IDF VIEWS Indian military jumping up a notch on the world scale by 2020-21 and IDF salutes the IAF on its 87th birthday which displayed its might in clear skies at Hindon. But the Chiefs, PSOs there, and MOD in South Block should be worried as Indian economy is down and no money means no new big defence spending. Yet if you cut your coat better to India’s military cloth much can be done with tri service energy and weaponry. It is said NSA and soon a CDS will do that in earnest but time does not wait in this era. Bringing normalcy in Kashmir is consuming energy of decision makers as Trump confirms IDF view that USA China trade war is actually a technology war to throttle China and India has to decide where its stands on that. PM Modi will discuss that with President Xi Jinping in Mallampuram. The world and IDF is watching with hopes of ‘Acche Din with China’, to settle Pakistan down in a India China deal when leaders meet. India needs investment too and China needs a market! Can the two meet ?

This then is an overall IDF Dusshera Vijaydhasmi greetings with a Puja analysis of how many conventional diesel and how many nuclear submarines India should aspire for as building submarines is time consuming and it is based on the premise that France, UK and USA have no conventional diesel submarines—and China and Russia are balancing their Order of Battle (ORBAT) with less diesel submarines and exporting them to Bangla Desh (Mings) and Pakistan (Yuans) and Thailand and Kilos to Vietnam and Myamar and increasing their own number of nuclear submarines. Navy did a coup for Russia as the Kilo INS Sindhukriti with Indian crew is getting ready to be given to Myanmar. Good ‘out of the box’ thinking Navy is known for !

Hence today Pakistan Navy is not so much of a concern in case of a war as much is the PLA(Navy) in the years ahead dominating India’s parish. The P8is have come as a boost to the Indian Navy’s power with Mk 84 Harpoons and Mk 48 Torpedoes and the BrahMos and Barak 8 LR SAMs and M/F Star radars on ships with reliable gas turbines that do not fail. The Mig-29Ks are settling in on INS Vikramaditya. The IAF with induction of Rafales and its IACC and AWACS with slaved BVR Meteor 130 km and Scalp 300 km .8 Mach cruise missiles will see IAF as a juggernaut in the air. This is time the synergy of India’s Air Sea Strategy needs thinking by both services as Army seems confident with its IBGs concept tried out in Exercise Him Vijay. EAM Jaishankar Subrahmanyam has come as a breath of fresh air in Foreign policy as that is in his DNA. India needs that in Defence too.

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This is an IDF ANALYSIS of the Indo Pacific which is unfolding as the strategically most important water body with sea lanes that carry valuable and increasing world trade, but the region is also witness to increasing security challenges. China’s displayed it’s capabilities on 1st October with a Parade IDF dubs as ‘China’s Second Coming Party’ after the Olympics. Only Hong Kong protests and falling economy are worrisome.

China lacks maritime geography and is determined to claim the South and East China Seas from its rightful owners to possess a larger rich Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and dislodge US interests and influence from the Indo-Pacific with maritime power. It is also predicted that the region will be an area of competition between India(the elephant), and China(the dragon), but whether it will be peace or conflict between the two, cannot be assured. Gen JJ Singh has elaborated on this and offered a border deal of sorts with China in his researched book, “The McMAHON Line”,(Harper Collins) but issues have been overtaken by the abrogation of Article 370.

In a change, Japan’s Researcher Akio Tanhara on 4th October at IIC admitted in a slide that JAPAN too has realized the pendulum has shifted to Eurasia from USA, so Japan may co-operate with China in selected BRI projects to provide Infrastructure goods for sake of Japan’s economy. As Groucho Marx would say, ”It’s the economy stupid”.

This is where Wuhan(2018) and the coming meeting of PM Modi and President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram (11 Oct) kicks in. The flip side is, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) nations worry about what deals India makes and there are no issued guidelines for India’s Navy as the Net Security Provider(NSP) in IOR ordained by PM Manmohan Singh on 13th Aug.2013 or PM Modi’s call for SAGAR(Security and Growth for All) and LEMOA with USA which is secret. Sri Lanka wants to join LEMOA.

The Pathfinder Foundation in Sri Lanka led by Admiral Collambage and team under directions of the President Srisena consulted major IOR nations and scripted a ‘Code of Conduct’ in the IOR, titled Concerning The Repression Of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships, and Illicit Maritime Activity in The Indian Ocean’, and offered it to the twenty one members of IORA to be signatories, but as Pakistan a close ally of China is not an IORA member, and Pathfinder has Chinese partner Think Tanks like Indian Think Tanks have, India is diffident to even look at it. Pathfinder has offered India ownership to modify as all fear the consequences in the China India competition in the IOR, more evident after 370, as China has sided Pakistan which may never use its nuclear weapons but always threatens. This got RM Rajanth Singh to review the No First Use(NFU) meaning.

India has risen as a military and economic power, with a large potential attractive virgin market. It is that, that President Trump is wooing as he knows India has a pragmatic and decisive effusive leader in his friend PM Modi that can temper China. So he talks of co-operation in security and a trade deal and calls PM Modi the “Father of the Nation”, and announces military exercises like Tiger Triumph first time heard in Houston over Howdy and the QUAD to rope India into a formal alliance with Japan and Australia. Trump always puts his cards on the table for America First and India figures high.

