An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 14 March 2005

A picture of Naval Dockyard, Mumbai downloaded from Digital Globe a free utility offered by Google

There is good news for India in general and for Indians in particular. India's intelligence services in the past were havens for the Indian Police Service extras but a change is in the air. In the 90s a Senior Chief Petty Officer looked after maritime affairs in RAW. Finally the grip of the Indian Police Service on India's Intelligence services and paramilitary forces is reducing, as quality is being demanded by a professional PMO and NSA and that augurs well for the nation's strategic interests. Today RAW –– India's CIA –- is staffed with bright ex-armed forces officers who could not climb up the pyramid of the service for lack of vacancies or other reasons and have now been inducted into the Intelligence agencies. They are already delivering.

India's NSA roped in senior officers and bright researchers into the National Security Council and even the PM's household had a naval officer some time back for coordination duties, which worked excellently. More and more India is aping USA's NSC to guide the country and as media reported it was India's NSA who executed the nuclear deal. He has been in Intelligence all his working life and has dabbled in journalism when out of Government and written reams for Asian Age. He knows the background of India's politics and personalities and how to tackle issues as he dealt with the Sri Lankan and Punjab affairs in their most difficult days. India's NSA is now in the South discussing the India–China border with Chinese Vice Minister Duo Bingguao and had visited Iran too if media reports are correct. A former DNI who served the Navy well for years is looking after maritime affairs in Intelligence, another bright Commodore looks after regional affairs and so do Army and Air Force officers who have joined the ranks in Intelligence, including the newly formed NTFO. We hope this trend continues and bright officers who have had excellent records are enjoined to serve the nation in new capacities in Intelligence and hopefully paramilitary forces too, which today call for a knowledge of security issues and technical knowledge, which naval officers and technical branch officers of the other two services are good at. It’s about analysis too.

As an example we post below a piece of analysis which we did a year ago on HOLI, India's festival of colour. By simple media analysis we were able to predict sale of F-16s for Pakistan and F-18s and nuclear plants for India exactly a year back. A read back tells us it all began with a telephone call from President Bush to Dr Manmohan Singh and lo and behold we have a nuclear deal which is progressing, two F-16s were delivered to Pakistan and of the 70 balance, 24 were offered to Pakistan but President Muharraff declined to take delivery because of the massive earthquake and now Gen Kohler is in New Delhi to sell F-18s. We supported the deal a year ago and wondered why the left were opposing it as they do even now. Is it because of the cards they hold and the support they get?

As we thank our visitors for their patronage, we are proudly hitting the 200,000 hits mark in the last two years and once again reiterate that this is a service to strengthen India's security by a team of three at IDC.

On the subject of Intelligence and analysis we post a picture taken from Google Earth and it shows Mumbai, so we once again emphasize that today there should be more openness in India and acts like Right To Information (RTI) should be encouraged, our equipment details should not be held secret, the 1927 Official Secrets Act should be repealed and YES operational plans and operational data and intentions should be guarded and kept secret. India may have 300 million poor but the nation has more billionaires and middle class than any other nation save three. The Government of India is no more in debt if it tots up its assets against its owings and if Indians' gold hoardings are counted we could be one of the richest nations in the world. Dr Manmohan Singh has been looking for means to harness the gold in households for the benefit of the nation and if he can do that India will not have to look back in this century!

F 16s For Pakistan F 18s and Nuclear Plants for India

An IDC Analysis (Reproduced From March 2005.)

Blaring masthead headlines in Indian, Pakistani and US papers on India’s Hindu New Year Day that is celebrated as HOLI refers to the long telephone conversation President Bush had with PM Manmohan Singh and the overdue announcement of release of F-16s to Pakistan by the US government and now the clearance of F-18s and Nuclear plants for India. These are welcome moves because they signify a closer relationship, and albeit fuel the arms race in the sub continent. However, the commercial aspects deserve some scrutiny and we offer a professional’s view. Separately we have posted on this site a reference to the Left side of the UPA Government resenting undue close military cooperation with USA and the Russians will now see competition in the nuclear field. India needs energy and Condelezza Rice has scored brownie points by her visit and the news of this announcement must have been mentioned in confidence to her interlocutors. Indian bureaucrats and political leaders love to hear such news directly rather than from New York Times or Wall Street Journal and Condelezza Rice has been told so. Even if we do not buy these big ticket items lets get all the gen as they say in the Services.

