Can India Win a Conventional War Against Pakistan?

Newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's rhetoric about "jaw-breaking" (munh tod) policy toward Pakistan is the latest manifestation of a disease described by Indian diplomat Sashi Tharoor as "India's Israel envy".

India's Israel Envy:

India's Israel envy is reinforced by the Hindu Nationalists over-estimating their country's strength while under-estimating Pakistan's. It's aided by India's western allies' belief that Pakistan can not fight a conventional war with india and its only option to defend itself would be to quickly escalate the conflict into a full scale nuclear war.

Indian MP Mani Shankar Aiyar has summed up India's war rhetoric against Pakistan in a recent Op Ed as follows:

(Indian Defense Minister) Arun Jaitley thumps his chest and proclaims that we have given the Pakis a "jaw-breaking reply" (munh tod jawab). Oh yeah? The Pakistanis are still there - with their jaw quite intact and a nuclear arsenal nestling in their pockets. (Indian Home Minister) Rajnath Singh adds that the Pakis had best understand that "a new era has dawned". How? Is retaliatory fire a BJP innovation? Or is it that we have we ceased being peace-loving and become a war-mongering nation? And (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi thunders that his guns will do the talking (boli nahin, goli). Yes - and for how long?

India's Delusions:

Indians, particularly Hindu Nationalists, have become victims of their own hype as illustrated by Times of India's US correspondent who checked into the veracity claimed achievements of Indians in America and found such claims to be highly exaggerated: "On Monday, the Indian government itself consecrated the oft-circulated fiction as fact in Parliament, possibly laying itself open to a breach of privilege. By relaying to Rajya Sabha members (as reported in The Times of India) a host of unsubstantiated and inflated figures about Indian professionals in US, the government also made a laughing stock of itself." The Times of India's Chidanand Rajghatta ended up debunking all of the inflated claims about the number of Indian physicians, NASA scientists and Microsoft engineers in America.

Similarly, a US GAO investigation found that India's IT exports to the United States are exaggerated by as much as 20 times. The biggest source of discrepancy that GAO found had to do with India including temporary workers' salaries in the United States. India continuously and cumulatively adds all the earnings of its migrants to US in its software exports. If 50,000 Indians migrate on H1B visas each year, and they each earn $50,000 a year, that's a $2.5 billion addition to their exports each year. Cumulatively over 10 years, this would be $25 billion in exports year after year and growing.

Since the end of the Cold War, the West has been hyping  India's  economic growth to persuade the developing world that democracy and capitalism offer a superior alternative to rapid development through state guided capitalism under an authoritarian regime---a system that has worked well in Asia for countries like the Asian Tigers and China.  This has further fooled Hindu Nationalists into accepting such hype as real. It ignores the basic fact that India is home to the world's largest population of poor, hungry and illiterates. It also discounts the reality that  Indian kids rank near the bottom on international assessment tests like PISA and TIMSS due to the poor quality of education they receive.  The hype has emboldened many Indians, including the BJP leadership, to push neighbors around.

Pakistan's Response:

Pakistan has so far not responded to the Indian rhetoric in kind. It might create an impression that Pakistan is weak and unable to respond to such threats with its conventional force. So let's examine the reality.

Ground War:

In the event of a ground war, Pakistan will most likely follow its "offensive defense" doctrine with its two strike corps pushing deep inside Indian territory. Though Indian military has significant numerical advantage, Pakistan's armor is as strong, if not stronger, than the Indian armor.

Before embarking on further offensive, gains shall be consolidated.  Pakistan is also as strong, if not stronger, in terms of ballistic and cruise missiles inventory and capability, putting all of India within its range.  These missiles are capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.

India-Pakistan Firepower Comparison Source:

In 1990 the Central Corps of Reserves was created to fight in the desert sectors, where enemy land offensives are expected. These dual capable formations trained for offensive and holding actions are fully mechanized. The Pakistan Army has ten Corps including the newly formed Strategic Corps. The Army has twenty-six divisions (eight less than India). Two more divisions were raised as Corps reserves for V and XXXI Corps. The Army has two armored divisions, and ten independent armored brigades. Presently one hundred thousand troops are stationed on the Pak-Afghan border to fight terror.

The Special Service Group – SSG - comprises two airborne Brigades, i.e. six battalions. Pakistan Army has 360 helicopters, over two thousand heavy guns, and 3000 APC’s. Its main anti-tank weapons are Tow, Tow Mk II, Bakter Shiken and FGM 148 ATGM. The Army Air Defense Command has S.A- 7 Grail, General Dynamics FIM-92 Stinger, GD FIM Red Eye, and ANZA Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and HQ 2 B surface to air missiles. Radar controlled Oerlikon is the standard Ack Ack weapon system.

The ballistic missile inventory of the Army is substantial. It comprises intermediate range Ghauri III and Shaheen III; medium range Ghauri I and II and Shaheen II, and short range tactical Hatf I- B, Abdali, Ghaznavi, Nasr, Shaheen I and M -11 missiles. All the ballistic missiles can carry nuclear warheads....some can carry multiple warheads. Nuclear and conventional weapon capable Babur Cruise missile is the new addition to Pakistan’s strategic weapon inventory.  It has stealth features to evade radar to penetrate India's air air-space to hit targets. The number of ballistic missiles and warheads are almost the same as those of India. So there is a parity in nuclear weapons, which is a deterrent.

Tactical missile which can be tipped with miniaturized nuclear warhead is the latest addition to Pakistan's arsenal. It's a battlefield weapon designed to destroy enemy troop concentrations poised against Pakistan.

Air War:

Pakistan has about 900 aircraft compared to India's 1800, giving India 2:1 numerical advantage over Pakistan. India's biggest advantage is in transport aircraft (700 vs 230) while Pakistan has some numerical advantage in two areas: Airborne radars (9 vs 3) and attack helicopters (48 vs 20).

Pakistan Air Force has  over 100 upgraded F-16s and 200 rebuilt Mirage- 3's (for night air defense) and Mirage-5's for the strike role. They can carry nuclear weapons. They have been upgraded with new weapon systems, radars, and avionics. Additionally, the PAF 150 F-7's including 55 latest F-7 PG’s. Manufacture of 150 JF 17 Thunder fighters (jointly designed) is underway at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. The JF-17 Thunder is a 4th generation fly by wire multi-role fighter aircraft. Eight are already in PAF service. An order has been placed with China for the purchase of 36 JF-10, a Mach 2.3 -5th generation multi-role fighter, comparable in performance to the Su-30 Mk-1 with the Indian Air Force.

In spite of Indian Air Force's numerical superiority since independence in 1947, Pakistan Air Force has performed well against it in several wars. The PAF pilots have always been among the best trained in the world.

Complimenting the Pakistan Air Force pilots, the legendary US Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager who broke the sound barrier, wrote in his biography "The Right Stuff": "This Air Force (the PAF), is second to none". He continued: "The  (1971) air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis scored a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing thirty-four airplanes of their own. I'm certain about the figures because I went out several times a day in a chopper and counted the wrecks below." "They were really good, aggressive dogfighters and proficient in gunnery and air combat tactics. I was damned impressed. Those guys just lived and breathed flying. "

 In 1965, Roy Meloni of the ABC reported: "Pakistan claims to have destroyed something like 1/3rd the Indian Air Force, and foreign observers, who are in a position to know say that Pakistani pilots have claimed even higher kills than this; but the Pakistani Air Force are being scrupulously honest in evaluating these claims. They are crediting Pakistan Air Force only those killings that can be checked from other sources."

Naval War:

Of the three branches of the military, India's advantage over Pakistan is the greatest in naval strength. Pakistan has just 84 sea-going vessels of various kinds versus India's 184.

Pakistan Navy can still inflict substantial damage on the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy has 17 submarines. Pakistan Navy has ten, some are brand new and equipped with AIP. Indian Navy has 28 war ships, Pakistan Navy has eleven.

As seen in the past wars, India will attempt a naval blockade of Pakistan. Here's how MIT's Christopher Clary discusses in his doctoral thesis the Indian Navy's ability to repeat a blockade of Pakistan again:

"Most analyses do not account adequately for how difficult it would be for the (Indian) navy to have a substantial impact in a short period of time. Establishing even a partial blockade takes time, and it takes even more time for that blockade to cause shortages on land that are noticeable. As the British strategist Julian Corbett noted in 1911, "it is almost impossible that a war can be decided by naval action alone. Unaided, naval pressure can only work by a process of exhaustion. Its effects must always be slow…. ". Meanwhile, over the last decade, Pakistan has increased its ability to resist a blockade. In addition to the main commercial port of Karachi, Pakistan has opened up new ports further west in Ormara and Gwadar and built road infrastructure to distribute goods from those ports to Pakistan's heartland. To close off these ports to neutral shipping could prove particularly difficult since Gwadar and the edge of Pakistani waters are very close to the Gulf of Oman, host to the international shipping lanes for vessels exiting the Persian Gulf. A loose blockade far from shore would minimize risks from Pakistan's land-based countermeasures but also increase risks of creating a political incident with neutral vessels."


The probability of India prevailing over Pakistan in a conventional war now are very remote at best. Any advantage that India seeks over Pakistan would require it to pay a very heavy price in terms of massive destruction of India's industry, economy and infrastructure that would set India back many decades.

In the event that the India-Pakistan war spirals out of control and escalates into a full-scale nuclear confrontation, the entire region, including China, would suffer irreparable damage. Even a limited nuclear exchange would devastate food production around the world, according to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, as reported in the media. It would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization as we know it.

I hope that better sense will prevail in New Delhi and India's BJP government will desists from any military adventurism against Pakistan. The consequences of any miscalculation by Narendra Modi will be horrible, not just for both the countries, but the entire humanity.

Here's a video discussion on this and other current topics:

India-Pakistan Tensions; End of TUQ Dharna; Honors for Malala; Ebola Threat from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Here's an interview of former President Musharraf on an Indian TV channel:

Parvez Musharraf blasts Modi in an Indian Talk... by zemtvRelated Links:

Haq's Musings

India Teaching Young Students Akhand Bharat 

Pakistan Army at the Gates of Delhi

India's War Myths

India-Pakistan Military Balance

Pakistan Army Capabilities

Modi's Pakistan Policy

India's Israel Envy

Can India Do a Lebanon in Pakistan?


Riaz Haq said…
Eradicating poverty in India requires every person having access to safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, nutrition, health and education. According to the MPI, out of its 1.2 billion-plus population, India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan. Some 640 million poor people live in India(40% of the world’s poor), mostly in rural areas, meaning an individual is deprived in one-third or more of the ten indicators mentioned above (malnutrition, child deaths, defecating in the open).

In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh and Pakistan have much lower levels. The study placed Afghanistan as the poorest country in South Asia, followed by India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

A total of 1.6 billion people are living in multidimensional poverty; more than 30% of the people living in the 108 countries analysed (compare that with a global figure of 1.2 billion in income poverty)
Of these 1.6 billion people, 52% live in South Asia, and 29% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most MPI poor people – 71% – live in Middle Income Countries (I won’t try and compare this with regional income breakdowns, as the MPI doesn’t cover all countries yet)
Riaz Haq said…
It has been evident for some time that India’s security policy in relation to China and Pakistan is in a serious state of disrepair. If security concerns of a country in the international sphere are deemed to be a sub-set of its external relations, then it is reasonably clear that our policy towards two of our most significant neighbours, one of which aspires to the status of an international superpower, leaves much to be desired.
More, things have got worse, not better, since the Modi regime was ushered in last May on a high note and with the loud proclamation that the incoming government was oriented to fix troubles with neighbours and launch into a period of peace and stability.
The unspoken part was that matters had worsened in the previous 10 years of the Congress-led government, that dialogue was sterile or absent in this time, and the prosecution of foreign affairs had lost steam; ergo, a fresh look by the new leader, made powerful by virtue of a full-fledged parliamentary majority, would yield India its rightful place and command respect from all, especially the neighbours.
On Friday, however, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the ITBP on its raising day, observed that it made India “hurt and angry” when Pakistan engaged in ceasefire violations and China intruded and made territorial claims on the Indian side. Clearly, a new era is not about to dawn.
That was apparent when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was engaging with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping seated on a swing in Ahmedabad but Chinese troops were rolling into Indian territory. Now the home minister says we should solve all problems on the basis of talks alone, but inserts the rider that good relations can only be on the basis of “honour”.
Who can dispute that? But how come the government has not been able to establish where matters lie now and how they can be taken forward? Is the PM keeping all this close to his chest while the home minister labours in a state of innocence?
In the context of Pakistan, the Prime Minister announced that India had “shut Pakistan’s mouth”. Not particularly elegant coinage. But it is not even consistent with facts on the ground. Ceasefire violations have gone on intermittently and took place even on Diwali day. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Parliament has declared India the violator and urged the UN to step in. Is there a comprehensive effort to look at the overall picture and act? National security adviser Ajit Doval has reiterated the talks mantra but also spoke of India’s search for a “deterrence” to deal with Pakistan’s ceasefire violations. We are in the dark if there is a nuclear ring about this. The country must be taken into confidence.
Riaz Haq said…
India has grounded its entire Sukhoi-30 fleet after a recent crash because it doesn’t want to put its pilots in harm’s way.

The fighters have not flown for a week after a Su-30 MKI of the Indian Air Force crashed near Pune, raising questions about the safety record of the fighter.

With the IAF operating close to 200 twin-engine Su-30s, the grounded planes represent almost a third of the country’s fighter fleet. India is due to get 72 more of these planes, each worth over Rs. 200 crore.

The IAF is down to 34 combat squadrons, as against an authorised strength of 44. Each squadron has up to 18 fighter planes.
Villagers gather near an Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet that crashed near Pune on October 14. (PTI Photo)

An IAF official said safety checks with “special focus on ejection seats” were being conducted and flight operations would resume only after each plane was cleared. A highly-placed source said the pilots of the plane that crashed on October 14 near Pune had reported “automatic seat ejection.” One of the two pilots was involved in a previous Su-30 crash too.

Five Su-30 fighters have crashed during the last five years, setting off alarm bells in the IAF. The Su-30 fleet has been grounded at least twice in the past.

Former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Major told HT, “A fleet is grounded when you have no clue as to what brought the plane down. It’s serious.”

Asked if buying Su-30s was a doubtful choice, Major said the planes were splendid but IAF needed to get to the bottom of the problem. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited assembles and repairs these planes in India.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha had told reporters on October 4 that the Su-30 fleet was facing certain problems, but he refused to elaborate. The IAF’s Su-30 fleet has faced a high number of mid-air engine failures during the last two years, said another official.
Riaz Haq said…
Although the results of such exercises (Red Flag in Las Vegas, NV) are rarely made public, the USAF jumped the gun. Just as it leaked the results of Cope India 2004, in November 2008 a video surfaced of a US Air Force officer talking in a generally condescending manner about the IAF. In particular five things that Col Terence Fornof said stick out:

The IAF has problems with its Russian jet engines
Indian pilots were prone to fratricide – shooting down friendly aircraft
The IAF required 60-second intervals between takeoffs, compared with half that for other air forces
The American F-15 can defeat the Su-30MKI, the most advanced fighter in the Su-30 series
IAF not keen on 1 vs 1 dogfights with the USAF.
Riaz Haq said…
From Indian Express:

Pakistan will launch a campaign internationally against the human rights “violations” by the Indian army in Kashmir, the country’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs said on Friday.
Giving a statement in the Senate, the Upper House of the Parliament, on the recent incidents of ceasefire violations, Sartaj Aziz said, “700,000 Indian troops are responsible for human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan will launch a campaign to highlight these abuses at the international level.”
Radio Pakistan quoted the adviser as saying that the violations were a reflection of the “election manifesto” of Narendra Modi, who he claimed had said that his government would “get tough” on Pakistan.
Aziz has said that India carried out 224 ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary this year and their intensity has been more than the previous violations.
He also said that Pakistan always tried to resolve the issue through dialogue but there was no positive response from the Indian side.

- See more at:
Riaz Haq said…
As India considers its threat environment, it must consider not just ballistic missiles, but also cruise missiles, such as those that might potentially be launched from Pakistan or China. These latter are far more difficult to detect and intercept than are ballistic missiles.

A cruise missile has been defined as a “weapon which automatically flies an essentially horizontal cruise flight profile for most of the duration of its flight between launch and its terminal trajectory to impact.” Land-attack cruise missiles further complicate the task of any defense system, since they can be terrain hugging and can also fly a circuitous trajectory.

In particular, Pakistan’s Babur and Raad cruise missiles represent a threat to India. Meanwhile, China’s cruise missile arsenal include the Seersucker, Silkworm, the ground launched DH-10 and the air-launched CJ-10, C-101 and HN series, to name a few. Some of China’s missiles are nuclear capable.

As it considers these weapons, one of the key questions that confronts New Delhi is whether it should opt solely for a cruise missile defense or also adopt a “deterrence by punishment” posture with the help of its own cruise missile arsenal. While a cruise missile defense could possibly intercept a subsonic cruise missile, it may be difficult to intercept supersonic cruise missiles and it is virtually impossible to intercept hypersonic cruise missiles. Although at present neither Pakistan nor China possess a hypersonic cruise missile, that could very well change. China already has supersonic cruise missiles such as the C-101 and C-301. Pakistan has also acquired the new CM-400 AKG, a supersonic cruise missile claimed to be hard to intercept because of its velocity.

For its part, India is currently working on a ballistic missile defense. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation is developing a defense system with two layers, with Advanced Air Defence (AAD) as the first layer and the two-stage Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) as the second layer. However, neither PAD nor AAD would be able to intercept cruise missiles.

Using anti-air missiles of various ranges, it may still be possible to intercept supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles (although intercepting land-attack missiles remains a Herculean task). France, for instance, has been able to intercept supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles using its Principal Anti-Air Missile System. For it to replicate the feat, India would need an effective command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. Even with that, intercepting hypersonic cruise missiles would very likely remain unrealistic. Moreover, missiles with low radar signatures make the job of any air or missile defense system that much more difficult. Any surface-to-air missiles used would need to be highly sophisticated, with high-power large aperture radars, although even that might not be enough to intercept incoming threats. India could hope to defeat air-launched cruise missiles by destroying the aircraft that carry them. However, both Pakistan and China are developing stealth technology that could make it difficult for India to locate and destroy the aircraft before they fire.
Riaz Haq said…
The Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of up to 36 F-16C/D Block 50/52 external link aircraft – a buy of 18 jets, with an option for another 18. The planes would be equipped with the APG-68(V)9 radars, which are the most modern F-16 radar except for the UAE’s F-16E/F Block 60 “Desert Falcons” and their AN/APG-80 AESA. The engine contract was less certain. Pakistan’s existing F-16s use the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine, but the new planes involved a competition between Pratt & Whitney’s F100-PW-229 external link or General Electric’s F110-GE-129 external link Increased Performance Engines (IPEs).

The total value, if all options are exercised, was estimated as high as $3 billion, which is in line with Pentagon releases that eventually peg the negotiated cost of 12 F-16Cs, 6 F-16Ds, and ancillary equipment at $1.4 billion. Pratt & Whitney kept their customer, and supplied the new jets with their F100-PW-229 EEP engine, making them all F-16 Block 52s. The package for Pakistan’s new F-16s included:

7 spare F100-PW-229 EEP or F110-GE-129 IPE engines (F100-PW-229 EEP selected)
7 spare APG-68(V)9 radar sets external link
36 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
36 AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS radios with HAVE QUICK I/II
36 Conformal Fuel Tanks (pairs) that fit along the aircraft’s sides to give them extra range
36 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals; see tactical uses of MIDS-LVT Link 16 systems
36 Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems
36 APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe Systems
36 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites: ALQ-211 AIDEW without Digital Radio Frequency Memory (picked); or AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Counter Measures pod without DRFM; or AN/ALQ-131 Electronic Counter Measures pod without DRFM; or AN/ALQ-187 Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suites without DRFM; or AN/ALQ-178 Self-Protection Electronic Warfare Suites without DRFM.
1 Unit Level Trainer
Associated support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits, capability to employ a wide variety of munitions, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, CONUS-personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related requirements to ensure full program supportability.