China and other nations also covet India’s juicy market and IDF many times heard the Deputy PM of Singapore Admiral Teo Chee Hean in the 1990s say to every Indian dignitary visiting Singapore, “A Benign Strategic Relationship is Great for Trade”. Today tiny Singapore is a big player with trade hitting $18 bill and security relations are the closest with a confidential strategic pact and 27 unbroken Simbexes. France as a Riparian IOR state has offered outside support to QUAD and its bases in the IOR to India, and UK has joined the chorus. For France that possibly counted for the 36 Rafale deal inflated  to $ 8 billion to support India on nuclear plants, but Areva that L&T was talking to, went bust.

On QUAD China had warned India that QUAD is like ganging up against China when former President Pranab Mukherjee was the Defence Minister. The provocations was QUAD nations including Australia and Singapore exercised in Malabar. Australia and Singapore were put out in 2007 but are knocking for entry. India has risen since and China and USA are in a trade war. India has to think how it can gain. In China leaders listen to Intellectuals who help economic decision making and are working on China’s falling economy and strategy with India.

IDF is tempted to what IDF learnt after exiting Navy at IIM(A). In any transaction IIM teaches you must be clear who is the ‘Vendor and who is the Customer’ and act accordingly. Vendors humour the customer and some say Customer is King (India is No 1 importer of defence wares). Trump looks to the market of India and PM Modi is balancing defence deals between USA and Russia. Trump has sanctioned Russia and Iran to get India’s large oil and gas market as USA has become a net energy exporter and gas prices have fallen. Price of oil is a crucial factor for India and China’s economy.

Two decades ago USA behaved like a vendor to the big Chinese customer market. China took full advantage. USA used cheap Chinese labour to set up US industries in China to sell and export. China grew in double digits and invested its surplus in USA. China bought technology, imbibed technology and grabbed technology by means fair and foul in Make in China, even from Russia and Ukraine to become a leader in many technologies. Hence the USA CHINA trade war, which is a technology war too. Huawei and ZTE are banned by USA. Xi Jinping may discuss Huawei and such issues along with QUAD when he meets PM Modi on 11th October. Wuhan 2018 saw borders cool after Doklam stand off and Chinese PLA and Indian Army officers meet regularly now, and it is reported daily in Doklam where a road to move troops and armour is readied. India is better prepared.

As a consequence, there have been many articles and talks and conferences in Think Tanks on China and USA with foreign and Indian speakers. Chinese warn China has 17.3% of the world’s economy with 1.4 billion people and India has 2.3% of the world’s economy and 1.3 billion, so ask, “are you with the East or West without naming USA or QUAD”. NSA Doval spoke at the  Goa Maritime Conclave at Fort Aguada in Goa on 4th October to littoral Navy Chiefs on “Common Common Maritime Priorities in IOR and need for Regional Maritime Strategy”.and subjects mentioned in this posting show their relevance as Adm Columbage was present from Sri Lanka.

In view of the above the Indian Navy needs more attention, healthier budgets for long term plans, as it is a capital intensive three dimensional force of quality, but lacks quantity called, ‘A Long Grey Line of Ships’. It deserves adequate warships and nuclear ISBN/SSN and conventional submarines including three aircraft carriers and Aerial power to be called a true Blue Water Navy as RM Rajnath Singh said.

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh recently lamented that from 18% allotted to the Navy earlier the 2019-20 Defence Budget has provided only around 13%, from the allocated Rs3.18 Lac Crores ($46 Billion). The Army has got Rs 1.67 lac crores ($23 billion), the Air Force Rs 68,949 crores($10 billion) and Navy only Rs 45,368($6.5 billion).leaving little room for new naval orders, as escalation and time delays of the 34 ordered ships has taken a toll on the Navy’s plans to be a 200 ship and 400 aircraft Navy by 2027. Navies cannot be built overnight like ‘fly in planes’ in an Air Force, or on shoe string budgets. Yet India’s Navy is coping as well as it can with 134 ships and P8I planes like ships and quality manpower, hoping it is given more funds, well aware of the major committed payments of over $12 billion in trances for the Indian Air Force.

Much maritime India will depend on India’s economy which has dipped to 6.1% as per the RBI and so has the world economy. Shan No Varuna.


This is an IDF report on a well organized 25/26 July, INTERNATIONAL SHIP BUILDING SEMINAR by FICCI toiled by the Constructor officers under the Director General Naval Design DGND(Surface), Radm D M Harish in national interest this time. Earlier seminars were Navy centric.  

The suggestions were path breaking and moderated by the Navy’s Controller of Acquisitions(CWPA) Vadm AK Saxena with doyens of ship building. Two former Chiefs, Russian Minister of Industry, and many retired from Navy (IDF counted 37 in industry with lucrative jobs ) who earlier steered Navy’s Make in India from Buyer to a Builder were there to a over full hall. Overall each spoke with feeling that India is missing the Maritime money boat to rise fast on the world stage through ship building, like it lost out in the industrial regime. But that was forced. This will be a self goal.

