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Experts Speak

  • July 31, 2017
    Special Operations Division
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    At the recent two day Unified Commanders' Conference held on 10-11 July, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra apprised the audience that the Defence Cyber & Space Agencies and Special Operations Division (SOD) will soon become a reality.

  • July 7, 2017
    PM Modi's Historic Visit to Israel
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Prime Minister Modi's visit to Israel from July 4 to July 6 was historic being the first Prime Minister of India to visit Israel. If the Israeli paper 'Marker' wrote on June 28 "Wake up: the most important PM of the world is coming", Modi's visit...

  • July 7, 2017
    Defined Strategic Partnership boosting Make in India – but much work remains
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Defining the 'Strategic Partnership' (SP) took some 18 months after the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016 was released. The private industry that had been waiting with baited breath, responded immediately.

  • July 7, 2017
    Another ISRO Milestone – more to follow
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    As the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket's XL variant lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 9.29 AM on June 23, carrying earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighing 712 kg and 30 co-passenger satellites...

  • June 30, 2017
    A Historic Meeting
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The historic meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is expected to propel the relationship between India and the US to greater heights.

  • June 29, 2017
    Modi-Trump Meet – amidst Modi's 3-Nation Tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump on June 26. Modi's US trip starting June 25 was part of his three-nation tour commencing with Portugal.

  • June 26, 2017
    Guardians for the Indian Navy
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    There is considerable optimism in India that the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump will usher in a new dawn in the relationship between India and the US.

  • June 26, 2017
    A Landmark Agreement!
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The agreement between Lockheed Martin and TASL reflects the confidence of the US aerospace industry in the growing capability of the Indian aerospace industry in the private sector.

  • June 23, 2017
    New Indigenous Bullet Proof Jacket for Forces
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    In an article titled 'Bullet Resistant Vests' in April this year, it was reported in these columns that Amrita University, Coimbatore is offering highly advanced technology bullet proof jackets (BPJs) and the proposal titled "Development of Hyper Velocity...

  • June 23, 2017
    QCG - flogging the dead horse?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The Pakistani media is upbeat with the news that Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to continue with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) established for talks with the Taliban in order to bring them into the reconciliation process. Obviously, Pakistan wanted to show some sort of diplomatic 'victory' after Chinese President Xi Jinping snubbed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by not granting him te customary meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan...

  • June 8, 2017
    F-16 production in India – new beginning
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with India's Tata Advance Systems on June 19 to produce F-16 fighters in India, a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with US President Donald Trump.

  • June 8, 2017
    PM Modi's 4-nation tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France on May 29, it was reported that his main focus would be bilateral cooperation on economic (in backdrop of India having passed GST Bill and record FDI inflows of $43.5 billion during 2016-17), defence, science and technology, and nuclear fronts, parleys on EU-India Free Trade Agreement, and fight against terror.

  • June 8, 2017
    FGFA Coming 'Soon' – but how soon is soon?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Few weeks before Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia for the annual bilateral summit between the two nations, news appeared that the FGFA would be coming soon – implying the joint Indo-Russian joint venture would be taking off soon.

  • June 8, 2017
    Another giant leap with GSLV Mk III
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When India fired the high thrust cryogenic engine CE-20 launching GSLV Mk-III in its first experimental flight from Sriharikota on june 5, it was a monumental leap drawing the curtain on what the US sanctions prevented ISRO from doing in 2003, even as the US seeks strong ties with India in wake of all round Chinese aggression.

  • May 30, 2017
    Strategic Partnership Model – Game changer?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On May 20, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley finalized the broad contours of the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy.

  • May 30, 2017
    New Defence Procurement Organization
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to recent media reports, government is mulling setting up a new autonomous organization, 'Defence Procurement Organization' (DPO), to be created within the MoD to deal exclusively with procurement for the Armed Forces as recommended by a committee headed by Dr Pritam Singh, former Director of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.

  • May 30, 2017
    Ransomware – Beware!
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    WannaCry or WannaCry 2.0 the ransomware that struck globally some 150 countries last month affected some 200,000 PCs worldwide. India was the third hardest hit county with close to 50,000 PCs affected.

  • May 30, 2017
    Empowering DIPP – or weakening defence?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Considerable confusion prevails about whether the proposed Defence Procurement Organization (DPO), as a follow up to the Dr Pritam Singh Committee recommendations, is to be 'all encompassing' in matters of defence procurement, which it actually should be. But this confusion appears to have been compounded through a recent notification (Notification S.O. 1636 (E) dated 19.05.2017 of Ministry of Home Affairs) vide which the power to issue licenses for the manufacture...

  • May 30, 2017
    3D Rocket in Space
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The first working 3D printer was developed in 1984 by Chuck Hall of 3D Systems Corporation; 3D printing being the process of making three dimensional solid object of any shape from a 'digital model', achieved by laying successive layers of material in different shapes — termed 'additive process'.

  • May 30, 2017
    Next level Cyber War
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The news about IAF's Sukhoi SU-30 gone missing near India-China border has been making headlines. The Sukhoi had taken off on a routine training mission on 23 May 2017 when radar, radio contact was lost roughly 60 km north of Tezpur air force base in Assam.

  • May 25, 2017
    Defence modernisation in three years of NDA rule
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The three services had suffered prolonged neglect in respect of modernisation in the period 2004 to 2014 owing to a number of factors.

  • May 24, 2017
    NDA's achievements in defence sector in three years
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    The Modi government which completes three years on 26 May 2017 is planning to celebrate their achievements by putting out a report card giving out statistics of their achievements in the last three years of NDAs governance.