F-16s and F-18s –– A Comparison

In 1974-76 USAF ran a competition for a lightweight fighter. General Dynamics entered the YF-16 and Northrop entered the YF-17. Both were good aircraft. USAF chose the YF-16, partly because it shares the same engine with their then favourite fighter, the F-15, which was already flying. Choosing the F-16 helped to reduce the cost of F-15s.

US Navy liked the twin engined YF-17 and, after some modifications and the involvement of McDonnel Douglas, it became the F/A-18. Production was awarded to MDD which was subsequently bought by Boeing. The Navy and the Marines have been delighted with the plane and Malaysia and Australia operate the planes too .Meanwhile, Lockheed bought the F-16 plant of General Dynamics.

As one can see, the basic technology of both F-16 and F-18 is that of the 1970s. The F-16 is in the same class as the Mirage 2000, both in performance and cost. And now, USAF has taken delivery of its last F-16. The line is being kept open only for international customers like UAE which has the latest Block D F-16s. See the story below and we reckon the F 18 will cost some $ 45 bill a piece and F-16 some $ 32 b.

USAF, USN and USMC have already run a competition to replace the F-16, F-18 and AV-8 Harrier. Both Boeing and Lockheed entered their designs. The competition was won by Lockheed with their F-35 JSF (Joint Services Fighter). There are three versions F-35 A, B & C. Details are available on the Lockheed Martin website and UK has also opted for the plane and Singapore and others have funded the project. Britain joined the program in the early phases itself. A total of 11 countries are already in the program and many of them will get some workshare. If IAF and IN want to upgrade and modernise their fighter fleet with US aircraft, the F-35 JSF is the appropriate aircraft, but the cost will be phenomenal.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio. (AFPN) -- The general who was the F-16 System Program Office director here when the contract for the aircraft was awarded delivered the Air Force's last F-16 Fighting Falcon on March 18.While the Lockheed Martin Aero plant in Fort Worth, Texas, will continue to produce F-16s for international coalition partners, this aircraft is the last of 2,231 F-16s produced for the Air Force, officials said. The first delivery was in 1978.

Brig. Gen. Jeff Riemer, now the director of operations at the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters here, flew the jet from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

For his part, General Riemer said that having flown the very first F-16B while stationed at Edwards AFB, Calif., he is delighted to have had the opportunity to fly the last F-16 produced for the Air Force.

Today's F-16 has significant combat capabilities. This (version of the) jet has a new computer, multifunctional color displays, an advanced (Identification Friend or Foe) interrogator, upgraded data link system and a new helmet with an automatic target-cueing system. It has been upgraded with the latest software and cutting-edge precision weapons,Although this is the last new F-16 expected to be produced for the (Air Force), the F-16 Systems Group continues to technically transform the existing fleet of more than 1,300 jets, enabling evolutionary weapons delivery capabilities through 2025 and making possible a smooth transition to the F-35, the world's premier multi-role fighter of the future," Col. Jansson said.

Commercial Atomic Energy Generation

50 years ago nuclear energy was considered the panacea for our future energy needs. However, the high environmental costs, especially the huge cost of closing down and entombing a nuclear plant after 40–50 years of operation, has changed everything. The developed world has practically discarded new commercial nuclear energy plants. India and China are the only two major countries where new commercial nuclear plants are being built. It is only a question of time before India and China change their policies about commercial nuclear plants. So any offer by US of commercial nuclear plants is no substitute for the gas pipeline from Iran.

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