CNS Admiral Karambir Singh, emphasised the seminar was on ‘Nation Building through Shipbuilding, a topical issue and lauded the intellectual pool of maritime experts in the hall, copying what President Jefferson said when he spoke to nation builders he had called to Monticello in Virginia who set  USA on its way. .

CNS propitious words ring loud. “The Government has plans to take our country’s economy on a trajectory to be a 5 trillion Dollar economy by 2024. I think ship-building is a sector that can contribute significantly. I’m sure several speakers today would discuss measures to spur our ship-building, especially commercial ship-building, in India” CNS called the  journey from a ‘Buyers Navy’ to a ‘Builders Navy’ as an arduous one and highlighted the plough back effect which needs replicating.

At the opening, President FICCI Sandip Somany said industry is unhappy and he rattled off trade figures. He said India has 3.4 percent of world trade but 1 percent of Shipping so explained potential of a trillion. Mr JD Patil Director L&T which builds nuclear submarines the most demanding in ship building, gave history how we have gone forward and then backward especially after gaining lot in Navy Shipbuilding. He deprecated Nomination of orders to PSUs that has strained private players. Patil was optimistic with hopes that five RFPS issued on Missile Ships (why two classes), FPVs Hovercraft  and others in strategic partnership and five more to come without details ended on a optimistic note hoping Private Players will get a bit of the cake.

JS MOD Defence Production Vijayendra was brief and listed achievements in warship building but avoided commercial ship building and said prospects are there. There lies the gap. IDF adds the Government had a repeat of building like old Niligiri planned in the 4 LPD contract to private and Government shipyards to compete. Bids came in but MOD got cold feet as Anil Ambani was involved but why not RM Rajnath Singh revive it as LPD is a national Tri Service Need to get to $ 5 trillion economy!

So IDF dubs the seminar as a “Wake up Call”, but it was the  converted speaking to the converted. Two Ministers, the Niti Ayog head of shipping and another Government head did not turn up. IDF wondered why? Was the subject daunting or were there were more pressing issues, like preparing for Man Ke Baat ! PM has hogged Radio for its reach but IDF cannot go give a sports or non political  Ship Building talk on private radio as AIR hogs Radio and has age limits. .

IDF has a suggestion . The RSS reps who advice BJP on self reliance in nation building should have been invited as they have a voice in policy and ship building needs attention urgently. A lot of private shipyard infrastructure is lying waste; and how to finance and use it came to the fore with Bankers advice in a session on financing. Ex IAS officer Mr Sandhu from KPMG spoke sense on energizing the ship building sector.

Why does IDF bring in RSS ? Navy knows the idiom that IDF as Commander Naval Academy taught wards. “You cannot change the direction of the wind (as you will compete with seasoned NDA trained officers), but you can always change the direction of your sails and attempted to groom them how to do that,” hence the RSS offer.  Nine wards became Flag Officers with ten in shipbuilding including Nuclear submarines and BrahMos and 40 of one batch are gathering in Cochin early August to relive IDF advice but this time on old age ! IDF talk will be based on Khushwant Singh’s advice and is in the novel, “An Underhand Affair, The Travails of a Dalit Girl,” on Amazon Rs 250/-.

At the seminar Navy had a crib, there is no budget. Ways of leasing, joint PSU and Commercial yard building and such were offered with the setting up of a Ship Building Development Fund and long term plans by Cmde Sujeet Samamdar with details for pay back. In any case  warship and commercial ship building as depicted in the logo has to be a  treated like a national strategy and commitment to grow, like Japan Korea and China. They looked at ship building  as a National & Naval Strategy, where it has done well. In India naval costs and delivery schedules of ships have gone hay wire. Commercial shipping will teach Navy competitiveness and how to freeze designs for the builder !

Speakers proved that If attended to, Shipbuilding and ancillary vendor partners for a maritime nation with a God provided geography given to  India, will bring about half a million direct and half a million indirect skilled jobs. Ship building has to be  an unending duty .In the economic down turn Russia and China made shipbuilders merge and China employed them in pipe line and rail building and in South China Sea and sold ships at cut prices with subsidy and their yards are reviving now with BRI and massive warship building and exports. China’s rise worries India’s Naval  Chiefs.

In USA the  Maritime Administration of USA —MARAD gives subsidy to shipping sector and  Waterman Steamship Ltd that IDF headed in India saw MARAD give the company $ 2 mill annual subsidy to employ only US seamen to compete with Japanese Korean and Chinese lines. One speaker asked why SCI bought 65 ships from Korea and China and said, “Look at Mazagon Docks which with no experience grew,  after Nilgiri in 1970s and now makes world class ships and Type 15 INS Delhi weathered a terrible cyclone with praise from Russian designers.”