To equip those new F-16s, the Government of Pakistan has requested a possible sale of:

500 AIM-120C5 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
12 AMRAAM training missiles – these have seeker warheads but lack engines
200 AIM-9M-8/9 Sidewinder Short-Range Air-Air Missiles; they are the version before the fifth-generation AIM-9X.
240 LAU-129/A Launchers – these support AMRAAM or Sidewinder missiles.
500 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Guidance Kits: GBU-31/38 Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) kits
1,600 Enhanced Paveway GBU-12 (500 lb.) and GBU-24s (2,000 lb.) with dual laser/GPS guidance
800 MK-82 500 pound General Purpose (GP) and MK-84 2,000 pound GP bombs
700 BLU-109 2,000 pound bunker-buster external link bombs with the FMU-143 Fuse
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is in the process of retrofitting its 50 Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighters to an improved Block II configuration.

The new configuration features improved avionics and better software, and adds a fixed air-to-air refuelling probe, says Air Cdre Khalid Mahmood, chief executive of JF-17 sales and marketing.

Mahmood spoke to Flightglobal at the Pakistan booth at Airshow China in Zhuhai. He was part of a 20-strong delegation from Pakistan, which also brought a single JF-17 to appear in the static display
Pakistan brought large contingents to the 2010 and 2012 shows, which included three JF-17s, transport aircraft and the nation’s display team. Mahmood scotched speculation that the pared-down presence reflects any change in Pakistan/China relations.He says the two countries still have an excellent working relationship, and notes that Pakistan sent a squadron of 18 JF-17s to a recent air combat exercise in western China.

Given the small size of the combat fighter, a fixed refuelling probe was found to be preferable to a retracting one. Pakistan uses the Ilyushin Il-78 to provide air-to-air refuelling for its fleet.

In December, Pakistan will begin taking delivery of 50 JF-17s configured in the Block II configuration. Beyond this, its air force has options to take its fleet of the type up to 150 or 200 aircraft. Additional improvements are foreseen in a planned Block III upgrade.

Mahmood adds that the air force is satisfied with the fighter's Klimov RD-93 engine. The powerplant can currently be operated for up to 800 flight hours between overhauls, but there is an effort under way to improve this.Mahmood reveals that the type has seen combat in western Pakistan, where it has employed both guided and unguided munitions.
Riaz Haq said…
From Business Insider:

Pakistan successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile today with an impact point in the Persian Gulf. The newly tested version of the Shaheen-II ballistic missile, which is roughly equivalent to the US's Pershing II missiles, can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads according to ISPR, the Pakistani army's public relations arm.

The announcement seems to confirm expert analysis that the country is aiming to build long-range delivery systems for tactical nuclear weapons — smaller warheads built for use in a battlefield or active combat scenario, rather than for strikes on cities or infrastructure.

Addressing scientists, engineers, and military officers viewing the test site, lieutenant general Zubair Mahmood Hayat still reiterated Pakistan's stance that the goal of its strides in ballistic capability is deterrence — presumably against any rash military action by India, with which Pakistan has a number of outstanding territorial and security-related disputes.

Pakistani news media put the range of the Shaheen-II at 1,500 kilometers, though the Federation of American Scientists estimates it may be able to travel 2,000 kilometers or more depending on its payload. One Indian television news program included a map showing the several India's cities that fall within the missile's now-proven range.

The test is the latest development in a long-running arms race between Pakistan and its neighbor.

In 1999 Pakistan tested a shorter-ranged Shaheen missile that was also capable of carrying nuclear weapons. After that test, Pakistan's officials cited a concern for preserving "strategic balance in south Asia" — an objective that has India, Pakistan's larger, more populous, more powerful, and also nuclear-armed rival, squarely in mind.

The missile program has established that strategic balance with India, Arif Rafiq, a researcher at the Middle East Institute, told Business Insider in September.

"Since India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, there has been a greater level of restraint in terms of the behavior of both countries when it comes to war," Rafiq said. "But at the same time they also taken great measures to build up their nuclear arsenal and further develop or strengthen or diversify their launch capability."

While nuclear development continues, India and Pakistan have become the world's first and third largest arms importers, respectively.
Riaz Haq said…
Russia to sell Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Russia will trade Mi-35 helicopters with Pakistan to strengthen its counterterrorism efforts. Talking to the State-run radio, Ambassador of the Russian Federation Alexey Dedov said the deal between Pakistan and Russia will help combat terrorism.
He said politically the deal has been approved, however, further negotiations on details of political-commercial contract are in progress.
The Ambassador also said that Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu will soon visit Islamabad and his agenda of talks with Pakistani counterparts also includes the sale of defence equipments to Pakistan.
Regarding Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Alexey Dedov said Russia is actively involved in the process of accession of Pakistan to the organisation as a full member. He hoped that at next Summit meeting, scheduled to take place in July next year in Russia, full member status will be awarded to Pakistan.
He said that documentary work in this regard has already been completed.
He said Russia intends to resolve Afghan conflict during its Chairmanship of SCO.
He expressed the hope to succeed in bringing sustainable peace in the region through concerted and collaborative efforts of Afghanistan and the countries of the region. Russia and Pakistan are already engaged on the matter and fruitful meetings have taken place recently in this regard, he said.
He said besides terrorism, drug trafficking which stems from Afghanistan is also an area of concern. Ambassador Dedov said Russia fully supports Chinese plan of developing Silk Route, which also includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He said that Russia is interested in various energy related projects including CASA-1000, development of Gwadar Liquefying Facility and construction of pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah.
The Russian Ambassador said Pak-Russia Intergovernmental Commission's meeting is scheduled to take place in Moscow on 26th of this month, which will give new impetus to our bilateral economic cooperation.
He said bilateral trade volume of the two countries does not coincide with the actual potential and plenty of room exists which needs to be tapped.
He said a Russian Parliamentary delegation is also ready to participate in Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Lahore.
Riaz Haq said…
From IHS Jane's 360:

Russia has "politically approved" a deal for Moscow to sell a batch of Mil Mi-35 'Hind E' heavy attack helicopters to Pakistan, Russia's ambassador told Radio Pakistan, the state owned broadcaster, on 12 November.

Although Alexey Dedov did not reveal the number of platforms under discussion, a senior Pakistani government official confirmed to IHS Jane's that the purchase of up to 20 helicopters was under discussion. "This is a big breakthrough for Pakistan. Russia has decided to ignore India's pressure and proceed with this deal with Pakistan," said the official.

Pakistan has previously been discouraged from securing any major defence contracts with Russia due to objections from India, which is one of Moscow's most important arms customers.

"Times have changed. The Russians have realised that Pakistan genuinely needs this equipment for a very legitimate reason," said the Pakistani government official. Since June, the Pakistan Army has relied in part on Mil Mi-17 'Hip' helicopters in its military campaign against the Taliban in the north Waziristan region along the Afghan border.

Analysts said the Pakistan Army, which is the defence forces' main helicopter operator, has chosen the Mi-35 because of its satisfaction with Russian helicopters that it has used previously, notably the Mi-17. Pakistan first received Mi-17s in 1994; most recently the United States donated four reconditioned platforms in 2009.

"Our helicopter pilots are very comfortable with Russian helicopters. We have chosen the Mi-35 based on our prior experience with Russian helicopters, which has been very good" said retired Brigadier Farooq Hameed Khan, a former senior

Pakistan Army officer who trained as a helicopter pilot.

In recent years, Pakistani officials have become increasingly confident over prospects for future purchase of Russia's military hardware. For example, the JF-17 'Thunder' fighter, which is co-produced by the Pakistan Air Force and China's Chengdu Aviation Corporation, is powered by the Russian-manufactured RD-93 engine.
Riaz Haq said…
Russia and Pakistan on Thursday signed their very first military cooperation agreement and laid out future avenues of cooperation, ending years of division over Islamabad's close military ties with the U.S. and Moscow's with India.

Sergei Shoigu, the first Russian defense minister to visit Pakistan since 1969, characterized his meeting with counterpart Khawaja Asif as an important step in strengthening ties between Moscow and Islamabad.

"During the meeting we agreed that bilateral military cooperation should take on a more practical orientation and enhance the combat capability of our armed forces," news agency TASS quoted Shoigu as saying after the meeting.

Although the concrete terms of the agreement are not publicly known, Shoigu said joint naval exercises will be a key feature of future cooperation with Pakistan, as well as military officer exchanges, arms sales and counternarcotics and counterterrorism cooperation.

Behind the scenes, Shoigu may have been negotiating an important sale of Mi-35 transport helicopters to Pakistan, Yury Barmin, an expert on Russian arms sales, told The Moscow Times.

Russia approved the delivery of 20 Mi-35s to Pakistan in November, but the details still have to be negotiated, "which is probably one of the reasons why Shoigu is traveling to Pakistan a week after this informal approval was issued by Moscow," Barmin said.

But more important than specific defense contracts are Russia's growing strategic interests in the region, driven by security concerns shared with Pakistan — such as instability in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops and counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts.

Nonetheless, Moscow will play it safe to ensure that its moves do not anger India, Russia's main strategic partner in the region, said Pyotr Topychkanov, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Regional Interests
India last year purchased $3.8 billion worth of Russian arms — far ahead of the $981 million worth it purchased from the U.S., according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Last year Russia's recorded exports to Pakistan were much more limited, valued at a mere $22 million, according to SIPRI. The total sum is somewhat higher than this, as Russia also sells arms to Pakistan through China.

Shared security interests are also drawing Pakistan and Russia closer together, as evidenced by Shoigu's announcement that joint military exercises and security cooperation will become a routine feature of their bilateral relationship.

"The main purpose of these exercises is to share experience in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and anti-piracy," Topychkanov said.

According to Barmin, the key concern driving Moscow to court Islamabad is the alarming flow of narcotics out of Afghanistan.

"Forty percent of Afghan drugs travel by sea, and a lot of it ends up in Russian ports," Barmin said.

Also at play is Pakistan and India's possible ascension next year to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an economic and military organization comprising Russia, China and several other Central Asian states.

"In the run-up to the SCO's summit in Ufa in July 2015, Russia will be courting the two countries … and will avoid doing controversial things, such as active defense cooperation with Islamabad," Barmin said.
Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has received into service 'a squadron' of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft from the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF), a senior PAF service official disclosed on 19 November.

Speaking under the Chatham House Rule at the IQPC Fighter Conference in London, the officer said that the F-16A/B fighters had recently arrived in Pakistan, and will be used to augment the PAF's existing F-16 fleet, which is heavily involved in counterinsurgency operations along the country's border area with Afghanistan.

"Recently a squadron of used F-16A/Bs have been procured from Jordan to take some of the load off our other F-16s, which are undertaking numerous tasks in the 'law enforcement' operations. The F-16s are supporting our ongoing law enforcement efforts on our western border. We are not using [attack] helicopters, but are using F-16s to stop the terrorists," he said.

The purchase of surplus RJAF F-16s was first mooted in February, with deliveries commencing in April. At that time, a PAF official confirmed to IHS Jane's that it was to receive 12 F-16A and 1 F-16B Block 15 aircraft to increase the size of its fast jet fleet. Although designated Block 15s, all of these aircraft have undergone mid-life upgrades, although details have not been released.

IHS Jane's understands that these former Jordanian aircraft have been assigned to 19 Squadron at PAF base Mushaf (Sarghoda).

When the deal for the surplus Jordanian aircraft was disclosed earlier in the year, the PAF stated that it had also approached at least two other countries for additional F-16s. The status of these discussions is unclear.

Prior to the Jordanian deal, the PAF fielded 12 F-16C and 6 F-16D Block 50/52 jets, and between 45 and 50 F-16A/B aircraft. These earlier aircraft have now all been upgraded to Block 52 standard by Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara.
Riaz Haq said…
Retired #Pakistan pilot Sattar Alvi recalls how he shot down Capt Lutz flying a #Mirage in 1973 #Arab-#Israel war. …

They were closing in rapidly and there was no choice, but to turn and engage. No sooner had the leader ordered the turn, that the radio and radar signals were jammed, emitting unbearably shrilly noises. Just as I was turning to position myself during the turn, I got a glint of metal from behind and well below me. I simply could not ignore it and turned back to find two Mirages zooming up towards me from the valley beneath. By this time, my own formation had turned 180 degrees away flying at Mach 1.2 with no radio contact. ‘This was it’, I knew instinctively, and I was alone: Two Mirages against a single Mig-21. Instantly the fighter pilot’s training kicked in and all other thoughts left my mind. I proceeded to do what I had been trained to do.
A cardinal rule of air combat is knowing and using the limitations and strengths of your own and the enemy’s aircraft. A Mirage is good at high speeds and poor at slow speed combat. The Mirage leader made his high speed pass at me and as I forced him to overshoot he pulled up high above me. His wingman followed in the attack and I did the same with him; followed by a violent reversal and making the aircraft stand on its tail. The speed dropped to zero. The wingman should have followed his leader.
To my surprise he didn’t, and reversed getting into scissors with me at low speeds. That was suicidal and a Mirage should never do that against a Mig-21. But then, the game plan probably was for the wingman to keep me engaged while the leader turned around to sandwich and then shoot me. It was a good plan, but not easy to execute. The only difficulty in this plan was that the second Mirage had to keep me engaged long enough without becoming vulnerable himself. This is where things began to go wrong for the wingman because his leader took about 10 seconds longer than what was required.
The ‘Miraj’ effect
The wingman couldn’t just hang on with me and there was a star of David in my aiming sight after the second reversal. Seeing his dilemma and desperation to escape, the wingman attempted an exit with a steep high-speed dive. That in fact made my job easier and quicker. As soon as the distance increased and I heard the deep growl of the K-13, I fired. The missile takes one second to leave the rails and that was the longest second of my life. A second later there was a ball of fire where the wingman had been and I turned to face the leader charging towards me. We crossed but he had made a beeline for his home and thank God for that. I had only vapours remaining and no fuel. I hit the deck with supersonic speed.
Capt Lutz who was flying as the unfortunate wingman, was rescued by a helicopter and brought to the military hospital. He succumbed to his injuries later in the hospital before I could have a tete-a-tete with him. I have his flying coverall with me, presented to me as a war trophy by the Syrian air force commander-in-chief. I was awarded Wisam-e Faris and Wisam-e-Shujaat by the Syrian government, which are equivalent to Pakistani Hilal-e-Jurat and Sitara-e-Jurat.
Riaz Haq said…
Bulk of US$5.4 billion #American arms purchased by #Pakistan's own resources:Congress Report | Business Standard News: …

Sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for nearly half of these Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan, according to a report by Congressional Research Service for lawmakers.

India has time and again opposed the sale of such equipment to Pakistan as it apprehends that Islamabad may eventually use them against India.

In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, although US grants have eclipsed these in recent years, CRS said.

Congress, it noted, has appropriated about $3.6 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Pakistan since 2001, more than two-thirds of which has been disbursed.

These funds are used to purchase US military equipment for longer-term modernization efforts. Pakistan also has been granted US defence supplies as Excess Defence Articles (EDA).

In April 2015, the State Department approved a possible $952 million FMS deal with Pakistan for 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire II missiles, along with helicopter engines, avionics, training, and support.

Under Coalition Support Funds (in the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412EP utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million.

For counterinsurgency operations, the US has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another 6 were provided temporarily at no cost), 4 King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps and 20 Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, the CRS report said.

Through International Military Education and Training and other programs, the US has funded and provided training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers, report noted,

Major post-2001 defence supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF include:

. eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (valued at $474 million, four delivered, three of which were destroyed in a 2011 attack by Islamist militants);

. at least 5,750 military radio sets ($212 million);

. 2,007 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million);

. six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million);

. six C-130E Hercules transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million);

. the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, via special EDA authorization ($65 million for refurbishment; now the PNS Alamgir);

. 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters via EDA ($48 million for refurbishment, 12 delivered); and

. 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles ($30 million). Supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF include:

. up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft (valued at $891 million, with $477 million of this in FMF; Pakistan has purchased

45 such kits, with all upgrades completed to date); and

. 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers ($87 million, with $53 million in FMF). Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include:

. 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion);

. F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs ($629 million);

. 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million);

. 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million); and

. seven Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million). Major articles transferred via EDA include:

. 14 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon combat aircraft;

. 59 T-37 Tweet military trainer jets; and

. 374 M113 armoured personnel carriers.
Riaz Haq said…
The U.S. Congressional Research Service reports that Pakistan has signed $5.4 billion in Foreign Military Sales contracts from fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2014.
Procurement of F-16 aircraft and related equipment account for more than half of the sum.

"Major U.S. arms sales and grants to Pakistan since 2001 have included numerous items useful for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, along with a number of "big ticket" platforms more suited to conventional warfare," the service said in its report. "In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, although U.S. grants have eclipsed these in recent years."

CSR said Congress has appropriated about $3.6 billion in Foreign Military Financing, or FMF, for Pakistan since 2001 and more than two-thirds of that has been disbursed. Pakistan also has been given U.S. defense supplies as Excess Defense Articles and training was provided for the use of those articles.

Excess Defense Articles are systems no longer needed by the U.S. Armed Forces. They are offered at a reduced cost or no-cost basis to eligible foreign recipients on an "as is, where is" basis. Refurbishment, however, is the financial responsibility of recipients.

Major post-2001 defense supplies procured, or being procured by Pakistan through the Foreign Military Sales program, are eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment (four were delivered but three of them were subsequently destroyed in a 2011 terrorist attack); at least 5,750 military radio sets; 2,007 TOW anti-armor missiles; six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars; six C-130E Hercules transport aircraft and their refurbishment; a Perry-class missile frigate; 20 refurbished AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters, of which 12 have been delivered; and 15 Scan Eagle reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles.

Items procured with a mix of Pakistani national funds and U.S. FMF include, 45 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft AND 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers, CSR said.

"Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion); F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits for gravity bombs; 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles; 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles; and seven Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns."