  • May 24, 2017
    Defence in 3 years under NDA II
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On May 26, 2017 the NDA II government completed three years in office. Last three years have seen India rising in economic strength and making way for greater say on the world stage.

  • May 20, 2017
    US nudges Pakistan - Wee bit only
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pak relations and warned that the ties might worsen further if another "high- profile" terrorist attack emanates from across the border this year.

  • May 20, 2017
    Beyond ICJ ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The unanimous verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) staying the execution of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Yadav was on expected lines because...

  • May 20, 2017
    North Korea – Rogue supported by rogue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As North Korea carried out another ballistic missile test, shortly after President Moon Jae-in took office in South Korea, US President Donald Trump called for "stronger sanctions" against North Korea, while China is urged restraint. A series of North Korean missile tests this year, which are banned by the UN, sparked international alarm and raised tensions with the US.

  • May 18, 2017
    Expediting Defence Procurements
    By Ranjit Kumar

    India's defence acquisition framework is considered to be one of the most cumbersome, time consuming, complex and fraught with uncertainties. In spite of the Indian armed forces evolving into the select group of top ranking arms importers of the world and future prospects of acquiring arms worth over US$ 150 billion in the next decade, the country is managing its defence acquisitions without a proper centralized defence procurement body and through a loose ad hoc structure.

  • May 15, 2017
    Strategic partnership policy - Needs speedy conclusion
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016 was released by the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in Defexpo 2016, it was without few appendices, which were added later.

  • May 12, 2017
    GSAT-09 - Modi's gift to South Asia
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    GSAT-09 or SAS (South Asia Satellite) is the latest technological move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for integrating South Asia, a resolve he had shown at the swearing in of his government by inviting all SAARC leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan.

  • May 12, 2017
    'Negative' defence budget - Goes more negative
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The relationship between economy and defence is that both are dependent on each other. Defence cannot be strong without good economy...

  • April 25, 2017
    PM Modi's Israel visit — Expectations?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Israel on July 5-6 this year, first by any Indian Prime Minster will be a historic event of extraordinary proportions since it also will mark 25 years of establishment of India-Israel full diplomatic relations in 1992, which allowed increased economic, cultural, and security cooperation between the two nations.

  • April 25, 2017
    Another joint doctrine — But who will implement?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media is agog with headlines of "New defence doctrine to ensure Army, Navy, IAF can tackle entire spectrum of conflicts". This new doctrine is likely to be released shortly.

  • April 25, 2017
    Kamov helicopters — Finally through?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In March 2017, media reported that the Indo-Russian Kamov helicopter deal had hit a hurdle, pricing and technology transfer being main issues. The news said that India and Russia were having a disagreement over the joint production of Kamov-226T...

  • April 13, 2017
    Indo-Bangla relations at all time high – Teesta should be next step
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The four day visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (April 7-10) has taken Indo-Bangladesh relations to an all time high.

  • April 13, 2017
    Cyber war – Where are we?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Cyber attacks in India have been on the rise over the years, particularly against government sites and Indian missions abroad despite several layers of security measures in place to protect against intrusions. In one instance, according to the Toronto based Munk Centre of International Studies, GhostNet – a Chinese network, had infiltrated networks of the Indian Government as well as of the Dalai Lama., Not that this is not happening world over, absolute cyber security being misnomer.

  • March 14, 2017
    Visit of Bangladesh PM - expectations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Coming up next month in April is the all important visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh to India. Not only is she a close friend of India, the manner in which she has gone after the terrorists and terrorist infrastructure in her country...

  • March 14, 2017
    Pakistan — Defiant Frankenstein
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    By admitting that the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack was carried out by Pakistan based terror group but that the Pakistani government had no role in it, former Pakistan National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani has managed to hit headlines while keeping himself safe.

  • March 14, 2017
    Special Forces — efforts to bridge equipment voids
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media is agog with news "Army on shopping spree, commandos to get deadlier", reporting that after the successful 'surgical strikes', MoD is fast-tracking some...

  • March 14, 2017
    Military Modernization Kaput — and the curse of committees
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has slammed the Government on March 9 through its report tabled in Parliament on Demands for Grants for 2017-18, for its lack adhocism, casual and lackadaisical approach saying it would adversely...

  • March 14, 2017
    QCG and the six plus one
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising the US, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan aimed to bring the Taliban on board to join the reconciliation process in Afghanistan was perhaps to keep Afghanistan in humour.

  • March 14, 2017
    Of Grenade Lobbing Robots — and more
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As the battle for Mosul continues, the ISIS fights on with new technology. Tiny surveillance drones are employed to observe and report movement and positions of the attacking forces.

  • February 20, 2017
    Indigenous LCH — good strides
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), was a star attraction at the Aero India 2017 held at Bengaluru last month.

  • February 20, 2017
    FGFA redesigned?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Happenings at the Aero India 2017 signified the next chapter in the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) saga. Whether it will now move faster than the snail’s pace is yet to be seen. Speaking to the media on the sidelines...

  • February 20, 2017
    India-China Strategic Dialogue — hollowness persists
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 22, India and China held their ‘upgraded’ strategic dialogue at Beijing. Just before the dialogue, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was to co-chair the dialogue.

  • February 20, 2017
    Indo-US Defence Ties - retain the high
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There was some speculation as to how the Indo-US defence relationship would pan out under the new US President, as relationships do undergo change with new administrations. Not that there was any reason for any apprehensions considering the indications from the US post election of President Trump.