Experts Speak

  • February 19, 2018
    PM Modi’s West Asian outreach
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Palestine, the UAE and Oman, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, while briefing media had outlined that the visit would be of strategic importance in terms of energy and security...

  • February 19, 2018
    Mujahids to fuel Indo-Pak border more?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per recent reports, Pakistan is deploying several battalions of its Mujahid Regiment, along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) to infiltrate terrorists and target Indian security forces. According to intelligence sources, these Mujahid battalions are 641, 647, 654 and 655. Mujahids are equivalent to our Territorial Army and these four battalions now are permanently embodied.

  • February 19, 2018
    JeM attacks rouse MoD
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Continuing terrorist attacks, especially the recent ISI-backed JeM terrorist attack of Sunjwan Army Camp in Jammu appears to have roused the MoD into action. The Ministry okayed 1,487 cr to boost the security of Army camps on Saturday, February 12 - same day as the terrorist attack on Sunjwan Army Camp...

  • February 19, 2018
    Terrorist attack on Sunjwan military camp
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 10, 2018, the army camp at Sunjwan in Jammu was attacked by JeM terrorists in early hours of the morning. Sneaking in, the terrorists entered family quarters of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and firing began at 5 AM. The encounter continued over three days resulting in the death of five army personnel including two JCOs, and seven injured including civilians. Three terrorists were killed.

  • February 19, 2018
    The Faux Pas in Maldives
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The strategic importance of Maldives to India needs no emphasis; located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives archipelago comprising 1,200 coral islands lies next to key shipping lanes which ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to countries like China, Japan and India. But happenings in the recent past indicate, Maldives has been sucked into the gravitational pull of China, away from India, just like Nepal.

  • February 19, 2018
    Perimeter security of military establishments
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Post the terrorist attack on IAF’s Patahnkot airbase on January 2, 2016, the MoD had appointed a committee headed by Lt Gen Phillip Campose, then Vice Chief of Army Staff, to review the security set-up for the military bases and suggest ways to improve it. The Committee found gaping holes in the security set up of many installations and submitted its report to the then Defence Minister in May 2016.

  • February 5, 2018
    Indo-ASEAN relations – Get strategic boost
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Republic Day 2018 was unique and very special with 10 leaders of ASEAN nations gracing the occasion with ASEAN completing 50 years of its formation and India completing 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership that commenced in 1992.

  • February 5, 2018
    Artificial Intelligence in Defence
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The next level of strategic cooperation between India and Japan has become apparent with the news that India and Japan are to work together to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the defence sector.

  • February 5, 2018
    India in Australia Group – Looking at NSG
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    January 19, 2018 saw India becoming a member of the Australia Group. The Australia Group restricts trade in materials used to make chemical and biological weapons.

  • February 5, 2018
    Coming – Long range BrahMos
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When India successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-V ICBM on January 18 this year, China had made no official statement, but after the December 2016 Agni-V test China had stated it hoped India's testing of the nuclear-capable Agni-V ICBM...

  • February 3, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget for 2018-2019 stands at 2,96,511.41 cr (1.58 per cent of GDP).

  • January 19, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's six-day visit to India has very smoothly taken India-Israel relations to the next level.

  • January 19, 2018
    ISRO's centurion leap
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    ISRO launched its 100th satellite in space on January 12, 2018 as its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) successfully placed 31 satellites in two different orbits in one of the longest missions.

  • January 9, 2018
    Trump Twitter-bombs Pakistan
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The dawn of New Year in Pakistan was twitter-bombed by US President Donald Trump accusing Pakistan of double-dealing by saying, "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies and deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.

  • January 9, 2018
    Neglecting welfare — Affecting soldier's morale
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    A recent editorial in a national daily titled 'An Unhappy Army' states that unflattering information on the internal "atmosphere" in the armed services is seldom made public: the bad-for-morale argument serves to keep things under wraps.

  • January 9, 2018
    Defence Budget 2018-2019 — Another negative in actual terms?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Budget 2018-2019 is to be unveiled shortly. What will be allocated to the Armed Forces is awaited with trepidation considering successive defence budgets...

  • January 8, 2018
    Visit of Israeli Prime Minister - Expectations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit India commencing January 14.

  • January 8, 2018
    The drone crash - And beyond
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    China went wild with accusations when an Indian drone recently crashed in China occupied Tibet in first week December 2017, days before the visit to India by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Heron drone, made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), had taken off from a base in the Siliguri Corridor on a training mission over India when it developed technical problems and crashed in Chumbi Valley near the Doklam Plateau where there is a concentration of Chinese troops.