A new $952 million FMS deal to provide Pakistan for 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, missiles and other items was approved by the State Department last month.
Riaz Haq said…
Yes, #India Mirage landing on Yamuna Expressway is a big thing but #Pakistan did it much before via @firstpost …

Highway strips are strategic assets for a nation which double up as auxiliary bases in war times. Many European countries have used this tactic for decades, particularly Germany, Sweden, Finland and Poland. Countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia too have done so many times before.
But what should bring a reality check for the Indians is the fact that Pakistan has done it twice before – first in 2000 and then again in 2010.
The first time Pakistan achieved the feat was way back in the year 2000 when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used the M2 motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) as a runway on two occasions. For those who have an appetite for technical details, Pakistan’s M-1 Motorway (Peshawar-Islamabad) and the M-2 Motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) each include two emergency runway sections of 2,700 m (9,000 ft) length each. The four emergency runway sections become operational by removing removable concrete medians using forklifts.
PAF used the M2 motorway as a runway for the first time in 2000 when it landed an F-7P fighter, a Super Mushak trainer and a C-130. PAF did it again in 2010 by using a runway section on the M2 motorway on 2 April 2010 to land, refuel and take-off two jet fighters, a Mirage III and an F-7P, during its Highmark 2010 exercise.
India has finally woken up to the need to have many road runways. The Agra-Lucknow expressway is the first Indian road runway.
There are many prerequisites for having road runways. For example, there should be a smooth road at least three kilometers long. Moreover, the road segment has to be straight, leveled, located on non-undulating ground without slope and must not have electricity poles, masts, or mobile phone towers.
For a country like India, whose worst security nightmare is having to fight a two-pronged war with Pakistan and China, road runways are crucial. This underlines the importance of expressways – the highest class of roads which are six-or-eight-lanes controlled-access highways.
As of now, India boasts of 23 expressways totaling a length of 1324 kms, but the truth is that all of these so-called “expressways” are misnomers.
If one goes by the strict definition of “expressways”, India has under 1000 kms of such network; and barely a couple of hundred kms network if one goes by the international parameters.
In other words, the more international-class expressways India has, the more Indian strategic interests are secure.
The moral of the story: expressways are not only lifelines for transportation but also key assets for national security.
Riaz Haq said…
Planes Landing On Autobahn NATO Exercise "Highway 84" West Germany 1984

Yes, #India Mirage landing on Yamuna Expressway is a big thing but #Pakistan did it much before via @firstpost …

Highway strips are strategic assets for a nation which double up as auxiliary bases in war times. Many European countries have used this tactic for decades, particularly Germany, Sweden, Finland and Poland. Countries like China, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia too have done so many times before.
But what should bring a reality check for the Indians is the fact that Pakistan has done it twice before – first in 2000 and then again in 2010.
The first time Pakistan achieved the feat was way back in the year 2000 when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used the M2 motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) as a runway on two occasions. For those who have an appetite for technical details, Pakistan’s M-1 Motorway (Peshawar-Islamabad) and the M-2 Motorway (Islamabad-Lahore) each include two emergency runway sections of 2,700 m (9,000 ft) length each. The four emergency runway sections become operational by removing removable concrete medians using forklifts.
PAF used the M2 motorway as a runway for the first time in 2000 when it landed an F-7P fighter, a Super Mushak trainer and a C-130. PAF did it again in 2010 by using a runway section on the M2 motorway on 2 April 2010 to land, refuel and take-off two jet fighters, a Mirage III and an F-7P, during its Highmark 2010 exercise.
India has finally woken up to the need to have many road runways. The Agra-Lucknow expressway is the first Indian road runway.
There are many prerequisites for having road runways. For example, there should be a smooth road at least three kilometers long. Moreover, the road segment has to be straight, leveled, located on non-undulating ground without slope and must not have electricity poles, masts, or mobile phone towers.
For a country like India, whose worst security nightmare is having to fight a two-pronged war with Pakistan and China, road runways are crucial. This underlines the importance of expressways – the highest class of roads which are six-or-eight-lanes controlled-access highways.
As of now, India boasts of 23 expressways totaling a length of 1324 kms, but the truth is that all of these so-called “expressways” are misnomers.
If one goes by the strict definition of “expressways”, India has under 1000 kms of such network; and barely a couple of hundred kms network if one goes by the international parameters.
In other words, the more international-class expressways India has, the more Indian strategic interests are secure.
The moral of the story: expressways are not only lifelines for transportation but also key assets for national security.
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Modi to Visit #Israel, 1st by an #Indian PM -

The New Indian Express via @NewIndianXpress

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi will be travelling to Israel, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the Jewish country with which bilateral defence cooperation is on an upswing.

No dates have been finalised for Modi's visit which will take place on mutually convenient dates, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

Swaraj said she will be travelling to Israel this year, besides Palestine and Jordan.

India had established "full" diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognised the country in 1950. No Indian Prime Minister or President has ever visited that country.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had become the first premier from that country to visit India when he came here in 2003. He is credited with transforming bilateral relations from diminutive defence and trade cooperation to the strategic ties of today.

"As far as my visit is concerned, it will take place this year. I will visit, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. As far as Prime Minister's visit is concerned, he will travel to Israel. No dates have been finalised. It will take place as per mutually convenient dates," she said replying to a question at a press conference.

At the same time, she asserted, "There was no change in India's policy towards Palestine."

L K Advani had visited Israel when he was Home Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Jaswant Singh and S M Krishna had visited the Jewish nation as External Affairs Ministers. Recently Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also visited Israel.

Describing Israel as a friendly country, Swaraj said India had never "let down" the Palestinian cause and it will continue to support it.

Asked whether the Prime Minister will visit Iran, she said no such visit has been finalised so far but he will be visiting Turkey to attend G-20 Summit later this year. Swaraj said she will travel to Iran to attend the NAM Summit this year.

Talking about government's efforts to reach out to various countries, Swaraj said Prime Minister will visit five Central Asian countries including Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan when he travels to Russia to attend the BRICS Summit.

"When he goes to Ufa in Russia for BRICS summit, he will visit five Central Asian countries," Swaraj said, adding "the foreign policy has been spread quite significantly. We achieved a lot."
Riaz Haq said…
#India Air Force's 86th Aircraft Crashes since 2007. #IAF losing one aircraft every month. … via @ndtv

NEW DELHI: A Jaguar fighter - a twin-engine, single seater strike aircraft of Anglo-French origin - of the Indian Air Force crashed this morning near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
It was the 86th crash since 2007 -- on an average, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has lost about one aircraft every month for the past eight years.

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The Parliamentary Committee of Defence which looked into the high rate of crashes, has found that as many as 34 crashes happened due to technical defects. Another 30 were because of the pilot error. Some were a combination of both.

Errors in services led to four crashes and the Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - the unit that manufactures aircraft in India - was found to be responsible for at least two crashes.

Regarding human error by the crew, the Committee said some of the crashes were because units weren't using "latest updated maps" but "using old vintage maps". Also, it observed that there was a "requirement of enroute weather and destination to all aircrew".

On the maintenance side, among other recommendations, the committee said there was a need for "additional checks" on aviation fuel, oil and gases to stave off adulteration.

It has also asked for checks at HAL to arrest the premature failure of compressor and turbine blades of aero engine. The servicing schedules of the aircraft need to be revised, the committee said.

Taking the "senior leadership" of the IAF and the Ministry of Defence to task, the Committee observed that it was "baffled to find" that accidents have been consistent over the last decade despite repeated inquiries.

"There is either lacuna in training that is being imparted to our pilots and support officials or the systems installed are technically ill-equipped," the committee said. In either case, "the onus lies on the senior level management".
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan hopes to revive its naval modernization program through a warship construction deal with China that will also expand Pakistan's shipbuilding industry.

Chinese media reports have outlined a construction program involving six of eight S-20 variants of the Type-039A/Type-041 submarine under negotiation; four "Improved F-22P" frigates equipped with enhanced sensors and weaponry (possibly including the HQ-17 surface-to-air missile developed from the Russian Tor 1/SA-N-9); and six Type-022 Houbei stealth catamaran missile boats, to be built by Pakistan's state-owned shipbuilder Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW).

The reports indicate Type-022 construction may be delayed by the ongoing Azmat fast attack craft building program, but also highlight a significant expansion of KSEW's facilities.

These include a foundry, fabrication facilities to cover all aspects of ship construction, berthing facilities, and two graving docks of 26,000 and 18,000 dead weight tons, spread over 71 acres.

A 7,881-ton ship lift transfer system will be completed next year.

KSEW will expand to occupy facilities vacated by the Navy as it transfers from Karachi to Ormara. The Pakistan Navy Dockyard, which is adjacent to KSEW, already has facilities upgraded by the French during construction of Agosta-90B submarines.

Pakistani officials would not comment on these reports. Repeated attempts to secure comment from the Ministry of Defence Production, KSEW, the Navy and federal politicians connected with defense decision-making bodies were turned away.

The program will follow a Sino-Pakistani agreement for six patrol vessels for Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency agreed to on June 10, with two built by KSEW.

Author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said the groundwork laid by the Agosta-90B program that included upgrades to PN Dockyard facilities and the training of some 1,000 civilian technicians greatly facilitated present plans.

However, Trevor Taylor, professorial research fellow, defense, industries and society, at the Royal United Services Institute highlighted the problems KSEW's construction and expansion plans could encounter.

"Experience from around the world shows that it is very easy to be optimistic about the difficulty of naval shipbuilding and the time taken to complete construction and systems integration," he said. "Plans for rapid expansion of warship production are unlikely to proceed on schedule. The coordinated and sustained application of extensive managerial and technical skills is required, and submarines especially have vital safety dimensions."

He highlights the importance of a sustainable program.

"The lesson from the UK and elsewhere is that, once a warship design and build capability is in place, it is best maintained and developed through a planned and steady drumbeat of programs, rather than a rapid expansion of activity for a limited period of years followed by a sudden drop-off in orders. Clearly this requires a consistent stance of support for the industry from political authorities."

Cloughley is optimistic, however, that the extensive Chinese help provided to Pakistan in warship construction, in addition to agreements made during Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit, "indicate that all types of cooperation will continue and expand."

He said this is related to the burgeoning Indo-US relationship, India's increasingly antagonistic anti-Pakistani rhetoric, and clearer Sino-Indian divisions that mean the Sino-Pakistan "axis of understanding has become more tangible."

Consequently, "KSEW can expect considerable input from such as [China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co]. Money, certainly; but also, and perhaps of more importance, provision of expertise."
Riaz Haq said…
#Fishermen Caught Up in #India - #Pakistan’s Maritime Border Dispute – The Numbers. #SirCreek #Fishing via @WSJ

Sir Creek, a narrow estuary that divides India and Pakistan in the Arabian Sea, has been part of a long-simmering maritime boundary dispute between the two nations for decades. Hundreds of thousands of fishermen from the two countries have found themselves caught in the middle. Many of them have been arrested or imprisoned after inadvertently crossing the perceived boundary in pursuit of ribbon fish, pomfret and prawns.

Here’s a look into the numbers related to the Sir Creek dispute and the fishermen held by the maritime authorities of Pakistan and India from the area.

The number of fishermen in Indian and Pakistani jails for illegally crossing the disputed border at sea. Among them, 355 Indian fishermen are in Pakistani jails and 27 Pakistani fishermen are in Indian jails, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. India’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

60 miles
The length of the Sir Creek tidal channel, situated in the marshy land of the Rann of Kutch, which lies on the border between the Indian state of Gujarat and the Pakistani state of Sindh.
Between 8 to 9 miles
The width of Sir Creek, according to experts. India claims the border lies at the middle of the navigable channel of the creek. Pakistan claims the whole creek and says its border extends from the Indian coast. As the waterway is 8 miles to 9 miles wide where it opens into the sea, the line effectively determines sovereignty over hundreds of square miles of prime fishing waters and potential oil-and-gas reserves.
When talks to resolve the Sir Creek border dispute between Indian and Pakistan began–they have been taking place on and off since then. The most-recent round of talks to address the issue of the river and the demarcation of the maritime border was held in 2012.
About 6 miles
The distance from each country into the creek that both sides have agreed is off limits to fishing until the maritime boundary dispute is settled. Still, fishermen sometimes cross unintentionally over the perceived boundary citing lack of global-positioning devices in their boats or the knowledge to operate them.
Riaz Haq said…
NY Times Editorial: #India has more to lose in war with #Pakistan. #Modi #Kashmir

More than 50 years after India and Pakistan were created in the partition of the British colonial empire, the disputed region of Kashmir remains a dangerous flash point. Cross-border violence has surged in recent months, raising new fears that the attacks could spiral out of control and set off another war between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.

In the last week alone, India and Pakistan have traded heavy gunfire and mortars almost daily across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into regions controlled by each side. Many civilians have been killed or wounded in the violence, including eight killed and 14 wounded on Sunday, according to officials.

Each side blames the other. Experts say Pakistan has been testing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, in a break with his predecessor, has vowed not to ignore attacks by Pakistan-backed militants on Indian targets. On July 27, gunmen dressed in military fatigues attacked an Indian police station near the border with Pakistan and at least nine people were killed.

The incident came after Mr. Modi met Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, during a regional meeting in Russia. Pakistan’s army, which draws its power from a constant state of tension with India, has often interfered when political leaders have tried to improve relations between the two countries.

Mr. Modi’s wish to strike back is understandable after many years of Indian restraint. But India, which is considerably stronger and more successful than Pakistan, has the most to lose if another war erupts. Mr. Modi recently became the first Indian prime minister in 34 years to visit the United Arab Emirates, which had been one of Pakistan’s biggest supporters but now sees the value in closer ties with India. In a joint statement, India and the emirates condemned the use of religion to justify terrorism and agreed to cooperate in counterterrorism operations.

In a sign of heightened concern over Kashmir, the United States and the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, have urged India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and solve their differences through dialogue. They will have a chance to heed that advice when top Indian and Pakistani national security advisers meet later this month.
Riaz Haq said…
A General who led the Indian Army on ground in the Kargil conflict, has broken his 11-year silence to say that he believes India actually lost the war in strategic terms.

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Lieutenant-General Kishan Pal, who was then the head of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, says India has failed to consolidate its tactical gains.

Asked for his assessment of the conflict 11 years later, Gen Pal told NDTV: "Well for 11 years I did not speak at all...I did not speak because I was never convinced about this war, whether we really won it...We did gain some tactical victories, we regained the territories we lost, we lost 587 precious lives. I consider this loss of war because whatever we gained from the war has not been consolidated, either politically or diplomatically. It has not been consolidated militarily."

Gen Pal was recently in a controversy involving the battle performance report of one of his juniors, Brigadier Devinder Singh.

Speaking to NDTV, the then Army chief General VP Mailk refused to get into the debate but said there was little doubt who won that war. (Watch: Kargil war ended on our terms: Gen VP Malik)
Riaz Haq said…
#PAF Chief: "Pakistan to get 5th generation fighter jets within 5 yrs" Stealth, Avionics, Air Frame, Integration

Pakistan will acquire the fifth generation multi-role fighter aircraft from the international market but, for the time being, it will devote its full attention on its state-of-the-art JF-17 Thunder to make it the most effective of its generation.

It has been revealed by Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman while talking exclusively with The News here on Wednesday evening. He said that Pakistan wouldn’t lag behind the countries of the region in obtaining the fifth generation planes and it has opened negotiations with the US manufacturers for exploring options of buying single engine multirole F-35 viewed as the plane of the next decade.

At least three other options are under consideration. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) could be equipped with aircraft of fifth generation within five years. Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said that Indians were buying 126 French Rafale calling them as fifth generation planes but after discussion of years and hitches, they had decided to buy 36 planes at the end of the day and still the deal was in troubled waters.

“I am not prepared to acknowledge Rafale as a plane of the fifth generation since its features are confined to the fourth generation’s planes,” the CAS maintained.

He said that Indian Air Force (IAF), despite having a numerical edge, doesn’t have superiority over Pakistan since Pakistan has planned its air strength in a way where no aggression could work against it. The PAF’s devotion and skill is second to none and for the reason it is graded one of the best air powers of the world, he said.

“We will never let the nation down in any eventuality or test. People have faith in their armed forces and they are very rightly doing so,” he added. He disclosed that Thunder JF-17 was being sold to four countries without disclosing the buyers and number of the planes. He said that it has become difficult to supply all the ordered aircraft within the stipulated time-frame but we will fulfill our obligations.
Riaz Haq said…
#India is second most ignorant nation of the world after #Mexico: Survey … via @ibnlive

London: India has the "dubious honour" of being the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico, according to a survey which posed questions on issues like inequality, non-religious population, female employment and internet access. The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people "over-estimate what we worry about", a lot of major issues are underestimated.
"Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish," the survey said. The rankings of the nations were based on the "Index of Ignorance" which was determined by questions about wealth that the top one per cent own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.

Most Indians "underestimate" how much of their country's wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1 per cent, the survey said, adding that the top 1 per cent actually own an "incredible" 70 per cent of all wealth. The survey also found that most Indians "hugely overestimate" the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33 per cent when the true figure is under 1 per cent.
While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 percentage points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said. India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics. Countries like Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all think there is better female representation than there really is, the survey said.

However, the Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality. In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60 per cent - an overestimation of the true picture of 41 percentage points, the survey added.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Air Force pilot M.M. Alam among 7 of the Greatest Flying Aces in World Aviation History - … via @PopMech

A dogfight between two aircraft is perhaps the most fascinating type of combat. The technical knowledge and precision required to operate a fighter aircraft combined with the physical and mental strain of a dogfight make the fighter pilots who excel at them truly exceptional.

Unofficially, a flying ace is a fighter pilot who shoots down at least five enemy aircraft, though the number a single pilot can achieve has steadily decreased because anti-aircraft and tracking technology has made dogfights rare in modern warfare. From Erich Hartmann, the Nazi fighter pilot credited with the most aerial victories of all time, to Giora Epstein, the ace of aces of supersonic jet pilots, these men are among the most skilled fighter pilots to ever enter a cockpit.

Muhammad Mahmood Alam was a Pakistani Air Force jet fighter pilot in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. He was the last fighter pilot to become an ace in a day, shooting down five Indian Hawker Hunter fighter jets in less than a minute on September 7 1965, the last four of which he downed within 30 seconds. A national hero in Pakistan, Alam holds the world record for becoming an ace in the shortest amount of time. This bold feat also makes him the only jet pilot to become an ace in one day. Alam was already a respected leader and proficient pilot and gunner when the war started in April 1965. He piloted an F-86 Sabre and downed a total of nine Indian Hawker Hunters in the 1965 war, as well as damaging two others.

Top 7:

Manfred von Richthofen - World War I

Erich Hartmann - World War II

James Jabara - Korean War

Muhammad Mahmood Alam - Indo-Pakistani War

Charles B. DeBellevue - Vietnam War

Giora Epstein - Arab–Israeli Wars

Cesar Rodriguez - Gulf War
Riaz Haq said…
Ahead of PM #Modi's #Israel visit, #India's arms purchase deals worth $3 billion from Jewish state via @timesofindia

head of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Tel Aviv later this year, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has begun to clear a slew of defence deals with Israel. The deals, some of which have been pending for long, are together worth well over $3 billion.
Defence ministry sources on Tuesday said while the deals for Spice-2000 bombs and laser-designation pods have already been cleared by the CCS, the ones for acquisition of two more Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), four more aerostat radars and the medium-range surface-to-air missile system (MR-SAM) for the Army are now on the anvil.
TOI had last month reported that most of these deals had reached the final stages of approvals, while the negotiations for the initial Rs 3,200 crore contract for 321 Israeli "Spike" anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems and 8,356 missiles were also making some headway after being stalled for months.

Both the 164 laser-designation pods (Litening-4) and 250 advanced "Spice" precision stand-off bombs are meant to arm IAF fighter jets like Sukhoi-30MKIs and Jaguars for greater lethality and accuracy.
The around Rs 10,000 crore joint development of the MR-SAM for the Army, in turn, will follow the similar ongoing DRDO-Israeli Aerospace Industries projects worth around Rs 13,000 crore for the Navy and IAF. The IAF-Navy variants have an interception range of 70-km, while the one for the Army will be 50-km.
The acquisition of two additional AWACS for over $1 billion, in turn, will be a follow-on order to the three such "force-multipliers" already inducted by the IAF under a tripartite $1.1 billion agreement inked by India, Israel and Russia in 2004.