INS Nilgiri was mentioned. as an example. It was the start point of the 1970s for raw Mazdocks to build big warships. IDF was part of the journey. It now makes Type 15A and Scorpenes. Cdr (L) SBN Singh Cdr (E) Dasgupta and Gunnery officer Lt Cdrs Madhvendra Singh later CNS, TASO Gulu Kumar SCO Iyer and IDF as Navigating Officer later XO were sent to UK with key sailors for six months. First Sea Lord sailed in Nilgiri for 5 hours and could not believe Indians had done it.

L&T Director Mr Jayant Patil and others reported that  Rs 1lac 35000 cr orders for ship building have been given to PSU shipyards and only Rs 9000 to private yards. So, the big debate humming through the Conference was that PSU ship yards have a back log of Rs 85000 cr of warship orders with rising costs for years to complete. Why cannot the Navy tell Government to make JVs and use the facilities with closed down yards like Reliance  ABG,  Alcock Ashdown in bankruptcy and the less employed L&T with ship lift which has built nuclear submarines like INS Arihant and delivered 37 ships in few years ahead of time. The subject of DRDO’s Arihant was taboo and the Private Public Partnership (PPP) model used for Arihant was never discussed to learn from.

Private ship designers lamented they  are not supported and asked DGND to allow use of software on ‘pay for time’ basis. It will help mutually as they cannot afford expensive digital software. Adm RM Bhatia CMD Mazdocks explained how small Korea in the 1970s saw the future seeing Japan through shipbuilding. President Pak Chung Lee (1963-79) as President took over President of the Shipbuilders Association and asked a Mr Song an MIT trained Constructor to set up shipyards and rest is history for what Korea has achieved by copying Japan and then innovating. Wikipedia says, “One of the most striking features of Asia‟s increasingly important position in the global economy is the region’s crucial role in the international shipbuilding market. Today, more than 90 per cent of the world‟s orders for new ships have been placed with Asian yards, more specifically with shipbuilders in China, Japan and South Korea.”

DRDO was absent in the seminar but a young ISRO rep gave a brilliant presentation on how ISRO has grown and the low costs of launches and of PSLVs and GSLVs and the cryogenic engine story. Moral is you need technocrats today to get the job going. Shan No Varuna.


This is an IDF analysis of the extraordinary mission and accident of the Russian deep sea exploration nuclear submarine Loksharik AS 12 -killing 12/14 out of 25 in the Arctic, juxtaposed with the superb way Indian Navy tackled a switchboard fire on INS Chakra 1 in the 1989 off Vishakhapatnam extracted from the book Warring Navies ISBN 978-93-5156-638-0 by Ranjit B Rai . But who reads with Wikipedia set to educate the masses ?

Putin has asked defense minister Sergei Shoigu to report back personally about the AS -12 disaster, but IDF asks was it just an ordinary scientific mission? According to media reports, the AS12 submarine can possibly be used to tap into, set up or even sever underwater telecommunications cables. A local journalist first reported from Somoransk and was told to go quiet. The AS-12 is back in its naval base like Chakra limped back in 1989. Indian Navy now has two Fisher UK DSRVs to recover sailors from stranded submarines.

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G 20 showed how lucky PM Modi is. He runs India in Presidential style with unfettered power and loves adulation as an orator. India has the biggest virgin market of 1.4 bill consumers in the world and is the largest Defence importer and controls the strategy of the Indian Ocean. So Presidents Trump, Putin and Xi Jinping and PM Abe were like salesmen mouth watering and fawning over PM Modithe biggest customer at G-20. FDI has poured in anticipation of a gold rush. IDF wishes Governance well. 

This then is an IDF analysis of the critical Quadrilateral Security Dialogue which is commonly referred to as the QUAD. It has evolved as an informal grouping of United States, Japan, Australia and India, whose leaders have met at various levels for strategic talks since 2007, to China’s ire.

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IDF analysis of the India General Signal No 002 issued by Admiral Karambir Singh as the first shot to reduce what is called Chamchagiri  (Licking in English to please seniors)which has swept in to the Indian Armed Forces and more into the politicians and bureaucracy and India’s police. The steps CNS wants Navy to follow are detailed and clear and can apply to Politicians Bureaucrats and most to India’s Police which in the last 5 years had pandered to power !

From doing away with multiple cars for the CNS during official visits to asking junior officers to be respectful but not subservient, from not lining up women and children for VIP visits to no bouquets as  presentations, Admiral Karambir Singh has issued a raft of instructions to curb ostentatious displays in the force.

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Cmde Ranjit B Rai (Retd)

In 1977 US Secretary of Defence and nuclear physicist Harold Brown coined the definition of National Security, as ‘the ability to preserve the nation’s physical integrity and territory and to maintain its economic relations’. It was conceived more as protection against military attack and freedom to control trade, that allowed western nations to rise. Today In this globalised world we live in the age of the speed of internet with cyber tools for warfare. Today lethal conventional weapons are in the inventory of most nations and nuclear weapons are with more that the P5 nations. National leaders have to react to crises with alacrity and take urgent action with the use of appropriate intelligence, big data, weapons and diplomatic levers available to the nation.

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Ranjit B Rai

With best wishes to incoming RM and CNS IDF hopes new brooms sweep better.

