friday.

The military said the "Hatf VII" missile had a range of 700 kilometres (438 miles) and was a "low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pin-point accuracy and radar avoidance features".

Capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the military said the special feature of Friday's launch was the validation of a new multi-tube missile launch vehicle (MLV).

"The three tube MLV enhances manifold (times) the targeting and deployment options in the conventional and nuclear modes," the military said.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars -- two over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- have routinely carried out missile tests since both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability in 1998.

The neighbours were on the brink of a nuclear conflict in 2002 over tensions about Kashmir, but a slow-moving peace process resumed in March following suspension after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iDTKnWb7cUXOHKdbzhc6iwKd19HQ?docId=CNG.78bd1932c8482f7cb8afcbc7455003ec.291

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece by Paul Leventhal, Nuclear Control Institute, about US's secret help that led to India's 1974 nuclear test, with the US being a proliferator:

So CIRUS holds a very special place in nonproliferation history and the development of US nonproliferation policy. This needs to be understood if we are to do the right thing in working out a new nuclear relationship with India.

My own personal involvement in this history and policy began with a telephone call I received 31 years ago on a May morning in 1974 when I was a young staffer on the U.S. Senate Government Operations Committee. It was from a Congressional liaison officer of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission who said he was calling to inform me that India had just conducted a nuclear test and to assure me that "the United States had absolutely nothing to do with it."

At that time, I was working on legislation to reorganize the AEC into separate regulatory and promotional agencies. I had begun investigating the weapons potential of nuclear materials being used in the U.S. Atoms for Peace program, both at home and abroad. The official wanted me to know there was no need to consider remedial legislation on nuclear exports because the plutonium used in India's test came not from the safeguarded nuclear power plant at Tarapur, supplied by the United States, but from the unsafeguarded Cirus research reactor near Bombay, supplied by Canada. "This is a Canadian problem, not ours," he said.

It took me two years to discover that the information provided me that day was false. The United States, in fact, had supplied the essential heavy-water component that made the Cirus reactor operable, but decided to cover up the American supplier role and let Canada "take the fall" for the Indian test. Canada promptly cut off nuclear exports to India, but the United States did not.

In 1976, when the Senate committee uncovered the U.S. heavy-water export to India and confronted the State Department on it, the government's response was another falsehood: the heavy water supplied by the U.S., it said, had leaked from the reactor at a rate of 10% a year, and had totally depleted over 10 years by the time India produced the plutonium for its test.

But the committee learned from Canada that the actual heavy-water loss rate at Cirus was less than 1% a year, and we learned from junior-high-school arithmetic that even a 10%- a-year loss rate doesn't equal 100% after 10 years. Actually, more than 90% of the original U.S. heavy water was still in the Cirus reactor after 10 years, even if it took India a decade to produce the test plutonium---itself a highly fanciful notion.

We also learned that the reprocessing plant where India had extracted the plutonium from Cirus spent fuel, described as "indigenous" in official U.S. and Indian documents, in fact had been supplied by an elaborate and secret consortium of U.S. and European companies.

Faced with this blatant example of the Executive Branch taking Congress for the fool, the Senate committee drafted and Congress eventually enacted the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history.


http://www.nci.org/06nci/04/CIRUS%20Reactors%20Role%20in%20a%20US-India%20Nuclear.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's the link to a 1992 article titled "India's Silent Bomb" by David Albright published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which clearly says that the plutonium for India's first bomb in 1974 came from Canada's CIRUS reactor:

http://books.google.com/books?id=pAwAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=bulletin+of+atomic+scientists+india+cirus+plutonium+bomb&source=bl&ots=CVWMVa6_sP&sig=JQL6YRCza7VZpmg6mGuLlRGQl4g&hl=en&ei=4K2-Ts_SAYqfiQK-ifGsAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Then there's another quote from Paul Leventhal, Nuclear Control Institute, about US's secret help that led to India's 1974 nuclear test, with the US being a proliferator:

"We also learned that the reprocessing plant where India had extracted the plutonium from Cirus spent fuel, described as "indigenous" in official U.S. and Indian documents, in fact had been supplied by an elaborate and secret consortium of U.S. and European companies.