The AWACS are basically Israeli early-warning radar suites mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft. With a 400-km range and 360-degree coverage, they are "eyes in the sky" capable of detecting incoming fighters, cruise missiles and drones much before ground-based radars.
Similarly, the four new aerostat radars - sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground - will follow the two such EL/M-2083 radars inducted by the IAF under a $145 million deal in 2004-2005.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Seeks #France's Thales Damocles Targeting Pod For JF-17 Fighter Aircraft for precision targeting …

Pakistan is assessing the Thales-made Damocles targeting pod to be mounted on its JF-17 aircraft for giving the fighter precision-targeting capability.
Pakistan Air Force deputy chief Muhammad Ashfaque Arain, currently in Paris to discuss the possibility of acquiring the Domacles pod was quoted by Reuters today as saying, “the Damocles is a battle- proven system and the other options are not. If we do not get the Damocles pod for example, then we will need to look for alternate options that may not be proven.”
The JF-17 is a China- Pakistan joint venture manufactured in Pakistan. Arain said that the JF-17 with the Pakistan Air Force had been performing well but its usefulness in current operations was limited because it lacks precision-targeting, a need which would be fulfilled if Thales sold it the Damocles pod.
Arain revealed that 16 JF-17s will be produced this year in Pakistan and a further 20 in 2017. The aircraft are equipped to carry air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs.
The Damocles is a 3rd generation targeting pod, modular, eye-safe laser and a high performance pod. It is currently operated by Malaysia’s Su-30MKM jets, UAE Mirage 2000-9 jet, Saudi’s Tornado and Typhoon aircraft, as well as France’s Rafale and Mirage 2000D jets.
Riaz Haq said…
#Israel Air Force #IAF to participate in #American #Flagstar air-to-air combat drill with #Pakistan #PAF, #UAE AF

The Israel Air Force is set to take part in a large-scale aerial exercise in the United States later this month. According to reports, teams from the Pakistani and United Arab Emirates air forces will also be taking part in the Red Flag air-to-air combat exercise in Nevada.
Israel will be sending land and air crews, as well as F-16 fighter jets, to the exercise, which is one of the biggest in the world. Haaretz asked the IDF spokesman to comment on the Israeli military’s policy on training with teams from Pakistan and the U.A.E. – countries Israel has no diplomatic relations with – but received no response.

The IAF has been preparing for the exercise over recent months, including the long-distance flight from Israel to the Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada. Flying the F-16s to the United States will require several fueling stops along the way, as well as midair refueling.

The IAF also participated in last year’s exercise, which simulates aerial combat fighting. The participating teams are put in a “blue” team and a “red” team, and these hold dogfights with one another.
Teams from the United States, Israel, Singapore and Jordan took part in last year’s exercise. At the time, it was reported in foreign media outlets that Israeli aircraft even refueled Jordanian jets en route to the United States for the exercise.
An IAF officer who took part in last year’s exercise called it “the biggest and best simulation of war in the world.”

The teams that took part in the exercise practiced intercepting aircraft, attacking targets, rescuing pilots and flying under the threat of anti-aircraft missiles.
The Nellis Air Force Base website didn’t disclose which air forces will be participating in the upcoming exercise. However, aerial enthusiast websites reported that teams from Spain and the U.A.E. will be taking part. Spain’s Ministry of Defense reported that the Spanish Air Force sent teams to the exercise last weekend. Pakistani media outlets also reported that Pakistani F-16s were en route to the United States.
The Aviationist, a website devoted to reports on military aviation, stated that Pakistani F-16s landed in Portugal 10 days ago, on their way to the exercise.
Riaz Haq said…
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Pakistan Air Force F-16C/D aircraft traveled more than 7,700 miles to participate in Red Flag 16-4 here from Aug. 15-26.

The training allowed the Pakistan and U.S. air forces to continue building and strengthening their relationship. It also provided them the chance to improve integration, further training and enhance the readiness of air operations.

“The F-16 has been the lynchpin in accomplishing our mutual desired objectives,” said Pakistan Air Vice Marshal Syed Noman Ali, the deputy chief of air staff. “At the strategic level it has been extremely valuable. On the capability enhancement and objective achievement on the ground, this aircraft has been the most useful.”

Pakistan brought a unique set of skills to the exercise, from their willingness to collaborate to their motivation to get the most out of the training scenarios.

“For me, it is absolutely phenomenal to have a partner who is willing to do that and looks at this as truly an opportunity to not only get better as a force within the Pakistan Air Force but also how to better integrate with everyone else,” said Maj. Gen. Rick B. Mattson, the chief of the Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan. “That has been a major focus for the team that has been here and I have already heard about ways they are able to integrate better through technology and we will try to work on that part.”

Not only have the Pakistan pilots been impressive but also their maintenance team as well.

“I have a lot of experience in the Middle East and this is a very unique capability that they have,” Mattson said. “When you go through the maintenance facility, bays, it’s all Pakistan enlisted working on these aircrafts.”

Integration has been a major focus for Red Flag 16-4 and the Pakistan Air Force has played a key role in helping achieve that goal.

“When you have a force that is that professional and is dedicated to training and working together as a coalition you are going to get better as a group and I think that has been the biggest lesson from this,” Mattson said.

The exercise has helped both air forces learn each other’s strengths and utilizing those strengths in real-world situations.

“Whenever we’ve been together with the U.S. in terms of an exercise or other engagements it has been amazing, productive and mutually rewarding experience on both sides,” Ali said. “Whether its actual strategies that have been going on in the region or it has been exercises that train for certain events, I would expect this type of relationship to grow stronger in the future.”

Riaz Haq said…
#India needs cool heads after #Kashmir attack but #Modi is a prisoner of his own bluster. #Pakistan #UriAttacks

the crucial - and more serious - question is whether India has the capability and intelligence to carry out targeted strikes or wage a limited war inside Pakistani territory.
Most experts say that successive governments don't appear to have built these capabilities. There is media chatter on why the air force should carry out surgical air strikes inside Pakistan, but many experts believe it would not be easy as Pakistan has robust air defence systems. There are even doubts whether India has built capabilities for unconventional deterrence.
The problem with Mr Modi's government, according to defence analyst Ajai Shukla, is that it has "escalated the rhetoric [against Pakistan] but has not created military capabilities and planning structure to respond in a more forceful manner [against terror attacks] than the previous government".

Now the government appears to have become a prisoner of its own bluster. "The danger of being trapped in your own rhetoric is that you can be forced into an aggressive response and then be ill-quipped to handle the escalation," says Mr Shukla.
So is India's tradition of so-called "strategic restraint" against Pakistan the only answer?
For one, the jury is out whether the policy has worked or not. There are no easy answers.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta of Delhi's leading Centre for Policy Research think tank says strategic restraint has served India quite well. "Pakistan will be isolated, except for China, and we should call for financial sanctions," he says. Also, he believes Sunday's attack will put Pakistan on the spot and let the pressure off Kashmir at the UN General Assembly meeting this week.
"We have actually boxed ourselves into a bit of corner by our public discourse, where the clamour to do something reckless is now great. Otherwise we are winning the long-term battle," says Professor Mehta.
Cold logic
Others like C Christine Fair, defence expert and author of Fight to the End, a scholarly account of Pakistan's army, differ. "If the objective is to deter Pakistan to stop pursuing terror against India it hasn't served the purpose. Does the international community feel any more compelled to take India's side because of its strategic response? Not really," she says.
Others feel that "strategic restraint" masks a morbidly cold logic that India, a country of more than a billion people with one of the largest standing armies in the world, can absorb the deaths of soldiers in terror attacks without any major political upheaval. "India is growing economically, Pakistan is not. So we can sacrifice a couple of hundred people in attacks, without risking a war. That's what the thinking behind strategic restraint is, which nobody really talks about," says an expert.

Riaz Haq said…
From Economist Magazine:

...there are serious chinks in India’s armour. Much of its weaponry is, in fact, outdated or ill maintained. “Our air defence is in a shocking state,” says Ajai Shukla, a commentator on military affairs. “What’s in place is mostly 1970s vintage, and it may take ten years to install the fancy new gear.” On paper, India’s air force is the world’s fourth largest, with around 2,000 aircraft in service. But an internal report seen in 2014 by IHS Jane’s, a defence publication, revealed that only 60% were typically fit to fly. A report earlier this year by a government accounting agency estimated that the “serviceability” of the 45 MiG 29K jets that are the pride of the Indian navy’s air arm ranged between 16% and 38%. They were intended to fly from the carrier currently under construction, which was ordered more than 15 years ago and was meant to have been launched in 2010. According to the government’s auditors the ship, after some 1,150 modifications, now looks unlikely to sail before 2023.

Such delays are far from unusual. India’s army, for instance, has been seeking a new standard assault rifle since 1982; torn between demands for local production and the temptation of fancy imports, and between doctrines calling for heavier firepower or more versatility, it has flip-flopped ever since. India’s air force has spent 16 years perusing fighter aircraft to replace ageing Soviet-era models. By demanding over-ambitious specifications, bargain prices, hard-to-meet local-content quotas and so on, it has left foreign manufacturers “banging heads against the wall”, in the words of one Indian military analyst. Four years ago France appeared to have clinched a deal to sell 126 of its Rafale fighters. The order has since been whittled to 36, but is at least about to be finalised.

India’s military is also scandal-prone. Corruption has been a problem in the past, and observers rightly wonder how guerrillas manage to penetrate heavily guarded bases repeatedly. Lately the Indian public has been treated to legal battles between generals over promotions, loud disputes over pay and orders for officers to lose weight. In July a military transport plane vanished into the Bay of Bengal with 29 people aboard; no trace of it has been found. In August an Australian newspaper leaked extensive technical details of India’s new French submarines.

The deeper problem with India’s military is structural. The three services are each reasonably competent, say security experts; the trouble is that they function as separate fiefdoms. “No service talks to the others, and the civilians in the Ministry of Defence don’t talk to them,” says Mr Shukla. Bizarrely, there are no military men inside the ministry at all. Like India’s other ministries, defence is run by rotating civil servants and political appointees more focused on ballot boxes than ballistics. “They seem to think a general practitioner can perform surgery,” says Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who has worked as a consultant for the ministry. Despite their growing brawn, India’s armed forces still lack a brain.
Riaz Haq said…
Why #India cannot win wars against its neighbours #China, #Pakistan … via @scroll_in

Excerpted from Dragon On Our Doorstep: Managing China Through Military Power, Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab, Aleph Book Company.

Let alone China, India cannot even win a war against Pakistan. And this has nothing to do with the possession of nuclear weapons – the roles of nuclear and conventional weapons are separate in the war planning of India, China and Pakistan.

The reason India would be at a disadvantage in a war with Pakistan is because while Pakistan has built military power, India focused on building military force. In this difference lies the capability to win wars.

Military force involves the mere collection of “war-withal”, that is, building up of troops and war-waging materiel; military power is about optimal utilisation of military force. It entails an understanding of the adversaries and the quantum of threat from each, the nature of warfare, domains of war, how it would be fought, and structural military reforms at various levels to meet these challenges. All this comes under the rubric of defence policy (also called political directive) and higher defence management, which in India’s case is either absent or anachronistic and in urgent need of transformation.

A measure of this can be gauged from the (then) Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s comment on Pakistan in October 2014. He said, “Our [India’s] conventional strength is far more than theirs [Pakistan’s]. If they persist with this [cross-border terrorism], they’ll feel the pain of this adventurism.” Given that the Pakistan Army unabashedly continues its proxy war against India, Jaitley and his successors should wonder why the mere 6 lakh strong Pakistan Army is not deterred by the 13 lakh strong Indian Army.


Military power has geopolitical implications. Pakistan today is sought after by the United States, China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics and the littoral countries of South Asia. It has emerged as a critical geopolitical pivot on the Eurasian chessboard. India, on the other hand, remains an important but certainly not geostrategic player. While geostrategic players have the capacity, capability and national will to exercise influence beyond their borders to impact geopolitical affairs, geopolitical pivots are nations whose importance is directly proportional to the number of geostrategic players that seek them out.


Instead of viewing China and Pakistan as two separate adversaries bound by an unholy nexus, India needs to understand that the road to managing an assertive China runs through Pakistan – both strategically and militarily. Only this will ensure space for India in Eurasia. For this reason, an Indian study about managing China should begin with an understanding of Pakistan’s security policy and military power. Whether we like it or not, the path to India becoming a leading power is through Pakistan. Without optimal regional integration through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which has not happened since its inception, India cannot claim its rightful place in Asia and the world – a void which China has been stepping into boldly for several years now.

If India can grasp this reality, it will be able to understand China’s grand strategy for global domination.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian officials: #India to deploy 464 newly ordered T-90MS tanks along border with #Pakistan | IHS Jane's 360 …

The Indian Army (IA) plans to deploy about 464 newly ordered T-90MS main battle tanks (MBTs) along India's western and northern borders with Pakistan, military officials told IHS Jane's on 19 January.

The T-90MS MBTs, which are being acquired in kit form from Russia for INR134.80 billion (USD2 billion), will in the coming years supplement around 850-900 Bhishma MBTs currently deployed in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Punjab, both of which border Pakistan.

Bhishma is the designation for the Indian variant of the T-90S MBT, the export model of the T-90 MBT in use with the Russian Ground Forces.
Riaz Haq said…
Comparison of India and Pakistan artillery

Total Strength of Indian towed artillery – 4150

Of which

Heavy Artillery – 480
Medium Artillery – 1270
Light Artillery – 2400

Total strength of Pakistani Towed Artillery – 3278

Of which

Heavy Artillery – 422
Medium Artillery – 1243
Light Artillery – 1613

Total Indian Towed Artllery strength stands at 4150 vs Pakistan’s 3278, on paper that is, in reality however, India’s fleet of S-23 180mm and D-30 122mm are retired or are currently in the process of being retired as state run OFB no longer manufactures the required Ammunition used in these guns. Actual Strength of Indian towed artillery is 3500 vs Pakistan’s 3278, this doesn’t look like a great scenario for a nation which wants to maintain a conventional firepower superiority against its main regional rival. Pakistan can bring the full might of its 3,278 strong artillery force while India will have to divide artillery between the Chinese and Pakistani borders to prevent any misadventure by either power.

Heavy Artillery

While India’s heavy guns, 203 mm, are out of action Pakistan fields a few dozen of 203mm gun as POF manufactures the required ammunition that are used in these guns.

On the 155mm front Indian army has failed to achieve a significant edge over its Pakistani counterpart.

India posses a total of 380 155mm guns compared to 394 155mm Guns of Pakistan. What’s interesting is that India originally acquired a grand total of 410 155 FH77/B guns from Swedish defense giant Bofors along with adequate tech transfer, but only 200 of them survive. The reason why India lost more than half of the FH77/B 155mm fleet was due to cannibalization of a large number of guns in order to obtain critical spare parts to run the remaining fleet. This clearly points out the inability of state run OFB to indigenize the Bofors gun and how Nehru-Gandhi corruption damaged India’s defense preparedness. The 155mm M-46 fleet, upgraded by Soltam-OFB, has stood the test of the time and is one of the most reliable artillery guns in India’s arsenal.

Pakistan will continue to enjoy a numerical advantage over India as far the 155mm class of artilery is considered as the Induction of homegrown “Dhanush” gun is slow and other major artillery programs are well behind schedule while Pakistan based Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) produces 30+ MKEK Panter 155mm guns a year with technology transfer from Turkey.

Medium Artillery

India has always maintained an edge against Pakistan in the medium artillery department, but as of today the Indian army has decommissioned all of it’s 122mm guns, In light of this development Indian army has fallen far behind against Pakistani counterpart in the Medium Artils department. As of today India has about 720 M46 130mm medium guns left in service, whereas Pakistan’s 130mm M46 clones and 122 mm variants stand at a staggering 1,243 guns, 523 guns more than India.

Pakistan will continue to expand its lead over India in Medium Artilery as the remaining M46 130mm guns are converted to 155mm standard and there are no plan to induct new guns in the Medium artillery segment.

at the top levels of government &the ministry of defense and incompetent defense ministers are some of the reasons why Indian Artils are in such a bad shape. New Delhi needs to move fast as half of the medium artillery has been retired, and more than half of the Bofors 155mm fleet has been cannibalized in search of spare parts, both the Army and the Government need to expedite the process of acquiring new Artillery . Success story of the 105mm light Artillery has already set the precedence for Indian Army to follow local production of artillery system to be replicated in the 155mm category.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan inducts advanced Chinese missile defence system

Pakistan has inducted an advanced Chinese made LY-80 Surface to Air missile defence system to secure its airspace from any sort of misadventure, a statement from the ISPR said.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the defence system would enhance our capabilities to defend the motherland.

The LY-80 is a Chinese-made ground-to-air defence missile system. This is a land based version of the HQ-16 system used in ships (and fired from VLS (Vertical Launch System) containers. The HQ-16A is based on a joint development of the Russian Buk-M1 (SA-11 ‘Gadfly’) and Ural/Buk-2M (SA-17 ‘Grizzly’) Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems, for use from mobile ground vehicles and later from ships.

The missile is able to engage aerial targets at high altitude; the mid-range LY-80 is also able to intercept very low-flying targets at a distance of up to about 40 kilometres, filling the gap between the HQ-7 short-range SAM and the HQ-9 long-range SAM systems.

In May 2016, Pentagon had released a report China was considering to establish additional naval logistics hubs in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, “such as Pakistan”

The report pointed out that Pakistan remains China’s “primary customer” for conventional weapons and China engages in both arms sales and defence industrial cooperation with Pakistan.

“We have noticed an increase in capability and force posture by the Chinese military in areas close to the border with India,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for East Asia Abraham M Denmark told reporters after submitting the report to Congress.

“It is difficult to say how much of this is driven by internal considerations to maintain internal stability, and how much of it is an external consideration,” he added.

The Pentagon report also shed light on tensions between China and India as a cause of concern. “Tensions remain along disputed portions of the Sino-Indian border, where both sides patrol with armed forces,” it warned.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan conducts anti-ship missile test
By: Usman Ansari, March 16, 2017

Pakistan successfully test launched a land-based anti-ship missile on Thursday, but the did not reveal its identity, possibly indicating it is a new development of its Babur land-attack cruise missile.

The military’s media branch, ISPR, said the “land-based anti-ship missile” featured “advanced technology and avionics, which enable engagement of targets at sea with high accuracy.”

The trial, witnessed by Vice Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Khan Hasham Bin Saddique and other senior officers, was undertaken in the coastal region. A warning to shipping regarding missile tests was issued for March 16-17.

Siddique congratulated the technical team, saying the test would help improve Pakistan’s defenses and operational reach of the Navy by enabling the launch of long-range, anti-ship missiles from land.

No performance details or even the name of the missile were provided, however.

Though an image released by the government’s Press Information Department appeared to show a Babur missile, its resolution was insufficient to accurately determine the missile’s identity.

In April last year, a shore-based anti-ship missile dubbed Zarb was test fired. It was speculated by analysts to be the Chinese C-602/YJ-62.

However, a naval industry official told Defense News at Pakistan’s biennial defense exhibition IDEAS 2016 in November that Pakistan was working on indigenous anti-ship missiles. This followed an earlier revelation buried in a Ministry of Defence Production report of development of a shipboard anti-ship missile launcher.

In December, steel was cut for the first indigenous Azmat Block II missile boat, which in can be determined from the images released at the time will carry a larger anti-ship missile than the C-802A/CSS-N-8 Saccade that arms the Block I boats.

No confirmation of this missile’s identity has been forthcoming since then, but it sparked speculation that Pakistan’s indigenous anti-ship missile efforts were perhaps more advanced than realized.

The Babur offers the quickest route to an indigenous anti-ship missile, with a range exceeding the limitations of the Missile Technology Control Regime in the same vein as the United States' UGM/RGM-109B (TAS-M) Tomahawk.

It has already provided the basis of further developments. The updated Babur II was tested in December. The sub-launched Babur III, was successfully tested in January, enabling Pakistan to establish a second-strike capability.

Though the C-602 reportedly cruises at a height of 30 meters, test-area altitude for today’s test was restricted to 1,500 meters — more akin to the higher cruise altitude of the Babur.

A Navy spokesman was asked to comment on the missile’s identity, but there was no reply by press time.