This is an IDF analysis after BJP’s landside victory and the Razzmatazz swearing on 30th September, of Gaius Julius Caesar like Prime Minister Narendra Modi with strategist Amit Shah a friend like Caesar had in Mark Antony, with BIMSTEC and SCO leadership in the gallery. NYT called it Incredible India.

Hopes are, FDI will pour in with manufacturing and support is promised to farmers and elderly with pensions. Much will depend on the available funds while defence needs will need a lot of jugglery between services, now that oratory for elections is over after the Balakot attack and loss of a Mig-21 and Mi-17V5 which needs personal introspection by the new RM.!

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Post Election results as predicted by IDF this is a retrospective IDF Analysis of the AW-101 Agusta Helicopter Deal that initially was a political scandal purely in Italy connected with Berlisconi’s party in 2012 which lost.

It had repercussions in India as price was inflated and selection was one sided for Italy with tailored QRs thrust on the IAF and it’s Chief had to hold the baby. It is time the baby is thrown out with the muddied bath water of so far untraceable coloured moneys.

IDF heard in Italy Berloscini’s party may have been looked after through excess charged to India by Finmeccanica for elections so party in power that beat Berloscini. investigated the cost in Italy and sent Orsi and Spangolini to jail but now both are let off. Can India follow suit as pre elections, AW 101 was a big big issue but no charges have been framed. India must move on by charging or close cases but DPP and how MOD works needs attention for Make In India with PM Modi as powerful as never before to take personal interest.

Looking back the QRs of the VIP helicopters were pegged for 3 engines and special 1.8 mtrs height in the cabin that NSA Brajesh Misra supported and that has a connection if pennies drop. The Kashmiri SPG head played ball when he went to Italy and cleared emergency medical equipment and IAF chose an Israeli EW and missile avoidance systems. By luck IDF flew in the S-92 of Sirkosky over Delhi with a full woman crew that Obama chose over AW 101 that USA had chosen, but AW 101 became too costly. It did not qualify in height for Indian QRs and did not have three engines which inflates price and some Israel and IAF fitted Italian EW suites were objected by USA.

Multiple trials were done on equivalent helicopter in UK not AW-101 as it was not there and it became a a repeat of the 40 SU-27/30S India bought which were actually SU-27s updated by IRKUT and the 40 were to be sent back but 15 lay at Pune Lohegaon IAF station rotting and became Karbar (Junk)like the AW 39 Westland helicopters that Rajiv Gandhi bought for Pawan Hans with Sea Kings that  Navy still flies awaiting 24 Lockheed Sirkosky NH-60Rs for which an LOI has been issued. The AW-39s were sold as scrap.

News is coming in from Italy that Giuseppe Orsi, former CEO of the Italian Government controlled defence group Leonardo previously known as Finmeccanica, and Bruno Spagnolini, Head Agusta Westland, are both cleared of corruption charges by Italy’s highest court which acquitted them citing a lack of sufficient proof. The lower court had giving them prison sentences of four and 4-1/2 years. India must get copy of judgment to see the repercussions that CBI and lawyers can use.

Like in Italy India’s CBI is struggling with the AW 101 case and has even taken an Air Chief in and out of custody in a money laundering case with others caught from Dubai which is still on going in India. Ennio Amodio, a lawyer representing Orsi, said the Supreme Court decision would inevitably have repercussions on the trial in India.”Clearly the Indian authorities will have to take note of the fact that at the end of a very detailed probe it was found there had never been any corruption,” he said.

The AW 101 case was a big political issue in India before the elections and earlier in Italy with Berloscini when it opened in 2012 and Finmeccanica was black listed and it tarnished the company’s reputation at a time when India was importing radars and torpedoes from Leonardo as the world’s biggest arms buyers. The Italian group has always said the case was against individuals rather than the company itself. Micheal Christian has been in custody with a Saxena and Khaitan and others including Tyagi brothers being investigated.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media on the first day of the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec.11, 2018. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)(PTI12_11_2018_000093B)

India cancelled the helicopter contract in 2013 after Orsi was arrested, but Agusta Westland opposed India’s decision. The contract remains suspended and the subject of international arbitration in Paris. India should fine Agusta which is acceptable to Agusta and let India’s VIPs fly in the world’s best VIP helicopters as three lie idle in Palam and IAF VIP qualified pilots are rearing to fly VIPs

In brief if one reads the excellent in depth analysis done by http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/ on the AW-101 scandal it will be clear that proving where the illegal money went to Indians is like it went for the Bofors, HDW and Scorpene war room leak ways with a Verma who was in jail and Lt Cdr Sankaran absconding.

Indian politicians in power are not fools and need money to survive elections when electoral bonds were not there. Thanks to misuse use by NRIs and the Vodapone $4.1 billion deal via Mauritius it was stopped with retrospective law in the budget. Only Parliament can change it as BJP has been returned to power and must turn a new leaf.

