Delhi, 02 December 2005
Arvind Virmani head of Indian Government's economic independent
think tank ICIER treated the members of the United Service
Institution to a full wholesome meal of India's economic strengths
and weaknesses. It was a real treat to see the optimism with which
he viewed India's future. His message to the government was that
they must deliver the goods they were supposed to. He was in the
Government himself in the Finance Ministry and said he opted to
attend to research as no one did that in the Government! The
government goods he named were law and order, defence
security, infrastructure and health and suggested that they leave
the rest to the market. He also said the Government should regulate
matters and called for a change in the role of the Government. He
saw few pitfalls and they were energy and political instability but
did not see India faltering in any way.
reproduce below a piece on Cope India 2995 from the Christian
Science Monitor to show how well India's Air Force performed and we
add snippets to portray the Armed Forces doing well. For the first
time they have a lot more funds and freedom to play around and the
bureaucracy is not able to interfere and block sanctions as in the
past. The Army proved itself in exercises and the Navy had exercised
with the US, Australian, UK and Russian navies and the visitors were
struck by their abilities and professionalism. As reported the
BrahMos misisle is set to dazzle the world's navies. The first
Rajput class comes out of refit with 8 BrahMos For'ard launchers and
8 vertical launchers, with L&T systems replacing the Volna and
the Barak system replacing 2 AK-630 30mm guns. It will be a very
powerful unit of the Eastern fleet and the envy of many.
wants to buy India's Saathi hand held computer system, Chile is
looking at purchasing 30 ALH and many small civil suppliers are
already exporting defence ticket items including software.
Air Force, In War Games, Gives US A Run
Christian Science Monitor, Nov 28, 2005
over a few rounds of golf, dog fighting a bit over the jungles of
West Bengal this month's Cope India 2005 war games were
billed as a standard two-week exercise between Indian and American
in website chat rooms, devoted to the arcania of fighter aircraft,
there was a buzz. Arre, wah! Oh, wow! Had the Indian
Air Force beat the Americans?
exactly, according to observers and participants. The exercises had
mixed teams of Indian and American pilots on both sides, which means
that both the Americans and the Indians won, and lost. Yet,
observers say that in a surprising number of encounters
particularly between the American F-16s and the Indian Sukhoi-30
MKIs the Indian pilots came out the winners.
the cold war, there has been the general assumption that India is a
third-world country with Soviet technology, and wherever the
Soviet-supported equipment went, it didn't perform well," says
Jasjit Singh, a retired air commodore and now director of the Center
for Air Power Studies in New Delhi. "That myth has been blown
out by the results" of these air exercises.
now, US Air Force officials are saying only that the Cope India 2005
air exercises were a success, and a sign of America's growing
appreciation for the abilities of its newfound regional ally.
there are some signs that America's premier fighter jet, the F-16
Fighting Falcon, is losing ground to the growing sophistication of
Russian-made fighter planes, and that the US should be more wary
about presuming global air superiority the linchpin of its
Sukhoi is a better plane than the F-16," says Vinod Patney, a
retired Indian Air Force Marshal, and former Vice Chief of Air
Staff. "But we're not talking about a single aircraft. We're
talking about the overall infrastructure, the command and control
systems, the radar on the ground and in the air, the technical crew
on the ground, and how do you maximize that infrastructure. This is
where the learning curve takes place.
let's forget about I beat you, you beat me," he adds.
"This is not a game of squash."
'got their clocks cleaned', tell that to the participants of
bharat-rakshak.com (Guardian of India). On any given day, this
website seems devoted to which Indian fighter plane uses which
missile, with occasional grumblings about why Saurav Ganguly is
still playing on the Indian cricket team. But during Cope India '05,
Bharat Rakshak was a veritable cheering session for the
underestimated Indian Air Force.
was a posting by a blogger who called himself "Babui."
Citing a quote from a US Air Force participant in Cope India '05 in
Stars and Stripes "We try to replicate how these
aircraft perform in the air, and I think we're good at doing that in
our Air Force, but what we can't replicate is what's going on in
their minds. They've challenged our traditional way of thinking on
how an adversary, from whichever country, would fight," "Babui"
wrote, "That quote is as good an admission that the F-16 jocks
got their clocks cleaned."
blogger, Forgestone, advised against such
"chest-thumping." "Coming out on the winning or
losing side of a scorecard doesn't change their large technological
edge, their resources, their experience, their talent, their
geostrategic position," he wrote, referring to the US Air
recently, an American pilot who participated in the Exercise, added
his own two cents on the blog. "It makes me sick to see some of
the posts on this website," wrote a purported US
"Viper" pilot. "They made some mistakes and so did
we.... That's what happens and you learn from it."
point of the exercise, he said, was for the USAF and the IAF to
train, learn, and yes, play golf alongside each other. "For two
weeks of training, both sides got more out of their training than
they probably would in two months."
fighter prowess slipping Military experts say the joint
exercises occurred at a time when America's fighter jet prowess is
slipping. Since the US victories in the first Gulf War, a war
dependent largely on air power, the Russians and French have
improved the aviation electronics (avionics) and weapons
capabilities of their Sukhoi and Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft. These
improvements have given countries like India, which use the Sukhois
and Mirages, a rough parity with US fighter planes like the F-16 and
F-15C. China, too, now has 400 late-model Sukhois.
while the Indian Air Force designed the exercises to India's
advantage forcing pilots to fight "within visual
range" rather than using America's highly advanced "beyond
visual range" sensing equipment both observers and
participants admit that Indian aircraft and personnel performed much
better than expected.
Su-30 MKI "is an amazing jet that has a lot of manoeuvrability,"
Capt. Martin Mentch told an Air Force publication, AFPN.
Manoeuvrability is key for missions of visual air combat.
it turns out the US Air Force did, in fact, get their clocks
cleaned, it will have been the second time. In Cope India 2004, an
air combat exercise that took place near the Indian city of Gwalior,
US F-15s were eliminated in multiple exercises against Indian
late-model MiG-21 Fishbeds as fighter escorts and MiG-27 Floggers.
In the 2005 exercises in Kalaikunda air base near Calcutta,
Americans were most impressed by the MiG-21 Bisons and the Su-30
training surprises US Maj. Mark A. Snowden, the 3rd Wing's
chief of air-to-air tactics and a participant in Cope India 2004,
admitted that the US Air Force underestimated the Indians. "The
outcome of the  exercise boils down to [the fact that] they
ran tactics that were more advanced than we expected," he told
Aviation Week last year. "They had done some training with the
French that we knew about, but we did not expect them to be a very
well-trained air force. That was silly."
USAF controller working aboard an AWACS (Airborne Warning and
Control System) plane told reporters at Kalaikunda Air Base that he
was impressed by the speed in which Indian pilots responded to
target assignments given them by AWACS. The AWACS, while operated by
Americans, was acting as a neutral party, feeding target assignments
to both Indian and American pilots during the exercise. In most
cases, the Indians responded to target assignments faster than the
American pilots did a surprising fact, given that this was
the first time Indian pilots had used the American AWACS capability.
India's growing economic and diplomatic aspirations, it's not
surprising that many Indians would have the occasional outburst of
jingoism. But Indian pilots know they still have a lot to learn.
the Indians win or lose is crew room gossip," says Mr. Patney.
"The important thing is for us to be involved with the
Americans; the purpose is to fly alongside each other, to learn from
each other, to see if there is any interoperability. And for the
Americans, the main thing is to see what we [Indians] can do with