Riaz Haq said…
Why #India can’t defeat #Pakistan or #China in a war? … via @TOIOpinion

To provoke a somnolent establishment into action, your message has to be blunt. There cannot be a more blunt warning to India’s political leadership and defence establishment than what Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab have delivered in their admirable and unsparing book Dragon On Our Doorstep: Managing China Through Military Power (Published by Aleph, Pages 458, Price Rs 799). Let alone China, India cannot even win a war against Pakistan. Yes, you read that right.


Dragon On Our Doorstep could be a little misleading title since the authors are not only discussing the China threat but India’s defence strategy. In full play is Pakistan, Kashmir and the red menace, the greatest threat India is facing, as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put it. Sawhney and Wahab say that in terms of threat, Pakistan is China and China is Pakistan, pointing out especially the ‘inter-operability’ that both military forces have achieved.
So despite the strongman Narendra Modi at the helm, why can’t India defeat Pakistan in a war? Sawhney and Wahab make a critical distinction to win their argument. Pakistan has built military power, India a military force. And they explain: “Military force involves the mere collection of war-withal, that is, building up of troops and war-waging material; military power is about optimal utilization of military force. It entails an understanding of the adversaries and the quantum of threat from each, the nature of warfare, domains of war, how it would be fought, and structural military reforms at various levels to meet these challenges.”


What else makes Indian defence forces vulnerable? Since the defence forces are outside the government, they have little interaction with the political leadership in peacetime and little say in the acquisition of conventional weapons. The defence services have little knowledge and understanding of their own nuclear weapons and Pakistan’s nuclear redlines. As India does not have an efficient indigenous defence industry, war supplies are not assured. All these, for an average reader, sound pretty scary.

The authors also examine India’s foreign policy in relation to China and Pakistan and criticise Modi for his failure in not rising as a statesman prime minister to transform India into a leading power. Modi’s foreign policy, the authors say, is more optics than substance.
They say that ‘Act East, Think West’ policy is hampered by the perennial failures in strategic thinking and a lack of appreciation for military power. They pick on India’s foreign aid policy and say that if our neighbours are neither deferential nor deterrent there is something amiss. Sawhaney and Wahab argue that aid is seldom given to fulfill the needs of the recipient. It is given to meet the requirements- strategic in the case of nations- of the giver. And if the requirements are not met, you increase the aid or diversify it. They also say that India is the only country in the world where foreign policy with nations having disputed borders- China and Pakistan- is made with regard to military advice. All these criticisms should rile the defence establishment and the bureaucrats who have straitjacketed India’s foreign policy.
Riaz Haq said…
Chinese Warships Visit Pakistan
Three Chinese warships arrived in the port city of Karachi on June 10 for a four-day goodwill and training visit.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has dispatched three surface warships on a four-day goodwill and training visit to the Pakistani port of Karachi, Chinese state-owned media reported on June 11.

The ships arrived in the port city on June 10 and were welcomed by Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah. The small PLAN fleet is commanded by Rear Admiral Shen Hao, the deputy commander of the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet.

The Pakistan Navy and PLAN will conduct a so-called passage exercise to enhance interoperability between the two navies, according to Pakistani military officials. The PLAN fleet consists of three ships, the Type 052C Luyang II –class guided missile destroyer Changchun, the Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided missile frigate Jingzhou, and the Type 903 Quiandaohu-class replenishment ship Chaohu.

The Luyang II-class, equipped with a four array AESA multi-function phased array radar system and armed with up to 48 vertically launched HQ-9 naval air defense missiles, was the first PLAN class of warships capable of long-range fleet air defense. The class is succeeded by the Type 052D Luyang III-class–dubbed the “Chinese Aegis.” As I explained elsewhere (See: “China Launches Yet Another ‘Carrier Killer’ Destroyer”):

A Type 052D Luyang III-class destroyer is equipped with 64 vertical launch cells, each capable of carrying one to four missiles. The ship carries one of the PLAN’s deadliest anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), the vertically-launched YJ-18 ASCM. Next to its YJ-18 arsenal, Type 052D guided-missile destroyers are also equipped with modern HQ-9 surface-to-air-missiles.

The Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided missile frigate Jingzhou is the 21st ship of the class currently in service with the PLAN and was commissioned in January 2016. Type 054A Jiangkai II-class frigates are multirole warships and have been deployed overseas on multiple occasions including anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. Around 25 Type 054A Jiangkai II-class frigates are currently in service with the PLAN. At least five more ships of the class are currently under construction. In December 2016, I elaborated on the Type 054A class’ capabilities:

The stealth frigate is armed with HQ-16 medium range air defense missiles and boosts a 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section, capable of firing anti-ship and air defense missiles as well as anti-submarine torpedoes. It also features a Russian-made AK-630 fully automatic naval close in weapon system and a Chinese variant of the AK-176 76 millimeter naval gun.

Some frigates of the class are also known to have been equipped with variable depth sonar and towed array sonar systems. In addition, the ship is equipped with a Type 382 phased-array radar system and Type 344 and Type 345 multifunctional fire control radar systems, capable of over the horizon targeting.

Type 054A frigates also feature a hangar capable of accommodation Kamov K-27 and Harbin Z-9 helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (…) The ship has a standard range of about 3,800 nautical miles—7,037 kilometers–at a speed of 18 knots, and a maximum un-refueled radius is 12,000 kilometers or 8,000 miles.

The small PLAN fleet departed Shanghai in April. The three ships are expected to visit 20 countries around the world in the coming months. “This voyage is an innovative way to promote harmonious ideals, peace and friendship,” said Admiral Miao Hua, political commissar of the PLAN, in April, according to China Daily. “It is also a good platform to deepen military-military dialogue and cooperation, and showcase our Navy’s positive image.”
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an except from "Army and Nation" by Steven Wilkinson:

Overall, though, it seems likely, given important studies by various experts on Indian military, that the civil-military constraints that have helped prevent a coup have hurt military effectiveness and preparedness in at least three important ways: (1) the weakening of the army before the 1962 China war; (2) the problems caused for defense coordination and preparation by unwieldy defense bureaucracy, duplication of functions among different branches and lack of sharing of information across branches and (3) the general downgrading of pay and perks since independence which has left the army with huge shortage of officers that affected the force's discipline capabilities (Cohen and Dasgupta 2010; Menon 2009; Mukherjee 2011).

The February 2000 Kargil Review Committee, for instance, pointed out that India's strategy of developing and controlling nuclear weapons outside of the army while it may make sense from the perspective of civil-military relations, "puts the Indian Army at a disadvantage vis-a-vis its Pakistani counterpart. While the former was in the dark about India's nuclear capability, the latter as the custodian of Pakistani nuclear weaponry as fully aware of its own capability. Three former Indian Army Chiefs of Staff expressed unhappiness about this asymmetric situation" (Menon 2009, 114-115, 117)

Riaz Haq said…
For all the chest-thumping, India cannot win a war against Pakistan

For all the xenophobic war mongering touted in every medium, India cannot “win” a war against Pakistan and the sooner we appreciate this politico-military reality, the more coherent and serious we will sound to our adversaries and the world community. The demands for a “once and for all” resolution of Kashmir/Pakistan emanating from several quarters, which surprisingly includes some veterans—equating India’s non-retaliation with impotence—perhaps don’t factor the larger picture and the stark truth of modern military warfare.

----Sure we have more soldiers, tanks, aircraft, and ships than Pakistan, but banking on mere numbers is misleading and irrelevant in military strategy. Pakistan has successfully locked down over 30% of our army in internal counter insurgency roles that not only sucks in combat troops from their primary roles for prolonged periods, but also alienates the local population in the valley.
The major reason for the Pakistani Op Gibraltar’s failure in 1965 was the overwhelming loyalty of Kashmiri locals towards India. Disguised Pakistani troops who had infiltrated into the valley to incite rebellions were caught by the locals and promptly handed over to the Indian security forces. Fifty years later, sentiment in the valley is very different. And this “turning move” has been achieved by Pakistan with a ridiculously low investment of merely a few hundred terrorists and psychological operations.
Another substantial part of our army is locked down in the North East insurgency and we are still trying to build adequate force levels against our much stronger adversary all along our border with China. India’s Chinese front is in a tenuous state because of decades of neglect and the massive infrastructure China has built to be able to mobilise several divisions in a matter of hours into that theatre.
Most worryingly, Pakistan and China have achieved military interoperability, which is the capability of their two armies to execute joint missions against a common target. Decades of mutual cooperation, technology transfer, training, equipment sales, and of course a common enemy, have welded our two adversaries into a formidable joint force. Pakistan’s accelerated achievements in nuclear technology, missile delivery systems, logistic supply chain of equipment, and spares as well as new-age technologies such as cyber and drone warfare are all the result of cooperation between the two countries.
In contrast, India has not even been able to integrate its three services, what to speak of assimilation with political leadership, industry, academia and indigenous defence capabilities. As Praveen Sahwney points out in his book “The Dragon on our doorsteps,” India has primarily focused on developing its military arsenal whereas Pakistan and China have been developing war waging capabilities, which is a synthesis of many strengths other than just military force.
Secondly, Pakistan has leveraged its geopolitical position far more strategically than India has been able to. India has traditionally relied on moral high ground to achieve global consensus and support. In the aftermath of the Cold War, the world’s largest democracy, wedged in between a communist adversary and a rapidly radicalising Islamic nation got global mindshare and sympathy. Though none of that translated into meaningful benefits for India per se, our foreign policy continues to have the hangover of “doing the right thing.”
Riaz Haq said…
Stephen Cohen on Indian military:

The larger conclusion I have about the Indian military is that India has traded operational efficiency for political control over the armed forces. The Indian military may not be that efficient but they never question civilian authority. The problem is that on the civilian side they do not have the competence to run the military. Ironically, in Pakistan it is the opposite. The military does not have the competence to run a country. So if you were to combine India and Pakistan, you have a great country, with military efficiency and also civilian control.


India is still divided as to what the real threat is. If you talk to most Indian politicians and strategists, it is Pakistan because it resonates domestically. Yet, Prime Minister Modi has made some efforts to normalise relations with Pakistan. Pakistanis themselves have their own agenda, they think they cannot be pushed around, they are afraid of becoming West Bangladesh, a vassal state. The Indians are conducting a cautious policy towards Pakistan.

Indians don’t want to get militarily entangled with China. For the Indians, the Chinese can offer regional economic integration, tie the region together, and in a sense restore the Mughal Empire or British Raj by economic integration. Yet India needs to offer Pakistan assurances that Pakistan won’t be overwhelmed by Indian economic power. It has become a geo-economic competition, not a geo-military competition. That’s the upside of nuclear weapons. Many Americans, as all Indians know, are obsessed with nuclear weapons, especially other countries’ nuclear weapons. But nuclear weapons don’t bring peace, so the military status quo is frozen. This means that the competition between major powers will run through other channels and this could be economics. Modi knows he is way behind China. He simply has to develop the Indian economy. That is why I don’t think there will be conflict between India and its neighbours in the foreseeable future. Modi understands better than anybody else that India needs a calm and normal environment to grow economically. And if there is a conflict and especially if India initiates it, which is always a possibility, the investors will run away in large numbers. In that sense, the outside and Indian fears about Modi are exaggerated. I would hope that he will figure out how to offer Pakistanis some regional integration on terms that the Pakistanis will accept.

But Pakistan has deep problems of its own, there is no doubt about it. Having Pakistan as a neighbour is not a happy thing. America has trouble with Pakistan and Pakistani policies, and we are thousands of miles away.


I thought that one of the best books written on Kashmir was the book Sisir Gupta had written, and he says that Pakistan is not the only country to be blamed for problems in Kashmir. He wrote it as a Congress Party member, and it is a very honest book.

India made a lot of mistakes in Kashmir. So I don’t think that Kashmir should be the focus of American diplomacy or Indian diplomacy or anybody’s diplomacy. There are much easier problems to solve. Ironically, Afghanistan is an easier problem. I have always been in favour of a regional condominium for Afghanistan — that is, the Americans, Iranians, Indians and Pakistanis. Get them to agree on a set of ground rules like the U.S. does with Russia on Austria because the Afghans cannot manage their various problems. But it should not be a place where big powers meddle. Foreign powers could cooperate with each other. The U.S. could cooperate with Iran, India could cooperate with Pakistan. In a sense those odd couples have to be reconciled to deal with in a limited way on Afghanistan. I have argued this for a long time. Put it this way, both India and Pakistan inherited the British Raj and the obligations of the British Raj on Afghanistan.

Riaz Haq said…
India and Pakistan must learn to live together
New Delhi and Islamabad are locked in a dangerous triangular contest with Beijing

HENNY SENDER, Nikkei Asian Review columnist
In the last year, Modi has been seemingly opposed to any conciliation with Pakistan. In September 2016, after gunmen attacked an Indian army base in Kashmir, he threatened to tear up the Indus Water Treaty, which provides for the orderly distribution of water between the two countries from rivers that flow first through India. The treaty has been in effect since 1960, yet this is virtually the first time that it has become hostage to cross-border sparring, according to analysts. Pakistan's apparent inability to control attacks from its territory across the border does not help.

Modi also claimed that counterfeiting from across the border was one of the reasons for India's "demonetization" exercise -- a major currency upheaval last November in which high value notes were suddenly withdrawn from circulation, causing chaos for Indian businesses that rely on cash transactions. Modi learned from elections in March in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, that uniting Hindus (who in the past had fractured along caste lines) against Muslims pays off at the ballot box, undermining domestic political support for reconciliation with Muslim Pakistan. He then installed a militantly religious Hindu figure, Yogi Adityanath, as chief minister of the state.

Meanwhile, India's relationship with China is in part hostage to its relationship with Pakistan. China has become Islamabad's closest ally. Pakistan will be the biggest beneficiary of Chinese economic and strategic initiatives such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and is set to receive more than $60 billion in the next few years as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a massive Asian infrastructure program. India believes that such Chinese plans are a way to unload its excess capacity on the rest of the world and wants no part in its giant neighbor's ambitious programs.

This is short sighted. For example, Pakistan may well become the first country on the planet to run out of water. Its arid land struggles to support a population of around 200 million -- though nobody knows the exact figure because there has been no census in almost 20 years. Several of the China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's first projects (in conjunction with the Japanese-led Asian Development Bank) are aimed at supporting water infrastructure in Pakistan.

The continuing tensions between India and Pakistan are rooted in partition. But New Delhi also believes that a weak Pakistan is in its interests. There may be some truth in this, but only up to a point. A collapse of Pakistan's economy and institutions would pose a serious threat to India, which should welcome Chinese investment in Pakistan, including AIIB lending, as a way of avoiding the problem of a failed state on its doorstep.

Scholars continue to debate whether the events of 70 years ago that divided India from Pakistan were inevitable or not. Either way, however, New Delhi needs to accept that the fates of the two countries remain inextricably linked, for better or worse.
Riaz Haq said…
Can India destroy Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal?

By Naveed Ahmad Published: October 12, 2017

“As far as IAF is concerned, it has the ability to locate, fix and strike and that is not only for tactical nuclear weapons but also for other targets across the border,” he (IAF Chief) had said during the annual Air Force Day press conference on IAF response to Pakistan’s store of tactical nuclear weapons.

The Indian air chief is not the only one to hurl such warnings and publicly acknowledge the existence of Cold Start doctrine (CSD). On January 4, India’s Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat made a similar hawkish claim.

Despite throwing B-52s Tomahawk cruise missiles, the US could merely hit Scud storage areas and factories. Over 2,000 sorties and missile attacks failed to take out Iraq’s Scud mobile launchers. Thus, the tall claim of locating, fixing and destroy is trashed as nothing more than a shallow brag. India’s dream of ‘Great Nasr Hunt’ has quite many chinks to remedy.


One of the key impediments for India is obsolete but large military hardware while Pakistan is much smaller but more recent and constantly updated.

From its tanks, armoured vehicles to artillery as munitions, everything is to be replaced. The soldier morale has been hit hard by draconian powers with officers to sack them as well as a feeling of being ignored when it comes to basic needs such food (ration) and health. For an offensive operation of the scale, being crowed the Indian military Cold Start doctrine pre-requisites magical mix of 30% cutting military hardware, 40% existing technology and 30% obsolete munitions. Its war stamina from supplies and logistical perspective is less than two weeks, 10 days to quote exactly from Indian estimates.

At the operational level too, India lacks 1.5 to 1 numerical superiority. Its divisions deployed along the Pakistani border are predominantly infantry with limited offensive capacity. Islamabad has been investing rightly in its mechanised infantry which gives its army sharp teeth to bite. Though BrahMos cruise missile range has been extended to 600 kilometres after joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), it is yet to be properly integrated into the force structure.
Riaz Haq said…
What Good Are the Indian Navy's Aircraft Carriers Against Pakistan?
Just how useful will India’s carriers be in a potential future war with Pakistan?

By Robert Farley
December 12, 2017

The Indian Navy is devoting enormous resources to the development of an effective, multi-ship carrier force. It remains unclear, however, precisely how the Indian Navy would use that force in the event of a rekindled war with Pakistan. A recent Naval War College Review article by Ben Wan Beng Ho sheds some light on the problems that India’s carrier force might have in taking the fight to Pakistan. Long story short, India’s carriers would face enormous risks in undertaking offensive operations, with very uncertain benefits.

Ho argues that the need for self-defense, combined with limited deck space, make it very difficult for INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya, either separately or in tandem, to threaten Pakistani land installations. Pakistan’s A2/AD network, including submarines, aircraft, and surface ships, poses a credible threat to the carriers, making their use in offensive operations very risky. Conceivably, Pakistan could even attack Indian carriers with tactical nuclear weapons, if the war developed in that direction. The Indian carriers would struggle to execute a close blockade of Pakistani ports, destroy the Pakistani surface fleet, or do much damage to Pakistani military targets on land.

Ho suggests that the carrier fleet would be better employed as a decisive late-war weapon, after Indian Air Force assets had worn down Pakistani defenses. This would have the benefit of enabling India to bring its entire carrier force to bear. Ho also argues that the carriers could play a productive role in sea lines of communication (SLOC) protection, which might also allow them to threaten Pakistani lines of communication.

Ho details the problems associated with small-deck carriers, especially the limited number of aircraft to share offensive and defensive missions. The need for self-protection is not entirely problematic; Indian carriers will undoubtedly receive a great deal of attention from potential opponents, drawing resources away from other military operations. Other Indian naval forces could either use this misdirection to conduct offensive operations, or could rely on the defensive umbrella provided by the carriers.

But some core problems remain. Indian naval strategy envisions three operational carrier battle groups undertaking more or less the same tasks. But Indian naval procurement has produced a plan to acquire three carriers with radically different capabilities, meaning that the actual utility of the carrier battle group in crisis conditions will depend upon which carrier is operational at a given time.

We also have no clear idea regarding the reliability of the two existing ships. Vikramaditya is an old Russian hull that underwent controversial late-life transformation into a STOBAR carrier; Vikrant is a purpose-built STOBAR carrier, but will be the largest warship ever constructed in India, with all of the potential reliability issues that this entails. The two ships are similar but not identical, meaning that maintenance and flight procedures will vary in potentially consequential ways. This makes sharing aircraft and pilots a dicey proposition.

Moreover, as Ho notes, the reports we have regarding readiness in the naval aviation program are not great. The MiG-29K has been a carrier aircraft for less than a decade, and has never been subjected to a demanding, up tempo set of combat operations. Anecdotes from the Russian experience do not suggest optimism.