BJP is clean today, but had clever politicians earlier and built up a corpus and the new young Indian voter and women have given the mandate to PM Modi and any one analyzing daily life knows it. Money in India has different colours which PM Modi is trying to stop and will tax the rich to keep his promise to give lacs to the poor. But IDF hopes the AW-101 case sees closure or the charges get framed and not linger on like the Adarsh case which both affect India’s fine Armed Forces. The other good news that came in was Israeli helped Techsar 2B radar satellite was launched by ISRO’s PSLV and IAF fired a light weight BrahMos missile from a SU-30MKI on to a Naval Target in the Andaman’s and stock market has jumped !

India is set to be a world power and is respected as a destination and in a decade will be a power for sure and PM Modi is an amazing leader with ideas but his last cricket team seemed lacking. As a second marriage, this time it may be even better ! IDF will put forth suggestions on both issues when RM FM and EAM and the next Defence Secretary is announced. With BJP victory it is acche din the new voter and women who voted for PM Modi in full force look forward to. Shan No Varuna. 

 and the power of NDA has gone to its head as the OROP impasse showed and now a fine IAF is being pilloried in public gaze with little proof so far, as a property here and there bought at Filey rates is not what money changed hands.


20.   Italy’s Cruel Judicial Farce & India’s Pathetic Politicians


22.   Whenever there emerges a cocktail made up of a notoriously trigger-happy bunch of Italian state prosecutors, pathetic Indian politicians—both those in power and those voted out of power—so full of unconscionable behavior, a cabal of unscrupulous Italian citizens masquerading as product marketers, and hyper-ventilating Indian broadcast TV channels, the end-result can only be mayhem and obfuscation, with the truth nowhere in sight. On February 14, 2013 India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) had produced a document that—had anyone bothered to read it—most notably the Italian magistrates—they would have indisputably cleared all Indian citizens of any wrongdoing by removing the motive for corruption.


24.   All that the three-year trials process in Italy has produced so far is the indictment and sentencing of Orsi former CEO Finmeccanica; and Spagnolini CEO of AgustaWestland. UK has changed Finmeccanica to Leonardo on 28th April, 2016 like ARMARIS did to DCNS and later Navantia walked out and Lt Cdr Sankaran is on the run living abroad.


26.   No material evidence to date has come to light about any direct or indirect money-trail that leads to any Indian official or politician, nor of any wrongdoing done by anyone from either the MoD or the Indian Air Force (IAF). Worse, the material evidence gathered from the alleged middlemen—Haschke and Gerossa and Christian Michel and now his girl friend clearly show them to be groping in the dark and being totally unaware of how exactly the MoD’s procurement-related decision-making process works.


28.   For, had the Government even had the slightest idea about who had the final say in selecting the VVIP helicopters, they would have clearly mentioned the post of Director of the Special Protection Group (SPG) as being the key and most critical stakeholder of the VVIP helicopter selection process. Yet, nowhere is the SPG’s Director mentioned in any piece of paper containing the handwritten notations of these alleged middlemen. Nor is there any material evidence of any money laundering exercise involving any financial institution. Only a man’s word that of Hashke that money was to be paid to some initials.


30.   In 2009 the IAF’s Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) shortlisted three helicopters and accordingly competitive flight evaluations were conducted. Since AgustaWestland’s AW-101 was not certified for operating at an altitude of 6,000 metres, it did not participate in the flight evaluations. Russia’s Mi-172 could not comply with 7 mandatory Operational Requirements (OR). After flight evaluations, only Eurocopter’s EC-225 was found suitable for acquisition. On November 19, 2003 a meeting was taken by Brajesh Mishra, the then Principal Secretary-cum-National Security Adviser (NSA) to the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on this subject. In this meeting, Mishra had observed that his main concern was that the framing of the mandatory ORs had led India effectively into a single vendor situation. It was also noted that very rarely have India’s Presidents or Prime Ministers have made visits to places involving flying at an altitude beyond 4,500 metres. In the meeting it was therefore decided to make the mandatory OR for an operational altitude 4,500 metres. So in essence BJP began the way QR was changed ! IAF followed suit and the Tyagi brothers like Sankaran for the Scorpenes kept Finmeccanica informed which information is provided as Consultancy and is paid in crores. If the Tyagi brothers have paid taxes its legal.


32.   All political parties employ media, ad companies and consultants for elections and will that become illegal in India which in Defence deals has become sophisticated. Another company in Chandigarh took on the soft ware off set route so it was legal too.


34.   The higher flying ceiling of 6,000 metres, and the mandated internal cabin height of 1.8 metres could be made desirable ORs. Later, a letter dated December 22, 2003 from Mishra to the then Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of the IAF, ACM Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy, stating that it was unfortunate that neither PMO nor the Special Protection Group (SPG) was consulted while framing these mandatory ORs. Mishra suggested that the CAS and the Defence Secretary may jointly review the matter to draw up realistic mandatory ORs satisfying operational, security and convenience requirements of VVIPs, and also set in motion a fast-track process for selection and acquisition of the replacement helicopters. In pursuance of this directive, the ORs were deliberated at length between IAF, NSA, SPG and MoD between March, 2005 to September, 2006 and the indicated changes were incorporated. No ambiguity is thus possible: the decision to lower the service ceiling requirement was official and above-board. It was taken during a meeting chaired by the PM’s Principal Secretary-cum-NSA, was followed up in writing with the IAF’s CAS, and was reviewed by the then-Defence Secretary. Subsequently, the revised ORs were deliberated at length for 18 months by the involved SPG and IAF authorities before becoming effective, and were all included in the final RFP document. The acceptance of necessity (AON) for the procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters was accorded by the MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the ‘Buy’ category with 30% industrial offsets on January 3, 2006.