Faced with this blatant example of the Executive Branch taking Congress for the fool, the Senate committee drafted and Congress eventually enacted the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history."

http://www.nci.org/06nci/04/CIRUS%20Reactors%20Role%20in%20a%20US-India%20Nuclear.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story about emerging Pakistan's nuclear triad as reported by Force India website:

Pakistan’s efforts to have a sea-based minimum credible nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis India took a significant step forward last month when the state-owned, Wuhan-based China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp (CSIC) ferried the first Qing-class conventional attack submarine (SSK) to Shanghai to begin a year-long series of sea trials, which is likely to include the test-firing of three CJ-10K submarine-launched, 1,500km-range land attack cruise missiles (LACM) capable of being armed with unitary tactical nuclear warheads. Called the Qing-class SSK, it is a variant of the Type 041A Improved Yuan-class SSK, which is also due to begin its sea trials later this month.

It is now believed that the contract inked between CSIC and Pakistan early last April (see FORCE April 2011, pages 16-17) calls for the CSIC’s Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipyard to supply six Qing-class SSKs, all of which will be equipped with a Stirling-cycle AIP system and will be able to carry up to three nuclear warhead-carrying CJ-10K LACMs each. The double-hulled Qing-class SSK, with a submerged displacement close to 3,600 tonnes, bears a close resemblance to the Russian Type 636M SSK, and features hull-retractable foreplanes and hydrodynamically streamlined sail. The first such SSK was launched in Wuhan on September 9 last year, and a total of three such SSKs are on order from China’s PLA Navy as well. The AIP system for the Qing-class SSK was developed by the 711th Research Institute of CSIC. R&D work began in June 1996, with a 100-strong team of scientists and engineers led by Dr Jin Donghan being involved in developing the Stirling-cycle engine, while another team led Professor Ma Weiming of China’s Naval Engineering University began developing the all-electric AIP system. The two projects entered the production engineering stage in 2007, with the Shanghai Qiyao Propulsion Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the 711th Institute, becoming the principal industrial entity charged with producing the AIP system. Incidentally, the Qing-class SSK’s all-electric propulsion system is a derivative of a similar system that was developed about a decade ago for the PLA Navy’s six Type 093 Shang-class SSGNs and three Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs.

The submarine-launched CJ-10K LACM has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp’s (CASIC) Hubei-based Ninth Academy (also known as the Sanjiang Aerospace Group, or 066 Base) on cooperation with the Third Academy’s Beijing-based Xinghang Electromechanical Equipment Factory (159 Factory). Final assembly of the CJ-10K is undertaken by the Beijing-based Hangxing Machine Building Factory (239 Factory). The CJ-10K features an imaging infra-red optronic system for terminal homing, and it makes use of a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system combined with a GPS receiver to receive navigational updates from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS navigation satellites.

In another development, during Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s four-day official visit to China beginning May 17, the decks were cleared for the Pakistan Navy to acquire for a 10-year lease period the two Jiangkai I-class Type 054 guided-missile frigates (FFG) Ma’anshan (FFG-525) and Wenzhou (FFG-526), which have been in service with the PLA Navy’s East Sea Fleet since 2005 (see FORCE December 2010, pages 44-46).


http://www.forceindia.net/Issue4.aspx

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on Pakistan Navy missile tests:

Pakistan's navy has successfully test-fired missiles and torpedoes from ships, submarines and aircraft in the Arabian sea, officials say.

The tests were followed by a statement saying they sent a "clear message to forces having nefarious designs".

India and Pakistan regularly test their missile systems and they normally notify one another ahead of such tests.

Last month the two sides held their first formal talks since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

India says the attacks, which left 174 people dead - including nine gunmen - were partly planned on Pakistani soil.

It is not clear if the missiles tested on Friday were capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The tests included anti-surface missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles, the AP news agency reported.

Last month India successfully tested a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8564838.stm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from missilethreat.com on French Exocet SLCM exported to India and Pakistan:

France has manufactured a total of 3,300 Exocet family missiles. Sources indicate that 140 SM-39 missiles have been built, with the SM-39 Block 2 missiles still in production. France has offered the SM-39 for export, and in 1995 Pakistan ordered a number of missiles for use on its Khalid (Agosta) class submarines. Pakistan test launched the SM-39 for the first time in March 2001. India ordered the SM-39 missile for their Project 75 class submarines with deliveries expected to begin in 2009.(1)
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The SM-39 Exocet is a short-range, solid-propellant, single-warhead, submarine-launched cruise missile developed and manufactured by France.



France initially designed the Exocet (“Flying Fish” in French) family of cruise missiles to attack and destroy large warships. The SM-39, on which development began in 1979, is the submarine-launched version of the AM-39. It is currently deployed on the “Le Triumphant,” “L’Inflexible,” “Rubris,” and “Agosta” class submarines.