While Vikrant and Vikramaditya will provide important opportunities for learning, the Indian Navy may need to wait for the commissioning of INS Vishal, projected in the 2030s, to have a real offensive capability against Pakistan. By that time, however, the lethality of Pakistan’s A2/AD umbrella may have significantly increased.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Tests An Indigenously Developed Anti-Ship Cruise Missile
Pakistan introduces the Harbah, a cruise missile with anti-ship and land-attack roles.

By Ankit Panda
January 08, 2018

Last week, the Pakistani Navy carried out the first-ever test launch of its Harbah anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile (LACM/ASCM). The test was carried out in the North Arabian Sea on January 3, according to a press release from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“The successful live weapon firing has once again demonstrated the credible fire power of Pakistan Navy and the impeccable level of indigenization in high tech weaponry achieved by Pakistan’s defence industry,” ISPR noted in a statement. “The missile accurately hit its target signifying the impressive capabilities of Harbah Naval Weapon System.”

The Harbah is thought to be derived from Pakistan’s Babur family of cruise missiles. Pakistan has tested multiple Babur variants, beginning with the ground-launched Babur-I to the submarine-launched Babur-III, which was first tested last January. Though ISPR made no comment on the missile’s payload capabilities, its origin in the Babur family would suggest that it could be converted for both conventional and nuclear payload delivery.

According to Pakistani media reports, Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense Production had planned to develop a missile system for the PNS Himmat by October 2018. According to the Ministry’s 2014-2015 yearbook, the Directorate General of Munitions Production (DGMP) had been tasked with “the indigenous (sic) developing of ship-borne system with Land Attack Missile [LACM] and Anti ship Missile” by that date.

The missile was launched from an Azmat-class fast attack craft, PNS Himmat. PNS Himmat was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy last summer after extensive sea trials. Along with PNS Himmat, PNS Azmat and PNS Deshat are likely to also operate the Harbah ASCM once the system is declared operational.

Pakistan’s test-firing of the Harbah came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to end U.S. military aid to the country in a tweet. While U.S. aid does not go toward Pakistan’s indigenous strategic weapons research and development, the ISPR statement noted that Pakistan’s chief of naval staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, said that Pakistan needed to “reduce reliance on foreign countries” and “emphasized the need to capitalize on indigenous defense capabilities.”
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #defense budget (US$52.5) breaks into world's top 5: #UK report. #Modi

India's defence budget broke into the world's top five, beating the UK for the first time, a new report by a London-based global think-tank has said, signalling a key shift in the military balance between the two countries.

India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defence spender in the world in 2017 at $52.5 billion, up from $51.1 billion in 2016, according to the 'Military Balance 2018' report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

In contrast, the UK's defence budget fell from $52.5 billion in 2016 to $50.7 billion last year.

"This represents a key shift in the military balance between India and the UK, with India allocating more capabilities to develop its regional resources than the UK in a global context," said IISS Senior Fellow for South Asia, Rahul Roy-Chaudhury.

The report notes that while India continues to modernise its military capabilities, China " with the world's second-largest ..

Read more at:
Riaz Haq said…
Indian Military Modernization
and Conventional Deterrence in
South Asia
Department of War Studies, King’s College London, UK

ABSTRACT In recent years, headline grabbing increases in the Indian defense
budget have raised concerns that India’s on-going military modernization
threatens to upset the delicate conventional military balance vis-à-vis Pakistan.
Such an eventuality is taken as justification for Islamabad’s pursuit of tacticalnuclear
weapons and other actions that have worrisome implications for strategic
stability on the subcontinent. This article examines the prospects for Pakistan’s
conventional deterrence in the near to medium term, and concludes that it is
much better than the pessimists allege. A host of factors, including terrain, the
favorable deployment of Pakistani forces, and a lack of strategic surprise in the
most likely conflict scenarios, will mitigate whatever advantages India may be
gaining through military modernization. Despite a growing technological edge in
some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to
military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for
deterrence failure.

Some Indian analysts have argued
that the significant amount of money Pakistan is spending on its own
military modernization program – assisted by China and the United
States – is actually eroding India’s ‘slender conventional edge.’


this vein, several retired Indian generals have recently argued that their
military lacks conventional superiority over Pakistan as well as the
ability to achieve a quick and decisive result against its neighbor.20
Despite the dramatic increases in defense spending, Indian analysts
contend that the military — in particular the Army — faces numerous
capability shortfalls that would hinder military operations against
Pakistan. The large number of obsolete tanks, armored vehicles, and
artillery pieces, not to mention critical shortages of ammunition and
air-defense assets, raise serious questions whether India can undertake
large-scale military operations at all, let alone whether ongoing
defense modernization really is sharply shifting the conventional
balance in its favor.21 In this vein, Arun Sahgal and Vinod Anand
have damningly written that India’s military modernization is primarily
designed to address the obsolescence of existing platforms ‘rather
than part of a well thought out force transformation strategy that
takes into account the changing nature of war.’
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s (Non-Nuclear) Plan to Counter ‘Cold Start’
Tactical nuclear weapons get most of the attention, but Islamabad is also building up conventional capabilities.

By Meenakshi Sood
March 25, 2017

While Pakistan’s nuclear response to CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) has dominated the narrative, it is the conventional response that was devised first. In the last few years of General Musharraf’s presidency, especially between 2004 and 2007, India and Pakistan were engaged in backchannel negotiations and came tantalizingly close to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue. Then the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement forced Musharraf out of power and a new leadership took charge. With General Kayani as the new chief of army staff, the threat from India came back into focus, and so did the perceived risk of CSD. Given India’s military capability and its declared Cold Start Doctrine, Kayani believed that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down as the country prepared according to “adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.” He went on to give his assessment of the timeline by which India would be able to operationalize CSD — two years for partial implementation and five years for full — betraying the urgency he attached to a counter-response.

Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army conducted military exercises codenamed Azm-e-Nau to formalize and operationalize a conventional response to CSD. At its conclusion, Pakistan adopted a “new concept of war fighting” (NCWF) that aims to improve mobilization time of troops and enhance inter-services coordination, especially between the Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). To this end, Pakistan Air Force’s aerial exercise High Mark was conducted alongside Azm-e-Nau III in 2010, which saw the participation of over 20,000 troops from all services in areas of southern Punjab, Sialkot, and Sindh along Pakistan’s eastern border with India. The 2010 exercises were the largest conducted by the Army since 1989. PAF’s exercise High Mark, conducted every five years, synchronizes the Air Force’s response with Army maneuvers, covering a vast area from Skardu in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. As per military sources, with the implementation of the NCFW, the Pakistan Army will be able to mobilize even faster than India. This should worry India as CSD’s raison d’etre lies in the short reaction time it requires to launch an offensive. If Pakistan is indeed able to mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot, literally and figuratively, it blunts the effectiveness of the Indian military doctrine.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s new war strategy
It is an overstatement — or perhaps a relative truth that Indian military forces are far superior to Pakistan’s

Muhammad Ali BaigMuhammad Ali Baig

FEBRUARY 26, 2018

What is Pakistan’s New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF)? Why and how is it a conventional response to Indian Cold Start Doctrine (CSD)? The conventional doctrinal destabilisation caused by India in 2004 in the form of CSD had to meet a response in the form of NCWF of Pakistan. With former Pakistan Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg’s Zarb-e-Momin military exercise conducted in 1989 – Pakistan started to adopt an offensive-defensive mode of security and presented a credible response towards Indian military’s Operation Brasstacks. Similarly, in response to Indian Cold Start Doctrine – Pakistan envisaged New Concept of War Fighting.

It is an overstatement or perhaps a relative truth that Indian Military Forces are far more superior to that of Pakistan. Both militaries share a common history and military culture due to their shared foundations in the British Indian Military traditions, nevertheless, while keeping in view many aspects of state, national and latent power – Indian Military Forces have an advantage over Pakistan. However, the four limited wars and countless border skirmishes between the two raise serious questions over the perceived and rhetorical superiority of the Indian Armed Forces in relation to Pakistan Armed Forces. A British scholar Walter Ladwig argued that Indian conventional military superiority is exaggerated since now the Indian edge over Pakistan is declining in terms of numbers, equipment, technology and training. It can be averred that now with NCWF – the doctrinal advantage is also equalised.

Pakistan while keeping in view the threat stemming from Indian Cold Start Doctrine – started to prepare its counter. In 2004 India moved away from Sundarji Doctrine and formulated Cold Start Doctrine which is a dangerous military instrument primarily due to its philosophical and theoretical foundations in German Blitzkrieg of the Second World War. Nevertheless, Indian Armed Forces especially the Indian Army used it to ward off the criticism it had to face at the backdrop of Indo-Pak military standoff and the failed Operation Parakramin 2001-02. Consequently, in 2007 former Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Kayani believed that CSD would require five years to operationalise fully and for that matter Pakistan Armed Forces conducted four Azm-e-Nau joint military exercises from 2009 to 2013. General Kayani famously said that ‘we plan on adversary’s capabilities, not intentions’. Azm-e-Naumilitary exercises were principally aimed to achieve synergy among the various branches of forces so that combined arms would strive for one objective with complete coordination and synchronisation along with enhanced mobility and speed. At the end of these exercises in 2013 – Pakistan Armed Forces formalised a doctrine named as New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF). The National Defence University, Islamabad played a vital role in the creation of NCWF since the majority of the simulated war gaming was conducted there.
Riaz Haq said…
Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War (Book Review)
Adnan Qaiser - March 8, 2018

...Myra MacDonald’s scholarship, Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War, records events shaping-up in India and Pakistan between 1998 and 2016. The author bestows lavish praises, levels blind accusations, makes flawed conclusions and renders erroneous judgements in favour of “a rising world power” (India) against what she calls a “near-failing state” (Pakistan) (27).

However, she cannot be faulted. Having been Reuter’s correspondent for nearly thirty years with specialization in South Asian politics and security – most probably based out of New Delhi – Ms. MacDonald’s India-bent justifiably pervades and parades. Never mind, it brings her otherwise great research effort into disrepute.

Dedicating her first chapter to Indo-Pakistan nuclear issues, Ms. MacDonald claims the nuclear weapons “accelerated [Pakistan’s] downfall [as it gave the country] a false sense of inviolability [to] unleash militant forces that it could no longer fully control” (27). Endorsing the claim of Pakistan as “insufficiently imagined” by Salman Rushdie, the disgraced author of The Satanic Verses in the Muslim world, Ms. MacDonald believes “Opposition to India bind[s] Pakistan together” (30, 170).

Discussing events leading to Indo-Pakistan nuclear tests of May 1998, the author justifies India’s “nuclear restraint,” but conveniently forgets it was Indian leaders’ threatening and provocative statements that had forced Pakistan to carry-out its own nuclear tests. However, she considers Pakistan to have “lock[ed] itself inside a house on fire … by making itself impregnable” (44).

In chapter two, Ms. MacDonald expediently overlooks India’s clandestine takeover of Siachen Glacier beyond bilaterally accepted point NJ9842 in April 1984 and denounces Pakistan’s Kargil operation, which was carried-out in the similar fashion in 1999. Despite turning out as a “strategic disaster” (57) due to Pakistan’s civil-military discord and geopolitical pressures, the operation was a “brilliant tactical” manoeuvre which gave India a bloody nose (51). Disregarding India’s territorial quest in the region and Pakistan’s right to avail any unguarded opportunity offered by its archrival, the author is out giving India brownie points: “India was simply too complacent. Poor intelligence and its expectation of peace after the nuclear tests had lulled [India] into a false sense of security” (55).


In chapter seven, the author dissects the ten-month long India-Pakistan military standoff of 2001-2002, as India thought “it was time for a war to end all wars” (133). Ms. MacDonald believes India came out victorious as it achieved its objective “to defeat cross-border infiltration/terrorism without conflict [and] to contain the national mood of ‘teach[ing] Pakistan a lesson’ through international pressure” (134). However, Operation Parakram (valour) turned out to be a disaster for the Indian Army with high casualty-rate without engaging in war. India’s army chief, General V.K. Singh admitted: “We seemed to be at war with ourselves” (140).

The author, significantly points out that neither India had the political will nor military wherewithal to “destroy and degrade Pakistan’s war fighting capabilities.” She concludes “The Indian Army was not in a position to deal a decisive blow against Pakistan. Vajpayee’s best option was to use angry rhetoric to force the international community to squeeze more concessions from Pakistan” (135-137, 144). However, the author notes, the event led Pakistan to “expand its nuclear arsenal further … reinforce[ing] its belief that it was an insecure state that could be protected only by military force, including nuclear weapons and jihadist proxies” (149).
Riaz Haq said…
Except of Myra McDonald's "Defeat is an Orphan" on the failure of India's Operation Parakram in 2001-2002 against Pakistan:

"Since partition, the India Army--with 1.1 million men compared to 550,000 in the Pakistan Army--had the advantage in terms of numbers. But it was a lumbering beast. India's vast size meant the army was spread more thinly across the country than in Pakistan, acting as a brake on mobilization. Its three armoured strike corps, designed to strike deep into Pakistan territory, were based in central India and took nearly three weeks to maneuver into position because of their sheer size. THe slowness of the mobilization gave Pakistan enough time to prepare its defenses....Much of the equipment pressed into frontline service, from Vijayanta tanks of 1970s vintage to even older artillery pieces, was barely suited to fighting a modern war. It was only when the Indian Army began to mobilize that its slowness and shortages ---of road vehicles for deployment, missiles, ammunition, and war stores---became apparent. "The very first few days of Operation Parakram exposed the hollowness of our operational preparedness," said General V.K.Singh, who was then with XI Corps in Punjab. Having lost the advantage of surprise because of its slow mobilization, the Indian Army did not have enough superiority in numbers and equipment to guarantee a decisive victory. Nor could it rely on air power to make up for its weakness on the ground. At independence, India had abolished the role of commander-in-chief of all armed forces, replacing it with three weaker, co-equal, service chiefs who each had a tendency to go their own way. Thus though India's air power was superior to that of Pakistan in 2001-2002, the different branches of its armed forces were not integrated enough to consider a ground assault backed by air strikes and close air support. Had India pressed ahead with an attack on Pakistan that January--and in such situation is with the defender--it risked becoming quickly bogged down. "The slender edge that India had could have led to nothing but a stalemate and...a stalemate between a large and much smaller country amounts to victory for the smaller country, " said Brigadier Kanwal in an analysis of India's military preparedness. Nor did India have the capacity to dig in for a long war where its greater size relative to Pakistan could have eventually triumphed. Thanks to cutbacks, it had run down stocks of ammunition to save money. Even without Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons to deter an Indian invasion, the balance of power in conventional forces was enough to give pause for thought."
Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan Navy (PN) has released one of the first images of its Zarb land-based anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system (also known as the Zarb Weapon System) being test-launched.

In the April issue of its Navy News magazine, the PN published a photograph of the Zarb ASCM being fired from an 8×8 transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle at the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara, Balochistan Province, as part of the recently conducted naval exercise ‘Sealion III’.

The missile, which was fired by the PN’s Naval Missile Regiment under the Naval Strategic Force Command, successfully hit its intended target, said the publication without providing further details about the test or the system.

Other than the colour scheme, the missile shown in the images appears to be a Chinese C-602, which is the export variant of the domestic YJ-62. The C-602 is a medium-range anti-ship/land-attack missile, which has a stated maximum range of 280 km and is armed with a 300 kg high-explosive semi-armour-piercing (SAP) warhead.

The TEL vehicle used to fire the Zarb ASCM features three container launch units (CLUs) and is also almost identical to that used by the YJ-62 mobile coastal defence system operated by China’s People’s Liberation Army.

The TEL vehicle has a main front cab, a separate rear command cab, a power-generation system, and an elevating launch platform holding the three CLUs.

Although arranged differently and of a different coloration, the CLUs also appear to be exactly the same as those used by the Chinese Navy’s Luyang II (Type 052C)-class destroyers.
Riaz Haq said…
The full story behind this vestige of the Kargil occupation as per an article published in Front line in September,2000 ,titled "

The strange story of Peak 5353 began with the end of Operation Vijay, and the proclamation of a national triumph at Kargil. Point 5353, like the features around it, had been occupied by Pakistan troops at the start of the Kargil war. Indian soldiers, how ever, were nowhere near its summit when hostilities were pronounced to have ended, in the wake of a United States-authored Pakistani pullout. All that had been achieved was the occupation of two secondary positions on the Marpo La ridgeline, Charlie 6 an d Charlie 7. Indian troops had also been unable to evict Pakistani soldiers from Point 5240, some 1,200 m as the crow flies from Point 5353. 56 Brigade Commander Amar Aul, in charge of the operations to secure Point 5353, responded by occupying two heigh ts on the Pakistani side of the LoC, 4875 and 4251, just before the ceasefire came into force.
Aul's tactics, evidently under political pressure to bring about a quick end to hostilities, were designed to secure a subsequent territorial exchange. In mid-August 1999, his efforts to bring about a deal bore fruit. Extended negotiations between the Br igadier and a Pakistani interlocutor, who called himself Colonel Saqlain, led to both sides committing themselves to leave unoccupied Points 5353, 5240, 4251 and 4875. Both Indian and Pakistani troops were pulled back to their pre-Kargil positions, leavi ng an aerial distance of about a kilometre between the armies along most of the Marpo La ridge. The deal was not an ideal one, for 5353 was of enormously more strategic importance to India than either 4251 or 4875 was for Pakistan, but it was better than nothing.
Towards the end of October, things began to go wrong. Aul tasked the 16 Grenadiers to take Point 5240 and the 1-3 Gurkha Rifles to occupy 5353, choosing to violate the August agreement rather than risk the prospect that Pakistan might reoccupy these posi tions. While the 16 Grenadiers attack proceeded as planned, despite bad weather, the men of 1-3 Gurkha Rifles, for reasons which are still not clear, never made their way up 5353. When Pakistan troops detected the Indian presence on 5240, they promptly l aunched a counter-assault on 5353. Seven days later, in early November, the Grenadiers unit on 5240 watched Pakistan take up positions on the more important peak. Saqlain, who is now believed to be facing court martial proceedings in Pakistan, was left c omplaining that Aul's ill-considered course of action was treacherous and dishonest.
Pakistan moved rapidly to consolidate its position on 5353. Concrete bunkers came up on the peak, and a road was constructed to its base from Benazir Post, Pakistan's most important permanent post in the area. Meanwhile, Aul considered plans to retake th e peak. He did not have much choice. India's positions on 5240 and Pathar post were under threat, along with positions of the 2 Naga in Mushkoh, the 2 Grenadiers in Drass, and the 8 Sikh in Bhimbet. Offensives were discussed in January and February, and again in May and August, but had to be abandoned each time because of the risks involved. With 5353 and its adjoining area now linked by road to Pakistan's rear headquarters at Gultari, and with the defensive positions heavily fortified, any attack would mean a full-blown resumption of hostilities in Drass.
Riaz Haq said…
Commander ordered capture of Point 5353 in Kargil war

By Praveen Swami

NEW DELHI, JUNE 29 . Indian soldiers had attempted to capture Point 5353, a strategically-important peak in the Dras sector, in the first days of the Kargil war. New evidence that such an assault took place blows apart contradictory claims by the former Defence Minister, George Fernandes, and top military officials that the feature does not lie on the Indian side of the Line of Control.

An investigation by The Hindu has gained access to orders issued to Major Navneet Mehra of the 16 Grenadiers Regiment, ordering him to lead an assault on Point 5353, so named for its altitude in metres. It is the highest feature in the Dras sector, and allows the Pakistani troops to observe National Highway 1A, as well as an alternative Dras-Kargil route that is now under construction.

Major Mehra's men were asked to evict the Pakistani intruders on Point 5353 by 6 a.m. on May 18, 1999. The officer's plan was to set up three fire bases along the base of the peak to support the infantry assault by two groups.