36.   Next, the RFP was issued to six OEMs on September 27, 2006. Three OEMs—Sikorsky (S-92), AgustaWestland (AW-101) and Rosoboronexport (Mi-172 ) responded to the RFP. Rosoboronexport did not submit the mandated earnest money deposit and the Integrity Pact, along with the Technical and Commercial Proposals (TCP). It had been made clear to Rosoboronexport in February 2007 that this was a global tender and hence every contractual clause would apply to all vendors without exception. As no Integrity Pact and earnest money deposit were received from Rosoboronexport, the Mi-172’s TCP was not accepted. Subsequently, a team comprising officials of the IAF and SPG carried out Field Evaluation Trials (FET) of the AW-101 in the UK and of the S-92 in the US from January 16, 2008 till February 19, 2008. The FET team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended the AW-101 for service induction. The IAF’s own internal Staff Evaluation Report (SER) concluded that the S-92 was non-compliant with respect to four staff qualitative requirements (SQR)m these being the absence of a missile approach warning system (MAWS), service ceiling of 4.5km, deficient drift-down altitude, and deficient hover-out-of-ground-effect parameters. In addition, the AW-101, unlike the S-92, featured a high tail-boom since it would allow the VVIP’s motorised vehicles to come right next to the rear-ramp and not expose the protected persons to a threat from anyone in the vicinity. The SER thus assessed AW-101 to be fully compliant with all SQRs.


38.   The Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) constituted by the MoD on August 6, 2008 found that the FETs, compliance to SQRs and selection of the competing OEMs were all done according to the prescribed/mandated procedures. A Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) was subsequently constituted and it carried out negotiations with AgustaWestland between September 19, 2008 and January 21, 2009. While the CNC was progressing with negotiations, the IAF recommended the inclusion of Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS-II) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) as additional fitments for all 12 AW-101s, while the SPG recommended the inclusion of integral MEDEVAC systems for 8 of the 12 VVIP helicopters. These additional equipment were considered to be essential for safe and effective operation of the helicopters in the VVIP transportation role. The CNC, thereafter, recommended contract signature at a negotiated fixed-price of €556.262 million ($827 million), or Rs.3,550 crore. The draft contract was next submitted for approval by the Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) and was approved by the CCNS on January 18, 2010. Consequently, the MoD inked the contract with AgustaWestland for 12 AW-101s each powered by three Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM-322 engines on February 8, 2010.


40.   The AW-101 procurement contract included specific contractual provisions against bribery and the use of undue influence. Article 22 of the contract dealt with penalty for use of undue influence. This clause entitled the ‘Buyer’ to cancel the contract with the ‘Seller’ and recover from it the amount of any loss arising from such cancellations. Article 23 of the contract dealing with agents and agency commission required the ‘Seller’ to confirm and declare that it had not engaged any individual or firm, whether Indian or foreign, whosoever, to intercede, facilitate or in any way to recommend to the Government of India or any of its functionaries, whether officially or unofficially, to award of the contract to the ‘Seller’ nor had any amount been paid, promised or intended to be paid to any such individual or firm in respect of any such intercession, facilitation or recommendation. This clause further entitled the ‘Buyer’ to consider cancellation of the contract without any entitlement or compensation to the ‘Seller’ who shall be liable to refund all payments made by the ‘Buyer’ in terms of the contract along with interest. In addition to the above contractual provisions, Agusta Westland had signed an Integrity Pact with the Government of India. The validity of this Integrity Pact is from the date of its signing and extends up to five years or the complete execution of the contract, whichever is later. Under the Integrity Pact, the ‘Seller’ OEM committed itself to take all measures necessary to prevent corrupt practices, unfair means and illegal activities during any stage of the bid or during any pre-contract or post-contract stage. Any breach of the provisions of the Integrity Pact entitled the ‘Buyer’ to take actions against the ‘Seller’ which included forfeiture of the earnest money, performance bond, cancellation of the contract without giving any compensation, recovery of all the sums already paid with interest, cancellation of any other contracts with the bidder, and to debar the bidder from entering into any bid from the Government of India for a minimum period of five years, which may be extended.


42.   By July 2012 IAF pilots began AW-101-related flying conversion training in the UK, and the first AW-101 arrived at the Palam air base on December 20, 2012 while the second was delivered on December 22 and the third on December 24, 2012. Earlier, in October 2012, the MoD’s Defence Secretary wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs’ )MEA) Secretary (West) to take up the matter of alleged corrupt practices related the the AW-101 procurement contract with the UK in view of the alleged involvement of a British citizen (James Christian Michel), and the fact that the contract was signed with UK-based AgustaWestland. In November 2012, the MEA’s Secretary (West) replied to Defence Secretary, stating that “the UK authorities (i.e. the UK Serious Fraud Office https://www.sfo.gov.uk/about-us/) were waiting for the results of the Italian investigation in order to ascertain whether there are further actions to take”.