The Exocet family of missiles are all the same basic shape, the only differences being the length and wing shape. The SM-39 has four delta-shaped wings at mid-body, and four delta-shaped control fins at the rear. The missile is 4.69 m long, 0.35 m in body diameter, and has a launch weight of 655 kg. It carries a high explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 165 kg. The SM-39 is stored in a launch container along with propulsion and guidance units. The entire module, designated VSM “Vehicule Sous-Marin,” is fired from standard torpedo 533 millimeter launch tubes. The missile and VSM together weigh 1,345 kg. After breaking the surface, the SM-39 separates from the VSM at a low altitude of about 30 m.



The SM-39 then stabilizes in the direction of its target at its first cruising altitude, low enough to avoid detection by its target yet high enough to allow its active radar seeker head to acquire the target. Midcourse guidance is by an inertial navigation system (INS) and a radio altimeter, allowing the missile to fly a sea-skimming trajectory to its target. The SM-39 descends to its second cruise altitude for the terminal phase, with a final approach at an altitude determined by prevailing sea conditions, sometimes as low as 3 m. Terminal guidance is provided by an active radar. The SM-39 is reported to have a maximum range of 50 km.


http://www.missilethreat.com/cruise/id.11/cruise_detail.asp

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a DefenseNews report on Pakistan's rumored nuclear submarine project:

...Mansoor Ahmed, a lecturer at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University who specializes
in nonconventional weapons and missiles, believes the reports are the result of a
calculated leak by the Navy, and that a message may be being sent to India.

“This news … appears to be some kind of signaling to the Indians seeing as they are taking delivery of a new nuclear-powered
submarine from the Russians as well as their own Arihant Class SSBN,” he said.

“So Pakistan is signaling to the Indians that they are mindful of these developments and taking due measures in response.”

Ahmed said he has for some time believed Pakistan was working on a nuclear propulsion system for submarine applications and that Pakistan already has a functional submarine launched variant of
the Babur cruise missile.

The Babur cruise missile is very similar to the U.S. BGM-109 Tomahawk, and perhaps derives at least some technology from Tomahawks which crashed in Pakistan
during U.S. strikes on al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in 1998. It can be armed with conventional or nuclear
warheads.

Ahmed believes Pakistan is now gearing up to build its own SSN/SSGN flotilla as a way
of deterring India and maintaining the strategic balance in South Asia.

However, in the long term in order to fully ensure the credibility of its deterrent Ahmed said he believes Pakistan should
build ballistic missile submarines.



http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120211/DEFREG03/302110003/Pakistani-Navy-Develop-Nuclear-Powered-Submarines-Reports?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Deccan Chronicle reporting Pakistan plans to test long-range missile:

Days after India conducted its Agni-V test, Pakistan has informed India it too is conducting a 'long-range missile test in the Indian Ocean' anytime from April 24 to 29 (from 8.30 to 11 am IST), and asked the Indian civil aviation authorities Monday evening to issue a NOTAM (notice to airmen) to warn commercial airlines and pilots to steer clear of the area.

Flights heading to the Gulf from India in that specific time-period will have to be rescheduled or rerouted, sources said.

Pakistan informed the Indian authorities Monday evening it was waiting for India to issue the NOTAM and asked it to communicate the NOTAM number to the Pakistan civil aviation authority swiftly.

Pakistan also said that Oman and Yemen had already issued NOTAMs ahead of the Pakistani long-range missile test.

Sources said Pakistan conducts its missile tests over the Indian Ocean in the southern direction due to which flights from India to the Gulf and Africa have to be rescheduled or rerouted.

"The communications from Pakistan always come in the last minute, mostly just a day in advance. Airlines have to be informed immediately," sources said.

Pakistan is developing its 'Shaheen' long-range missiles that it hopes can eventually clock a range of 4,000-4,500 kms. Pakistan’s entire nuclear-capable missile arsenal is India-specific and is trying to develop long-range missiles that has strike capacity to destruct whole of India.


http://www.deccanchronicle.com/node/116244

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable Babur Cruise Missile, reports Express Trib:

..The military described the Hatf-VII Babur missile as a “low-flying, terrain-hugging missile, which can strike targets both at land and sea with pin point accuracy” and has a range of 700 kilometres.

A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the missile is equipped with modern cruise missile technology of Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC), and is also capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads.

The ISPR said Monday’s launch was carried out from a “Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle (MLV)”, which it said improved the Babur system’s targeting and deployment capabilities.

The test was witnessed by Director General Strategic Plans Division Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) Chairperson Muhammad Irfan Burney and other senior officers from the armed forces and strategic organisations. The Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) was employed for the test, which allows real-time remote monitoring of the missile’s flight path.