Although backed by some artillery, both groups faced a difficult climb, under direct fire from both the Pakistani positions on Point 5353 and Point 5165.

However, Major Mehra's despatches note, his commanding officer, Col. Pushpinder Oberoi, gave specific orders "to go for it at any cost." Col. Oberoi's troops failed to execute his instructions. Ill-equipped for the extreme cold, and not properly acclimatised to the altitude, the troops withdrew after suffering 13 casualties. The attack was finally called off at 3 a.m. on May 19, 1999.

After news broke that the Pakistani troops occupied Point 5353, the Indian Army denied that the peak had ever been held by India, or, indeed, was on its side of the LoC. A press release issued on August 11, 2000, asserted that the "point was never under our control either before or after Operation Vijay in Kargil." Mr. Fernandes seemed to disagree. Asked about the status of Point 5353 at a subsequent press conference, he insisted that "every inch of the land is under our control."

Mr. Fernandes' subsequent statements added to the confusion. Speaking to an audience in Mumbai, he said "Point 5353 is the point over which the LoC goes. Fact is, our troops had never occupied that."

However, on January 1, 2001, the Press Information Bureau issued a photograph of Mr. Fernandes standing on what it claimed was Point 5353. Later, the PIB was forced to sack a junior staffer for "an administrative error."

War-time media reports, based on Army briefings, suggest that further efforts to take the peak were made from July 21, 1999, well after the fighting had officially ended. While these efforts were unsuccessful, the available evidence suggests that then-56 Brigade Commander Amar Aul responded by occupying two heights on the Pakistani side of the LoC, 4875 and 4251.

sSubsequently, the local commanders hammered out a deal, where both agreed to leave points 5353, 5240, 4251 and 4875 unoccupied.

Towards October-end, for reasons still not clear, the 16 Grenadiers were ordered to take Point 5240 and the 1-3 Gurkha Rifles Point 5353. While the 16 Grenadiers' attack proceeded as planned, despite bad weather, the 1-3 Gurkha Rifles, for reasons still not clear, never made their way up to Point 5353. When the Pakistani troops detected the Indian presence on 5240, they promptly reoccupied Point 5353.
Riaz Haq said…
Return of Haji Pir Pass in 1965 – Myth and the Reality

Read more at:

By Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, PhD
Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 Aug , 2015
In 1965 war, Indian Army had captured the strategic Haji Pir Pass. During the Tashkent talks between Indian and Pakistan, held through the good offices of Soviet Union, India agreed to return Haji Pir Pass, Pt 13620 which dominated Kargil town and many other tactically important areas. To add myster ..

One- had the pass been held by us, the distance from Jammu to Srinagar through Poonch and Uri would have been reduced by over 200 Kms. Two – later on Pak commenced its infiltration into J & K in 1965, through the Uri – Poonch Bulge which continues even today. They why did we commit this error of judgement?

Pak dagger into Indian heart in Chhamb Sector. Since Pakistani forces had already reached Fatwal ridge only four Kms. from Akhnoor, it could always resume operations for capture of Akhnoor. The author understood this implication better in 1987 when he was commanding his unit near Jauriyan, a few kilometers west of Fatwal Ridge. The Indian policy makers at that time did not
Riaz Haq said…
India's Aircraft Carriers: A Giant Waste of Time?
Can they really be used in a war against Pakistan?

by Robert Beckhusen

Most likely, India would attempt to enforce a blockade of Pakistan and use its carriers to strike land-based targets. But Pakistan has several means to attack Indian carriers — with near-undetectable submarines and anti-ship missiles — which must also operate relatively far from India itself in the western and northern Arabian Sea. China does not have a similar disadvantage, as the PLAN would likely keep its carriers close and within the “first island chain” including Taiwan, closer to shore where supporting aircraft and ground-based missile launchers can help out.

Thus, Indian carriers would be relatively vulnerable and only one of them will have aircraft capable of launching with standard ordnance and fuel. And that is after Vishal sets sail in the next decade.

To directly threaten Pakistan, the small-deck carriers will have to maneuver nearer to shore — and thereby closer to “anti-access / area denial” weapons which could sink them. And even with a third carrier, the threat of land-based Pakistani aircraft will force the Indian Navy to dedicate a large proportion of its own air wings to defense — perhaps half of its available fighters, according to 2017 paper by Ben Wan Beng Ho for the Naval War College Review.

“Therefore, it is doubtful that any attack force launched from an Indian carrier would pack a significant punch,” Ho writes. “With aircraft available for strike duties barely numbering into the double digits, the Indian carrier simply cannot deliver a substantial ‘pulse’ of combat power against its adversary.”

Essentially, this makes Indian carriers’ self-defeating, with the flattops existing primarily to defend themselves from attack rather than taking the fight to their enemy. Carriers are also expensive symbols of national prestige, and it is unlikely the Indian Navy will want to risk losing one, two or all three. Under the circumstances, India’s investment in carriers makes more sense symbolically, and primarily as a way of keeping shipyards busy and shipyard workers employed.

However, this is not to entirely rule out a carrier-centric naval strategy. Ho notes that Indian carriers could be useful when operating far out at sea and in the western Arabian Sea, effectively as escort ships for commercial shipping and to harass Pakistani trade. Nevertheless, this strategy comes with a similar set of problems.

“In any attempt to impose sea control in the northern Arabian Sea and to interdict Pakistani seaborne commerce by enforcing a blockade of major Pakistani maritime nodes, Indian carrier forces would have to devote a portion of their already meager airpower to attacking Pakistani vessels, thereby exacerbating the conundrum alluded to earlier,” Ho added. “What is more, Pakistani ships are likely to operate relatively close to their nation’s coast, to be protected by Islamabad’s considerable access-denial barrier.”

Another possibility is India massing its carriers in the later stages of a war after the Army and Air Force pummel and degrade the Pakistani military.

But this raises the question as to whether India strictly needs carriers at all if it cannot use them during the decisive periods of a conflict — as opposed to, say, less-expensive warships, and more of them, equipped with long-range missiles.
Riaz Haq said…
Are #Aircraft #Carriers Still Relevant? In the 1971 Indo-#Pakistan War, #India’s carrier, the Vikrant, was sent to the permissive Bay of #Bengal and not to the more contested northern Arabian Sea. @Diplomat_APAC #EastPakistan #Bangladesh #IndianNavy

By Ben Ho Wan Beng

At this juncture, let us revisit the Pacific War. During this conflict, William Halsey of the U.S. Navy was the archetypal aggressive and offensive-minded carrier admiral. His polar opposite, Raymond Spruance, was restrained and more adverse to risk. Hence, the big question is: In a future conflict involving carriers, would the leadership be in the mold of Spruance, the “Quiet Warrior”? Or would a “Bull” Halsey hold sway? The risk of losing a capital asset could play on the minds of the leadership, and it might take an existential threat to the homeland for carriers to be sent into a nonpermissive environment. Hence, it is likely that leaders, whether military or political, would deploy the vessel in a manner more akin to Spruance than Halsey.

It is worth noting that there has not been a direct clash-of-arms between great powers since World War II. Moreover, there has not been a major campaign at sea for over 30 years since the Falklands War. With very few reference points, any future conventional maritime campaign is likely to be cautious, with the side having the more valuable assets taking more probing actions.

Deterrence favors the A2/AD-centric nation in such circumstances.

Though carriers have not been in a high-end fight since 1944, there is evidence of them being deployed more cautiously in combat during the Cold War. In the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, India’s carrier, the Vikrant, was sent to the permissive Bay of Bengal and not to the more contested northern Arabian Sea. Similarly, during the 1982 Falklands campaign, the Royal Navy kept its two carriers farther from the area of operations than usual for fear of reprisals from Argentine airpower. It also bears notice that these two episodes occurred before the coming of age of precision-guided munitions and what the Russians termed as the reconnaissance-strike complex.

Moreover, in this current age where the “battle of the narratives” predominates, the enemy need not sink the carrier to secure a major political victory; this could be attained by merely hitting it (which may or may not cause significant damage). That said, even limited damage to the carrier force could be spun into a political victory for the adversary. Think China or Russia and their far-reaching information warfare (IW) edifices. To illustrate, the adversary’s IW machinery could amplify on social and other mediums a hit on a destroyer escorting the flat-top. The invincibility of the much-vaulted carrier task group could then be downplayed
Riaz Haq said…
Game-Changing #Chinese #Missile Aboard #Pakistan Frigates Could Dent #IndianNavy's #BrahMos Advantage. Chinese-made CM-302, which Pakistan will get, matches both the supersonic speed and the range of the #Indian Navy's BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles.

An export variant of the YJ-12 missile, the CM-302, is likely to be the primary weapon on board four new Chinese frigates being built for the Pakistan Navy at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.

The CM-302 matches both the supersonic speed and the range of the Indian Navy's BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, which have been deployed on several front-line frigates and destroyers of the Navy.

Senior defence officials monitoring the sale of new generation Chinese Type 054 frigates to Pakistan have told NDTV that the ships are likely to come armed with the CM-302, which they identify as a "new threat which represents a new capability."

But these officers also tell NDTV that "there is a long way to go for these missiles to become a credible threat for the Indian Navy" since the Pakistan Navy still lacks long-range sensors which need to target Indian platforms before a CM-302 can actually be fired.

"Possessing accurate targeting data, surveillance capability, and having the ability to penetrate a dense [Indian Navy] electronic counter-measures environment are a part of a complex matrix" that the Pakistan Navy's new frigates would need to overcome before they can attempt a missile launch.

Still, the acquisition of the CM-302 onboard the new Chinese-built frigates that will be inducted from 2021 means a lethal new capability for the Pakistan Navy.

According to, a leading online resource of emerging military threats, "the highlight of the YJ-12 is not its range but speed. It can reach 'Double Three' or 'Double Four,' namely a range of 300 kilometres at Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) or a range of 400 kilometres at Mach 4."

It is unclear if the Barak 8 Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM), deployed on India's newest Kolkata Class destroyers, have the ability to intercept a missile of this class. In response to a query from NDTV, senior Navy officers declined comment on whether the Barak 8 system has been test-fired against any supersonic anti-ship missile, let alone a missile that flies faster than Mach 2.

In an article in, Robert Haddick, an independent contractor at the US Specials Operations Command, has said "the YJ-12 is the most dangerous anti-ship missile China has produced."

According to Mr Haddick, "the arrival of the YJ-12 is one more indication of how the US Navy is falling further behind in the missile competition against China, exposing flaws in operating concepts that US and allied commanders and policymakers have relied on for years."

News of the possible Pakistani acquisition of the YJ-12/CM-302 broke on twitter late last month when the China State Shipbuilding Corporation organised the steel-cutting ceremony for the second of the four Type 054A/P frigates that Pakistan is receiving. A digital image (shown below) emerged which showcased a CM-302 missile mounted on a launcher on a Pakistan Type 054 frigate. It is unclear if this detailed digital image was sourced from an official release or was the work of a Naval analyst.
Riaz Haq said…
In 1980s, #Pakistan Air Force shot down 4 Su-22s supersonic fighter-bombers, 1 Su-25 “flying tank” piloted by future #Russian vice president Alexander Rutskoy. #PAF lost a single #F16, apparently struck by a missile fired by its own wingman. via @YahooNews

Pakistan’s F-16s have been no stranger to controversy for nearly four decades.

In response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Islamabad and Washington collaborated to train, organize and arm mujahideen resistance fighters in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. In retaliation, Afghan and Soviet warplanes began bombing the camps—and the PAF’s Chinese-made J-6 jets proved too slow to catch them.

Thus in 1981, Pakistan convinced the United States to sell it F-16 Fighting Falcon single-engine multi-role fighters—a then cutting-edge yet inexpensive-to-operate design with fly-by-wire controls affording it extraordinary maneuverability. The agile Falcon could attain speeds as high as Mach 2 and lug heavy weapons loads, though it did have a limited combat radius (around 350 miles) and early production models lacked beyond-visual-range missiles.

Between October 1982 and 1986, a total of twenty-eight F-16As and twelve two-seat F-16Bs were delivered to Pakistan via Saudi Arabia in Operations Peace Gate I and II. These outfitted the PAF’s No. 9, 11 and 14 Squadrons which flew patrols along the Afghan border, typically carrying two advanced AIM-9L and two cheaper AIMP-9P-4 Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles.

Unlike earlier heat-seekers which could lock on to the hot tail-pipe at the rear of an aircraft, the AIM-9L “Lima” Sidewinders could engage from any angle. The AIM-9L’s ability to hit opponents in a head-on-pass would soon prove particularly effective.

Between 1986 and 1990, the PAF credited th F-16 with shooting down ten Afghan and Soviet jets, helicopters and transport planes, with many additional claims unconfirmed. Soviet and Afghan records definitively confirm only six losses: four Su-22s supersonic fighter-bombers, one Su-25 “flying tank” piloted by future Russian vice president Alexander Rutskoy, and one An-26 cargo plane.

The PAF lost a single F-16, apparently struck by a missile fired by its own wingman. The F-16 patrols reportedly deterred more extensive bombardment of refugee camps on Pakistani soil, and disrupted Soviet efforts to resupply isolated outposts.

The Nuclear F-16 Controversy

By 1990 Pakistan had already placed Peace Gate III and IV orders for seventy-one improved F-16A/B Block 15s. But in October 1990, Pakistan’s nuclear research program led the United States to impose sanctions. Thus, twenty-eight newly-built F-16s for which Pakistan had already paid $23 million apiece were consigned to the desert Boneyard facility in Arizona, where they remained for over a decade.

In the late 1990s, the Clinton administration offered to deliver the jets in return for Pakistan refraining from nuclear tests—but such was not to be. On May 28, 1998 Pakistan detonated five underground nuclear devices in response to an Indian nuclear test. It became evident that the heavy-lifting F-16s would serve as one of Pakistan’s primary nuclear-weapon delivery systems, and intelligence reports indicated that No. 9 and No. 11 squadron F-16s were modified to deliver nuclear gravity bombs on their center pylons.

A year later the two nuclear powers engaged in a limited war when Pakistani commandos infiltrated the mountainous Kargil region of India. As Indian Mirage 2000s pounded the infiltrators while escorted by MiG-29s, F-16s flew combat air patrols along the Pakistani side of the Line of Control reportedly painting the Indian jets with their targeting radars—and vice-versa—in an effort to intimidate.

However, neither air arm was authorized to engage the other, so no air battles occurred. Nonetheless, three years later a PAF F-16B shot down an Indian Searcher II drone that had penetrated deep into Pakistani airspace.
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi's Global Danger: "Akhand Bharat" is #Nazi #Germany's "Lebensraum" of The 21st Century. #Hindutva #India #BJP #Hitler via @eurasia_future

The fact of the matter is that not every post-colonial leader harbours blood-soaked expansionist ambitions against neighbouring post-colonial states – but Modi does. Not every post-colonial leader rules on the basis of promulgating sectarian hatred against minorities – but Modi does. Furthermore, whilst empires like that of Britain sought to divide and rule for the purposes of securing material gain, Modi’s BJP is governed by a principle which seeks something far beyond divide and rule. The end-goal of the Hindutva philosophy to which Modi subscribes is not to divide and rule but to divide and eliminate. In this sense, Hindutva + political power is far more dangerous than was a British Empire whose violence was motivated by avarice, rather than conducted as an end in itself.

Long before the Lahore Resolution of 1940 and prior to Choudhary Rahmat Ali’s Pakistan Declaration, the political so-called philosophy of Hindutva was born. Hindutva’s founding father Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is a man whose shrines Narendra Modi has visited many times. Savarkar was also a man who argued for the use of rape against Muslims and other minorities as a “legitimate” political tool. But while many throughout the world are familiar with those who committed atrocities on behalf of the British Empire, including in instances such as the Amritsar Massacre, few are aware that the Hindutva call for the British to de-colonise India was not a righteous one, but instead was a call to replace British rule with something far worse.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his Hindutva brethren wanted Britain to leave so that the multicultural land that Britain ruled with an increasingly iron fist, could be transformed into a land where Hindu supremacy would be enshrined into the law of a modern state. As such, Savarkar opposed both the Quit India movement and later the partition of India. He did so however, not because he believed in a genuine multicultural democracy but because he believed in the opposite. The Hindutva political programme advocates for Hindu supremacist rule over not just the borders of modern India, but over the modern territory of Pakistan, Bangladesh and according to many Hindutva agitators, also Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, parts of Myanmar, and parts of China. This envisaged Hindutva empire known as Akhand Bharat, continues to be the default position of the Hindutva extremists of the RSS para-military group and its political wing, BJP.

Crucially, far from seeking to live harmoniously in a super-state, Savarkar and his comrades sought to subjugate and moreover eliminate non-Hindus based on the theory that Muslims and other minority religious groups represent an alien force living on supposedly pure Hindu lands. To bolster his fake view of history, Savarkar openly praised the fascist policies of Adolf Hitler who sought to cleanse Europe of supposed alien elements. He likewise praised Zionist leaders who believed were carrying out a unique duty to “reclaim” Palestine from “invaders”.

April 6, 2019 at 8:24 PM Delete
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney: Fighting tactical battles for one-upmanship. #Rafale and #S400 would certainly help Indian Air Force, but would not tilt the operational level balance in #India’s favor in conflict with #Pakistan via @thetribunechd

The issue, thus, is about tactics and operational level of war. The Pakistan military, learning from the Soviet Union, has always given importance to the operational level. This is why in the 1965 and 1971 wars, despite being more in bean-counting of assets, India never won in the western sector. Proof of this are the ceasefire line and the Line of Control, which otherwise would have been converted into international borders.

The situation, regrettably, remains the same today. Separate doctrines of the Army and the Air Force, and with each service doing its own training is evidence that no amount of modernisation would help if the focus of service chiefs remains on tactics. For example, after the Balakot operation, a senior Air Force officer told me that the PAF would not last more than six days. He believed in tactical linear success. What about the other kinetic and non-kinetic forces which impact at the operational level?

This is not all. Retired senior Air Force officers started chest-thumping about the Balakot airstrike having set the new normal. Some argued that air power need not be escalatory, while others made the case for the use of air power in counter-terror operations like the Army. Clearly, they all were talking tactics, not war. Had India retaliated to the PAF’s counter-strike, what it called an act of war, an escalation was assured. It is another matter that PM Narendra Modi had only bargained for the use of the IAF for electoral gains.

Talking of tactics, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa spoke about relative technological superiority. Perhaps, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman would not have strayed into Pakistani airspace if his MiG-21 Bison had Software Defined Radio (SDR) and Operational Data Link (ODL). The SDR operates in the VHF, UHF, Ku and L bandwidths and is meant to remove voice clutter. The ODL provides the pilot with data or text, in this case from the ground controller. The officer, separated from his wing-man, and without necessary voice and data instructions, unwittingly breached the airspace and was captured by the Pakistan army. There are known critical shortages of force multipliers in addition to force levels in the IAF. Surely, the IAF Chief can’t do much except keep asking the government to fill the operational voids. But, he could avoid making exaggerated claims since his words would only feed the ultra-nationalists, and support the Modi government’s spurious argument of having paid special attention to national security.

The same is the case with Rafale and S-400. These would certainly help, but would not tilt the operational level balance in India’s favour. For example, the IAF intends to use S-400 in the ‘offensive air defence’ role rather than its designed role of protecting high-value targets like Delhi, for which it was originally proposed. For the protection of high-value targets, the Air Headquarters has made a strong case to purchase the United States’ National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). This is ironic, because while S-400 can destroy hostile ballistic missiles, NASAMS can’t do so. It can only kill cruise missiles and other aerial platforms. The thinking at the Air Headquarters is that since there is no understanding on the use of ballistic missiles — especially with Pakistan — both sides are likely to avoid the use of ballistic missiles with conventional warheads lest they are misread and lead to a nuclear accident. So, NASAMS may probably never be called upon to take on ballistic missiles.