  • January 8, 2018
    CPEC glitches temporary - But violence to continue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    First signs of hiccups in the nearly $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, inked during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Pakistan in April 2015...

  • January 8, 2018
    The 3D Revolution
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    From 1984, when Chuck Hall of 3D Systems Corporation developed the first working 3D printer, the 3D industry has progressed at an unbelievable pace.

  • December 13, 2017
    Finally: A new dawn for General Aviation
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    With the patronage by the central government for the launch of seaplane services, the General Aviation segment of the Indian civil aviation industry will finally witness a new dawn!

  • December 4, 2017
    Privatizing government defence industry
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The governmental has announced some disinvestment in the governmental defence industry like 10% in HAL, which does not amount to much change.

  • December 4, 2017
    Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    That Republic Day Parade 2018 will be special is probably an understatement. Never have 10 heads of states been invited to this event, which India has done this time...

  • December 4, 2017
    Cartosat 2 and ISRO's multiple outreach
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Come later half of December and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is getting ready to launch the next remote sensing satellite of Cartosat-2 series along with 30 nano satellites of foreign countries.

  • December 4, 2017
    Ivanka Trump boosts Indo-US relations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), jointly hosted by the US and India and attended by 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors and eco-system supporters from 159 countries was held in Hyderabad from 28 to 30 November, 2017.

  • November 15, 2017
    India, US, Japan, Australia quadrilateral kicks off
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    November 12, 2017 witnessed the first meeting of officials of India, US, Japan and Australia meeting at Manila, giving shape to security cooperation...

  • November 15, 2017
    Continued US military assistance to Pakistan is unfortunate
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When President Donald Trump unveiled his new Af-Pak policy on 21 August 2017 through a televised speech, he was most direct in telling Pakistan how it has been playing the double game with the US.

  • November 15, 2017
    No to Tejas and Arjun by military is misinformation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The media is agog with the news that the Armed Forces have said no to the indigenous Tejas fighter and the Arjun Tank.

  • November 15, 2017
    Joint Training Doctrine
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As a follow up to the ‘Joint Doctrine, Indian Armed Forces - 2017’ in April this year, the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has now issued...

  • November 15, 2017
    Nirbhay-BrahMos Combo — Nemesis of adversaries
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    December 21, 2016 was bad for India when the trial test of the nuclear-capable ‘Nirbhay’ long-range cruise missile failed for the third time. According to DRDO officials, “The booster engine in Nirbhay’s first stage started working. The missile lifted off from its launcher.

  • November 15, 2017
    The Doodle of Indo-Pak talks
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Much speculation is in the air that Indo-Pak talks are round the corner and that foreign pressure will make Pakistan slowly come around. Nothing could be farther from the truth despite Pakistan’s sweet pill of granting wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him.

  • November 8, 2017
    HAL shedding 10 per cent stakes - Token move?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The government has recently approved the sale of 10% stake in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU). Suvarna Raju, CMD of HAL has termed it a "major milestone".

  • November 8, 2017
    Afghanistan via Chabahar — Strategic move
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016, The trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan was historic, expanding avenues of trade for India with Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia through the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

  • October 30, 2017
    Air operations from expressways & highways: Combat potential & other spin-offs
    By Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major (Retd)

    The recent Air Operations on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway by IAF Fighter & Transport aircraft was indeed a very well planned & executed operation...

  • SP's Aviation - Issue: 10 / 2017
    Expressway Landings
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    An important operational achievement, the exercise of activating portions of highways for landing and takeoff by military aircraft will become a regular feature in the peacetime training programme of the IAF.

  • October 23, 2017
    Defence Minister's Diwali in Andaman & Nicobar Command
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's two day visit to the Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), and spending Diwali with the troops and families was a nice gesture.

  • October 23, 2017
    Combating Drones
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 13 October 2017, the Taliban claimed downing a US drone in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.

  • October 23, 2017
    The AWACS Glut
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The news about the IAF facing grave shortage of airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) surveillance planes is not good, and should make authorities sit up.

  • October 17, 2017
    Visit of James Mattis — And Indo-US Defence Cooperation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    US Secretary of Defence James Mattis arrived on a two-day visit at New Delhi on September 25 to hold talks with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. He is the first cabinet rank official under the Trump administration to visit India.

  • October 17, 2017
    China’s Airborne Brigades
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During the recent 15-day competition of the International Army Games 2017 held in China during July-August this year, Chinese airborne troops won first place in 11 of the 12 events, winning the overall championship in the platoon level airborne competition.