Defence and missile expert Syed Muhammad Ali, while talking to The Express Tribune, highlighted the significance of the missile test.

“The Babur cruise missile is a far more advanced, miniaturised, accurate, stealthy and cost-effective nuclear delivery means available to Pakistan and after (its) induction, imposing a naval blockade on Pakistan will be impossible for any power in the future. In addition, the range limitation relevant to ballistic missiles deployment is not applicable in the case of cruise missiles because they can be launched from both land and sea-based mobile platforms,” Ali said.

He added that Pakistan now had the capability to exercise a complete and robust command and control over its cruise missiles throughout its flight trajectory and can be employed in both countervalue and counterforce targeting strategies.

Furthermore, Ali said that the Hatf-VII Babur missile was a cost-effective delivery system, adding that Pakistan could manufacture more than a dozen cruise missiles at the cost of a single ballistic missile.

“The upgraded capability of cruise missile Babar to hit mobile sea-based targets with both conventional and nuclear warheads has further augmented the value of our nuclear deterrence by proving to the world that Pakistan can protect not only its territory but also its maritime security from all powers at all times,” Ali added.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/438336/pakistan-test-fires-hatf-vii-babur-with-stealth-features/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Maleeha Lodhi's Op Ed on "Pakistan's Nuclear Compulsions" published in The News:

Much alarm has been raised in the West about Pakistan’s enhancement of its nuclear capability and the position it has taken at negotiations in Geneva on a treaty banning the production of bomb making fissile material. Western analysts have often depicted this as a mindless, irrational drive motivated by the unbridled ambitions of the nuclear scientific-military lobby.



This is far from true. To understand the strategic rationale for Pakistan’s fissile material needs – achieving credible nuclear deterrence at the lowest possible cost and level – the issue must be placed in a proper, broader perspective. It means taking into account the chain of rapid developments that have undermined the region’s strategic equilibrium and affected Pakistan’s nuclear threshold. They include the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, exemption for India by the Nuclear Supplier’s Group, India’s conventional military and strategic build-up, enunciation of offensive doctrines involving ‘Proactive Operations’ and efforts to develop a missile defence capability.



Many of these developments were aided and abetted by the international community in pursuit of their strategic and commercial interests. Pakistan’s warnings were repeatedly ignored that discriminatory nuclear actions would be consequential for the region and oblige Islamabad to act to preserve the credibility of nuclear deterrence and ensure strategic stability.



The interplay between a changing strategic environment – Pakistan’s perception of increasing regional asymmetry in both nuclear and conventional capabilities – global non-proliferation efforts and technical compulsions help to explain why Pakistan has been building fissile stocks.



The historical context is important. The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998 helped to establish strategic balance and provided Pakistan the reassurance of possessing a strategic equaliser to India’s conventional military preponderance.
----------
To hedge against this, Pakistan will likely multiply its missile numbers, including cruise missiles, and increase operational readiness to avert the destruction of its strategic assets in a pre-emptive strike. This too has a bearing on the amount of fissile material Pakistan would want to acquire.



These are the principal factors driving Pakistan’s fissile material requirements. The purpose is not to match the quantities or stockpiles that India has – which it can enhance if it wants to by diverting indigenous production for weapons use because of the nuclear fuel supply guaranteed by the US and similar agreements with other nations. Pakistan’s aim is not to engage in relentless production but to attain sufficiency for a spectrum of nuclear weapons, strategic, operational and tactical and to assure a second-strike capability.



As Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to persuade India to establish a strategic restraint regime have yielded nothing, it has had to evolve a force development strategy at home and an effective negotiating position in Geneva to secure its national security interests.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-141314-Pakistan%E2%80%99s-nuclear-compulsions


Riaz Haq said...

Here are a few excerpts of an MIT doctoral thesis by Christopher Clary on future India-Pakistan conflict:

Conventional wisdom suggests that India has gained sufficient conventional superiority to fight and win a limited war, but the reality is that India is unlikely to be able to both achieve its political aims and prevent dangerous escalation.