44.   However, by late 2013 Indian Defence Minister Arackaparambil Kurien Antony single-handedly took the decision to first block progress-payments to AgustaWestland, then to cancel the contract, and finally to sue for payment of the surety and performance bonds that the company had placed in escrow, on the basis of unproven allegations. In doing so, Antony ignored a fundamental legal and moral principle: that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. This is unconscionable behavior for a Union Cabinet Minister in “the world’s largest democracy,” and can only be explained by motives other that a constitutional duty to his mission. The reality is that Antony, as the upcoming general election neared, even wanted to put AgustaWestland and Finmeccanica, its corporate parent, on the government’s blacklist, until he was blocked by the Government of India’s Solicitor-General. By January 2014, the MoD had cancelled the €566 million contract, as well as encashed €228 million of AgustaWestland’s €278 million performance bond, which dented the OEM’s cash position and that of its holding company Finmeccanica. All of this for no other reason than an Indian minister’s overwhelming pre-occupation with his political future.



47.   Here is what India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) says about the Mi-17 family of helicopters: “The MGB drives the hydraulic pumps. Hydraulic power is required for the flying controls. The hydraulic system has OM-15 hydraulic oil. Hydraulic System has a main and standby system. Both systems have independent tanks, pumps, accumulators and pipelines. However, both the pipelines feed only a single booster, which in turn moves the control surfaces. There are a total of 4 boosters in the system. One critical weakness in the system is that if there is a leakage in the booster, there is a possibility of the entire oil from both the main and the standby systems leaking out. The emergency procedure for a total hydraulic failure is to have both pilots flying the aircraft in unison to a landing. The Mi 17V-5, which is a military version of the Mi-17, is being flown by the IAF and Border Security Force. As per the Flight Manual of this aircraft, the crew is to abandon the aircraft in case of total hydraulic failure. In case they cannot, then they have to resort to flying by both pilots to land immediately. Therefore, the procedure given in the Mi-17’s Flight Manual for total hydraulic does not inspire confidence in the pilots. All of them feel that this aircraft cannot be flown with a total hydraulic failure. They feel that this aircraft cannot even be taxied on ground with total hydraulic failure.”


49.   And finally, to add insult to injury, Italian state prosecutors will be the only characters in this sorry story to escape unscathed.


51.   So, if all those pathetic politicians (both of the ruling national coalition and those of the UPA-1/2 coalitions) in Lutyens’ Delhi are indeed serious about seeking the truth while ensuring that the prestige of the IAF and the survivability of India’s NCA are assured, then they better take heed of how Taiwan had overcome a similar crisis in the not-too-distant past. The details of this case are as follows:


53.   On August 31, 1991 France and Taiwan signed the ‘Bravo Contract’ to supply six Lafayette-class guided-missile frigates (FFG) for a total of US$2.5 billion. The buyer of the FFGs was the Plans Office of the Republic of China Navy (RoCN), acting on behalf Taiwan. The FFGs were to be built by DCNS. Shortly thereafter, the authorities in Taiwan accused the French state-owned ELF Aquitaine of having paid bribes through Thomson CSF (now THALES Group) to persuade both French government and RoCN authorities to approve the contract and launched an investigation. Taiwan initiated arbitration proceedings against DCNI during the second half of 2010. The case was eventually heard by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration. The court found that THALES Group had violated the anti-corruption terms of the contract and was therefore liable to repay all bribes, plus associated interest and legal fees. THALES appealed, and the decision was upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal, ordering THALES Group to pay compensation to Taiwan in the amount of €630 million (US$913 million). The French government and THALES Group announced the payment of the fine, with the French government paying approximately 72.54%, or around €457 million, and THALES Group the remainder.


55.   https://star.worldbank.org/corruption-cases/node/19572


57.   http://blogs.wsj.com/corruption-currents/2011/06/09/france-thales-sa-agree-to-pay-630-euros-in-frigate-case/

58.   The Rebuttals

59.   The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had submitted a report on the acquisition of helicopters for Very Very Important Persons (VVIPs) on August 13, 2013. The audit sought to examine the process of acquisition of VVIP helicopters and its compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), the prescribed procedure for procurement in the defence services. The report can be read here:



This is an Analysis of the Indian Navy’s 135 platforms, and its slowed expansion and challenges for the new Chief with listing of ships that have got cancelled or delayed in construction with huge cost escalations in PSUs, not allowed to Private Shipyards who have closed down. Navy has lost 13 platforms.

IDF posts this just before the Election results on 23rd May at a time President Trump is squeezing Chinese and Iranian economies and disrupting oil imports. Trump wants Indian market for its economy to help USA and maritime attributes in the QUAD and will put pressure for that!.

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