  • September 20, 2017
    Modi's Myanmar visit — And the Rohingya issue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Myanmar on September 5 for a two–day visit on his way back from the 9th BRICS Summit at Xiamen in China.

  • September 20, 2017
    Parrying ToT — US Defence firms spoof Make in India
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    It is well known that US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are bidding to enter the 'Make in India' initiative for supplying combat jets and military equipment to India.

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Japanese Strategic Partnership boosted
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Indo-Japanese relations have always been special. Even during the recent Doklam standoff, it was Japan's envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu who said there should be no attempt to change the status quo on the ground by force; categorizing the crisis as dispute between China and Bhutan...

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Russian defence ties – Waning is misnomer
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Even as the armies of India and US are engaged in joint military two-week exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 2017' to hone their skills in counter insurgency and counter terror...

  • September 13, 2017
    No Nonsense Approach of the New Defence Minister
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    So while the enthusiasm of the Defence Minister to interact with the Service Chiefs is most welcome and is praiseworthy, we recommend that she should pay more attention to the Department of Defence Production, the Ordnance Factory Board...

  • September 12, 2017
    Various challenges facing the new Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Sitharaman holding independent charge of Ministry of Commerce & Industry did have an overview of the pathetic state of equipping of the military; the chapter on defence on official website of Ministry of Commerce & Industry in 2014...

  • September 4, 2017
    Lady at the Helm of Affairs
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The challenges before the new Minister of Defence are formidable. Given her track record, the Indian armed forces are full of hope for better days ahead!

  • September 4, 2017
    Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman as Raksha Mantri
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    Appointment of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday, September 03, 2017 as the Defence Minister of India was welcomed as a refreshing news.

  • September 4, 2017
    New Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman has been appointed as the next Defence Minister. She is not the first lady holding this appointment since Indira Gandhi also held this portfolio, same as Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh Today. But she certainly is the first 'full-time' lady Defence Minister of India.

  • September 4, 2017
    Airport Security – plug the gaps
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 20 August, 2017, flight operations at Delhi airport were halted for around two hour with closure of the runways when an international airline pilot spotted a drone-like object in the area.

  • September 4, 2017
    President Trump's Af-Pak Policy
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan's has been playing the double game successfully all these years despite US and NATO military commanders in Afghanistan pointing out what the ground situation was; implying terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan must be destroyed.

  • September 4, 2017
    Selective Military Reforms – Why not holistic?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Based on recommendations of the government-appointed Lt Gen D B Shekatkar Committee "Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces", government has approved 65 of the 188 Committee recommendations mainly pertain to Army that included redeploying 57,000 personnel.

  • September 4, 2017
    Doklam Pullback – Advantage Modi
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There is no doubt that the simultaneous pullback from the Doklam standoff by the Indian Military and the PLA is advantage Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • August 24, 2017
    Additional Rafale jets for the IAF
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    Given the state the IAF is in today, there is urgent need to induct modern fourth-generation combat aircraft in the numbers required and as soon as possible.

  • August 21, 2017
    Apaches for Army Aviation – Long overdue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In September 2015, India had signed a deal for procuring 22 Apache helicopters from the US at the cost of 13,952 crore for the IAF. Following this, the Army had sought government approval for acquiring 11 Apache helicopters as as "a follow-on contract".

  • August 21, 2017
    Indo-US Defence Cooperation – Geostrategic elevation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US Departments of Defence (DoD) and State Department, in a recent joint report to their Congress, said, "We see a growing convergence with India on our strategic outlook for the region, and we view India as an increasingly important regional security partner within and beyond the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."

  • August 11, 2017
    Confronting the Dragon
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The need of the hour is for the Indian armed forces to be prepared to meet with the challenges of a two-front war in the worst case scenario.

  • August 10, 2017
    Enhancement of Defence Budget 2017-18
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    A few days ago there was a report in the media regarding non-availability of certain categories of ammunition which was causing great concern among the Services...

  • August 10, 2017
    Pakistan – in US terror spotlight
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US has listed Pakistan among the nations providing "safe havens" to terrorists, saying terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM continued to operate, train, organize and fundraise inside the country.

  • August 10, 2017
    Switching military uniforms to Khadi would be retrograde
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to a media reports, the Khadi Villages Industries Commission (KVIC) had requested the Armed Forces to consider using Khadi uniforms for security personnel, and the Ministry of Defence has sent specifications of military uniforms to the KVIC.

  • August 10, 2017
    Additional defence allocation of 20,000 crore will only bridge partial criticalities
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, the MoD has sought an "urgent" additional allotment of 20,000 crore for combat readiness of Armed Forces.