------------
While India is developing limited options, my analysis suggests India's military advantage over Pakistan is much less substantial than is commonly believed.
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Most analyses do not account adequately for how difficult it would be for the navy to have a substantial impact in a short period of time. Establishing even a partial blockade takes time, and it takes even more time for that blockade to cause shortages on land that are noticeable. As the British strategist Julian Corbett noted in 1911, "it is almost impossible that a war can be decided by naval action alone. Unaided, naval pressure can only work by a process of exhaustion. Its effects must always be slow…."7 Meanwhile, over the last decade, Pakistan has increased its ability to resist a blockade. In addition to the main commercial port of Karachi, Pakistan has opened up new ports further west in Ormara and Gwadar and built road infrastructure to distribute goods from those ports to Pakistan's heartland. To close off these ports to neutral shipping could prove particularly difficult since Gwadar and the edge of Pakistani waters are very close to the Gulf of Oman, host to the international shipping lanes for vessels exiting the Persian Gulf. A loose blockade far from shore would minimize risks from Pakistan's land-based countermeasures but also increase risks of creating a political incident with neutral vessels.
-------------
The air balance between India and Pakistan is also thought to heavily favor the larger and more technologically sophisticated Indian Air Force. While India has a qualitative and quantitative advantage, the air capabilities gap narrowed rather than widened in the last decade. The Pakistan Air Force has undergone substantial modernization since 2001, when Pakistan exited from a decade of US-imposed sanctions. With purchases from US, European, and Chinese vendors, Pakistan has both dramatically increased the number of modern fighter aircraft with beyond-visual-range capability as well as new airborne early warning and control aircraft. Meanwhile, India's fighter modernization effort has been languid over the last decade. India's largest fighter procurement effort—the purchase of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft—began in 2001 and has been slowed considerably by cumbersome defense procurement rules designed to avoid the appearance of corruption.
---------------
The ground forces balance has received the most attention from outside observers, in large part because the Indian Army has publicized its efforts at doctrinal innovation, most often referred to under the "Cold Start" moniker. However, India's ground superiority is unlikely to be sufficient to achieve a quick victory.
----------
The net result of this analysis is to conclude that India's limited military options against Pakistan are risky and uncertain. Pakistan has options to respond to limited Indian moves, making counter-escalation likely. At least in the near-term, Pakistan appears to have configured its forces in such a way as to deny India "victory on the cheap." Therefore, India might well have to fight a full-scale war that could destroy large segments of Pakistan's army to achieve its political aims, which would approach Pakistan's stated nuclear redlines. Such a conclusion should induce caution among Indian political elites who are considering military options to punish or coerce Pakistan in a future crisis. ...


web.mit.edu/cis/precis/2012spring/india_pakistan.html

Riaz Haq said...

India's continuing abject failure to build a robust defence industrial base (DIB) has come to into focus once again, with an international thinktank holding its arms imports are now almost three times as high as those of the second and third largest arms importers, China and Pakistan.

As per the latest data on international arms transfers released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the volume of Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111% between 2004-08 and 2009-13, and its share of the volume of international arms imports increased from 7% to 14%.

The major suppliers of arms to India in 2009-13 were Russia (accounting for 75% of imports) and the US (7%), which for the first time became the second largest arms supplier to India, said SIPRI. As earlier reported by TOI, the US has already bagged defence deals close to $10 billion over the last decade in the lucrative Indian defence market, with the latest being the $1.01 billion one for six additional C-130J "Super Hercules" aircraft.

The other deals on the anvil are the ones for 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, four P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, together worth another $4 billion or so.

SIPRI, on its part, said the USA's share of Pakistani imports in the same period was 27%. China was also a major supplier in the region, accounting for 54% of Pakistani arms imports and 82% of Bangladeshi imports.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman of SIPRI. In particular, China and the US appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region, he added.

The five largest suppliers of major weapons during the five-year period 2009-13 were the United States (29% of global arms exports), Russia (27%), Germany (7%), China (6%) and France (5%).

Despite India's emergence as the world's largest arms importer over the last decade, the modernisation of its armed forces continues to take place in a haphazard manner due to the lack of concrete strategic planning in tune with the country's long-term geopolitical objectives, as reported by TOI earlier.

The Indian armed forces are still grappling with critical shortages in fighter jets, submarines, helicopters, howitzers, night-fighting capabilities and the like. The IAF, for instance, is down to just 34 fighter squadrons when it requires at least 44 to be "comfortable" against the twin-challenge posed by Pakistan and China.

A K Antony, who has been India's longest-serving defence minister, may have often chanted the mantra of "indigenisation" during his seven-and-a-half year tenure, especially after defence scams erupted one after the other, but failed to deliver meaningful systemic reforms on the ground.

There was, for instance, no concrete revamping of the DRDO and its 50 establishments as well as the five defence PSUs, four shipyards and 39 ordnance factories to ensure they deliver weapon systems without huge cost and time overruns.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indias-arms-imports-almost-three-times-of-China-Pak-SIPRI-report/articleshow/32190097.cms