Given the direction of the relationship between the India and Pakistan, this assumption may not be the best to make when procuring prohibitively expensive high-value assets.

Riaz Haq said…
One Pakistani Navy Submarine Outsmarted the Entire Indian Navy

It’s not been long since the two nuclear states, Pakistan and India, stood at the brink of war. Soon after the Pulwama incident, the Indian Air force attacked and violated Pakistan’s airspace. But that was not the only operation the Indian military was carrying out at that time.

It has been revealed by an India publication that the Indian Navy was also in action at that time. According to the media report, the Indian Navy pulled a major part of its fleet from an exercise and deployed it close to Pakistani territorial waters.

The fleet included nuclear and conventional submarines. As the tensions between the two countries simmered, India started keeping a close eye on Pakistan Navy’s movements. It was unable to locate an advanced Pakistani Agosta-class submarines-PNS Saad.

The missing Pakistani submarine made the entire Indian Navy go on a hunt that lasted for 21 days. “All the areas where it could have gone in the given timeframe, extensive searches were carried out by the Indian Navy. P-8Is were pressed into service to locate the submarine along with the coastal areas of Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and other states,” states the media report.

The P-81s have been recently acquired by India from the US. They are the advanced maritime surveillance aircraft having potent anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Perceived Threat
According to the Indian government sources, the PNS Saad had vanished from near Karachi, and it could reach the Gujarat coast, India, in three days and the western fleet’s headquarters of Mumbai within five days. It was deemed a major threat to the security of India.

The Indian Navy took all the necessary steps to locate PNS Saad. The option of punitive military force was also made open, in case the submarine refused to surface. The country’s Navy committed its most potent assets to the search points. It employed satellites for the search and kept expanding its areas of search.

However, India claims that they finally located the Pakistan submarine in the country’s western territorial waters.

If the past events are recalled, Pakistan Navy had disclosed on May 5 that it had thwarted an Indian submarine from entering into Pakistani territorial waters, releasing a video as well. The claim was downplayed by the Indian side.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #Navy gets 2nd ATR-72 MPA, featuring acoustic processing system, sonobuoy launchers, broadband #satellite #communications system, electronic support measures suite, a self-protection suite, and 2 weapon hard-points, anti-#submarine warfare (ASW)

The Pakistan Navy (PN) has received the second of two ATR-72 twin-engine turboprops converted into maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) under a contract signed in 2015.

In a 10 July press release Germany-based company Rheinland Air Service (RAS) said that it handed over the second example of the type, which is now known as the RAS 72 Sea Eagle, during a ceremony held at RAS headquarters in Mönchengladbach shortly after the platform was introduced to the general public at the Paris Air Show 2019, which was held from 17 to 23 June.

The first aircraft, which was handed over by RAS in June 2018, re-entered service with the PN on 12 December 2018 in a ceremony held at naval air station PNS Mehran in Karachi (both ATR-72s had previously been in service with the PN as transports).

The RAS 72 Sea Eagle is equipped with a long-range, active electronically scanned array (AESA) multimode radar, as well as electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors to deliver aerial, maritime, and ground surveillance, according to RAS.

The platform also features an acoustic processing system, sonobuoy launchers, a broadband satellite communications system, an electronic support measures suite, a self-protection suite, and two weapon hard-points, enabling anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol capabilities. The PN's two RAS 72 Sea Eagles also feature Aerodata's mission management system, called AeroMission, for ASW.

"The variety of state-of-the-art on-board sensors enable operators and decision makers to detect and identify sensitive targets above or below the surface of the ocean, while transmitting all the information captured on-board in real-time to the dedicated command centre," said the company, adding that the RAS 72 Sea Eagle offers operational flexibility as it can be used not only for ASW and maritime patrol missions but also for search-and-rescue and other humanitarian operations.
Riaz Haq said…
Could Pakistan Sink an Indian Aircraft Carrier in a War?
What does the evidence suggest?

by Robert Beckhusen

Essentially, this makes Indian carriers’ self-defeating, with the flattops existing primarily to defend themselves from attack rather than taking the fight to their enemy. Carriers are also expensive symbols of national prestige, and it is unlikely the Indian Navy will want to risk losing one, two or all three. Under the circumstances, India’s investment in carriers makes more sense symbolically, and primarily as a way of keeping shipyards busy and shipyard workers employed.

The Indian Navy has put out a proposal for its third aircraft carrier, tentatively titled the Vishal due to enter service in the latter 2020s. The 65,000-ton Vishal will be significantly larger than India’s sole current carrier, the Vikramaditya known formerly as the ex-Soviet Admiral Gorshkov, and the incoming second one, the domestically-built Vikrantwhich is expected to enter service later in 2018.

To see why Vishal is a big deal for the Indian Navy, one needs only to look at her proposed air wing — some 57 fighters, more than Vikramaditya — 24 MiG-29Ks — and Vikrant‘s wing of around 30 MiG-29Ks. While below the 75+ aircraft aboard a U.S. Navy Gerald R. Ford-class supercarrier, Vishal will be a proper full-size carrier and India’s first, as the preceding two are really small-deck carriers and limited in several significant ways.

The Indian Navy is also looking at an electromagnetic launch system for its third carrier, similar to the one aboard the Ford class. India’s first two carriers have STOBAR configurations, in which aircraft launch with the assistance of a ski-jump, which limits the maximum weight a plane can lift into the air. Typically this means that fighters must sacrifice weapons, or fuel thus limiting range, or a combination of both.

Most likely, India would attempt to enforce a blockade of Pakistan and use its carriers to strike land-based targets. But Pakistan has several means to attack Indian carriers — with near-undetectable submarines and anti-ship missiles — which must also operate relatively far from India itself in the western and northern Arabian Sea. China does not have a similar disadvantage, as the PLAN would likely keep its carriers close and within the “first island chain” including Taiwan, closer to shore where supporting aircraft and ground-based missile launchers can help out.

Thus, Indian carriers would be relatively vulnerable and only one of them will have aircraft capable of launching with standard ordnance and fuel. And that is after Vishal sets sail in the next decade.

To directly threaten Pakistan, the small-deck carriers will have to maneuver nearer to shore — and thereby closer to “anti-access / area denial” weapons which could sink them. And even with a third carrier, the threat of land-based Pakistani aircraft will force the Indian Navy to dedicate a large proportion of its own air wings to defense — perhaps half of its available fighters, according to 2017 paper by Ben Wan Beng Ho for the Naval War College Review.

“Therefore, it is doubtful that any attack force launched from an Indian carrier would pack a significant punch,” Ho writes. “With aircraft available for strike duties barely numbering into the double digits, the Indian carrier simply cannot deliver a substantial ‘pulse’ of combat power against its adversary.”

Riaz Haq said…
Strategic implications of Pakistan’s coastal development
By Commodore Arshad Rahim. Retired Pakistan Navy

Historical Background

At the time of independence Gwadar had been under the suzerainty of the sultanate of Muscat and Oman since 1784. Soon after independence its potential as a port was pointed out by a naval officer Commander Jackson serving in the Directorate of Ports and Shipping as its Director. In 1954, at the request of the Government of Pakistan, the US Geological Survey engaged the firm Worth Condrick to carry out a survey of Pakistan’s coast. The firm confirmed the feasibility of development of Gwadar as a deep sea port long before its purchase from the Sultan of Oman on 7 September 1958. Its development, however, had to wait a long time because of the huge investment required not only of the port but also the supporting infrastructure across the entire stretch of the difficult and barren terrain of Balochistan.

The initiative for the development of Gwadar into a deep-water port eventually came from China at the turn of the twentieth century. China felt that Gwadar would provide the shortest route of access to sea not only to the less developed Western region of China but also through it to Central Asian states and Russia. It would also enable China to circumvent the Straits of Malacca through which the entire sea traffic to China from the west is routed and whose vulnerability in passage through the straits has been a major Chinese concern.

Construction of the port commenced in 2002 and on completion of the first Phase in 2007 it was leased to Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) for 40 years. The lease was, however, terminated in 2013 with the consent of the firm and the construction and operation of the port was reverted back to the Chinese government. Since then it is being operated by the state-owned firm China’s Overseas Port Holding Company.


The layout of the coastal infrastructure has improved manifold the maritime defence posture of Pakistan. It has enhanced the interception capability of Pakistan Navy and increased the vulnerability of Indian warships and submarines operating along Pakistan’s coast. For instance, the Indian Osa missile boats would not have been launch and get away with a missile attack on Pakistan Navy ships had they been operating from Ormara instead of Karachi in the 1971 war. Similarly, Pakistan’s ability of detection of Indian submarines deployed for interdiction of shipping traffic along the coast has significantly improved. In recent years Indian submarines have been detected south of Ormara at least on two occasions in 2016 and 2019 and forced to leave Pakistan’s waters. The second incident was soon after the shooting down of two Indian warplanes in February in Azad Kashmir when tensions were high and the forces of the two countries on high alert. On this Occasion an Indian submarine operating south of Ormara with hostile intent was detected, tracked, localised and forced to withdraw.


It is of course true that Pakistan Navy faces an adversary several times larger in size and capability in the north Arabian Sea. However, over the years the Pakistan Navy has evolved into a small but balanced, well trained, and competent force. With plans based on a sound strategy and advantages accruing on account of a vastly improved coastal setup, it is capable of giving a befitting response to any challenge posed by the Indian Navy and accomplishing its assigned mission in case of hostilities.
Riaz Haq said…
Report reveals #Pakistan’s progress on #military #equipment acquisitions on track amid financial woes. #Defense analyst Cloughley says Pakistan may have realized the use of tactical #nuclear weapons against #India would spark an uncontrollable escalation.

Author, analyst and former defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley told Defense News that emphasis on heavy armor indicates Pakistan’s “preparedness for conventional war, and it seems that the riposte is alive and being refined in direct answer to India’s overwhelming numerical superiority.”

Details of ongoing development, the replacement of foreign equipment as well as acquisition programs were recently released by the Ministry of Defence Production in its “Year Book 2017-18” document. The ministry oversees all aspects of state-owned military industrial enterprises, indigenous development programs and foreign acquisition.

The document highlights the prioritization of armored platforms and air power.

Efforts toward improving armored capabilities include finding substitutions to component imports and indigenous development, specifically:

The manufacturing of auxiliary power units for the Al-Zarrar and T-80UD tanks.
The development and trials of a sabot FSDS-T round.
The development of a driver’s thermal imaging/night vision periscope.
The assembly of engines for the Al-Khalid and T-80UD tanks.
The rebuilding and upgrading of 160 Type-85IIAP main battle tanks between 2019-2020 and 2021-2022.
A pilot effort to rebuild T-80UDs (completed in August 2019).
The continued rebuilding of M113-series armored personnel carriers.
The continued upgrade of Type-59 main battle tanks to the Al-Zarrar version.
The low-rate production of 20 Al-Khalid I tanks, plus the final-stage development of the Al-Khalid II (featuring an enhanced power pack and fire-control/gun-control system).

A program for a tracked infantry fighting vehicle, or IFV, was also mentioned in the ministry’s document. State-owned armored fighting vehicle manufacturer HIT developed the Viper to meet this need. The static prototype was displayed at the IDEAS2018 defense expo. The platform was based on the M113 series, but was armed with a Slovak Turra 30 unmanned turret.
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian cities are within #Pakistan’s #Raad 2 #ALCM range of 600 km of Pakistani airspace: #Delhi, #Agra, #Ahmedabad, #Jaipur, #Indore. Some of these cities were nominally in range of the #Babur #GLCM, but easier to get an ALCM closer than a GLCM TEL.

Pakistan on Tuesday carried out a successful test of its latest Ra’ad-II air-launched cruise missile, with a new range of 600 kilometers.

According to the military’s ISPR media branch, the homegrown Ra’ad-II “significantly enhances air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea." The weapon features enhanced guidance and navigation systems, “ensuring engagement of targets with high precision.”

When first unveiled as a mock-up in 2017 during an annual parade in Pakistan, the Ra’ad-II had a stated range of 550 kilometers. Slight changes to the intake design led to speculation that the extra range has been achieved due to a more advanced engine than that used in the Ra’ad-I, which has a range of 350 kilometers.

That speculation may have been correct. Though the footage from Tuesday’s test was deliberately low resolution, the rear of the Ra’ad-II appears to have been entirely redesigned with a new intake and control surfaces.

The Ra’ad-I had what may be described a large “twin tail,” whereas the Ra’ad-II appears to have adopted a more compact "X" configuration layout common with similar missiles in service elsewhere. That change should aid in its carriage on a wider range of platforms, perhaps even internally if Pakistan’s fifth-generation fighter program, Project Azm, bears fruit and features an internal weapons bay.

To date, the Ra’ad missiles have only been seen carried by Mirage III strike fighters, which have a wide-track undercarriage.

The range increase would allow the missile to launch well within Pakistan’s territory while being able to hit critical targets within India — New Delhi is roughly 430 kilometers from Lahore, for instance. That need has taken on a greater importance due to India’s air defense modernization efforts through the acquisition of systems such as the Russian S-400.

Washington also recently cleared the Integrated Air Defense System for sale to India.

Mansoor Ahmed, a senior fellow at the Center for International Strategic Studies in Islamabad who specializes in Pakistan’s nuclear program and its delivery platforms, believes the Ra’ad-II is “Pakistan’s answer to India’s development of the Nirbhay cruise missile.”

He believes Ra’ad-II “will significantly enhance the operational and targeting flexibility of the air leg of Pakistan's strategic forces.”

“It gives enhanced capability for precision strikes against critical military targets on land and at sea from safer standoff ranges. With its extended range, hitherto invulnerable sites, forces and assets can now be taken out with greater precision that were previously only covered by Pakistan’s ballistic missiles," he said.
Riaz Haq said…
600 kilometer range Ra'ad 2 air launched #cruise #missile is #Pakistan's latest response to #India's acquisition of #Russian S-400 & #American “Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS). #Raad2 #ALCM can hit #Delhi, #Agra, #Ahmedabad, #Jaipur, #Indore

The new longer-range Ra’ad II “significantly enhances air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea,” ISPR said in a February 18 statement. “The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring engagement of targets with high precision.”

A video of the launch released by ISPR shows the Ra’ad II being launched from a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Mirage III fighter aircraft. ISPR referred to the new weapon system as “a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability.”

The Ra’ad II was first publicly revealed as a mock-up in 2017 during Pakistan’s annual military parade in Islamabad.

The 4.85 meter-long Ra’ad-II had a stated range of 550-600 kilometers. It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads.

Pakistan’s Ra’ad (also known as the Hatf VIII) series bears a resemblance to several South African stand-off missile projects, including the MUPSOW cruise missile and Torgos long-range guided weapon. Pakistan and South Africa have worked together on advanced weapons development in the past.

The 350-kilometer variant of the Ra’ad cruise missile was first test-launched by the Pakistan Air Force in 2007. The development of the latest Ra’ad II variant may in part be influenced by India’s air defense modernization efforts.

Pakistan’s February 16 test launch comes after the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 10 February that the U.S. Department of State had approved a potential $1.86 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to India of an “Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS).”

The IADWS sales package includes a range of sensors, weapons systems, and support equipment. The potential sale also includes AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems, AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles and associated guidance and control equipment, and Stinger FIM-92L missiles.

India is also in the process of procuring Russian-made Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler). India placed a $5.5 billion order for five S-400 air defense squadrons (regiments) for service in the Indian Air Force.

Given compatibility and interoperability issues, India would have to operate the two systems in isolation.

The acquisition of the Russian long-range air defense systems has caused strong opposition from the United States, which has threatened economic sanctions on India under U.S. legislation known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Riaz Haq said…
Here's How China Made Pakistan Into a Military Powerhouse

Multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) are some of the deadliest artillery systems on the battlefield. Combat experience in the Donbass has proven that MRLs can wipe out entire units if they remain static and unprepared. The A-100 is one of the latest MRL systems, reaching operational capability around 2,000. The first units were sold to Pakistan by China around 2008, since then Pakistan has built facilities to indigenously produce rockets for the system. Long-range MRLs are fielded by both India and Pakistan, with Indians fielding the Soviet/Russian BM-30 Smerch MRL. Rocket artillery could incur massive casualties in rear areas in the opening stages of a conventional conflict, as such both MRL systems are considered to be key parts of conventional deterrence strategies for India and Pakistan.

The VT-1A, alternatively known as the Al-Khalid or MBT-2000 is one of the more capable tanks in the region. Designed as a joint project between Pakistan and China, the design was practically clean slate. Production tanks have thermal gunner’s sights, a panoramic commander’s sight, and a 125mm gun. While not up to the standard of modern Russian or Western tanks, the VT-1A is more than capable of combating the T-72Ms that form the bulk of the Indian tank forces. However, the more advanced T-90S may pose issues to the VT-1A. However, Pakistan is considering acquiring the VT-4, China’s further development of the VT-1A design.

While the Pakistani military has long relied on the Pakistan Air Force for air defense, the Pakistan Army has acquired the Chinese HQ-16 medium-range surface to air missile (SAM) for the defense of its formations on the ground. A deep modernization of the Russian Buk SAM, the HQ-16 utilizes vertical launch and containerized missiles to enhance reaction times. HQ-16 batteries are also said to be highly mobile, allowing them to avoid artillery and SEAD/DEAD attacks. Pakistan is also in negotiations to buy the longer ranged Chinese HQ-9 system, a Chinese analog to the Russian S-300 long-range SAM.
Riaz Haq said…
Retired PAF Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail:

Mr. Modi has apparently not yet been briefed by his Air Staff about the JF-17’s upcoming PL-15 BVR missile guided by the new AESA radar, which beats the Rafale’s ramjet-powered Meteor by several tens of kilometers. It is manifest that long range BVR combat will take precedence over close combat in any future conflict, and enemy aircraft will be shot out of the skies while remaining well inside their own territory.

While we are at it, it may be worthwhile to have a cursory line comparison of the Rafale, F-16A and JF-17 in one-on-one visual air combat.

All three aircraft have a ‘clean’ configuration Thrust-to-Weight Ratio of 1:1 and can climb and accelerate equally well. In a turning fight, Aspect Ratio and Wing Loading are critical parameters. The JF-17 and F-16A enjoy better Aspect Ratios of 3.7 each, compared to the Rafale which stands at 2.6. A better Aspect Ratio (square of wing span to wing area) implies better aerodynamic efficiency due to less induced drag during turning. As for Wing Loading, or the weight of the aircraft per unit area, the lesser the better. The Rafale has a slight edge, having 68 lbs/sq ft compared to the JF-17 and F-16A, both of which have Wing Loadings of 77 lbs/sq ft. A lightly loaded wing helps in a tighter turn, though in case of the Rafale, this advantage is overcome by greater induced drag due its lower Aspect Ratio. In sum, all three fighters are at par, more or less, in a turning fight.

Induction of the Rafale in IAF has created considerable media interest, and the impression has been created that with immediate effect, IAF will rule the Indian skies. It must, however, be remembered that it will be at least two years before the Rafale achieves anything close to Full Operational Capability. PAF, on the other hand, has been flying F-16s for 37 years, including hot scenarios during the Afghan War, in local counter-insurgency operations, and the latest Operation ‘Swift Retort,’ downing half a dozen enemy fighters in these operations. The JF-17 has been fully operational for over a decade, and is expected to replace the legacy fighters over the next five years. These combat-proven PAF fighters are fully integrated with the air defence system, and are mutually data-linked, alongside all AEW and ground sensors. Such capabilities are not achieved overnight, and it will be several years before the Rafales can be considered a threat in any real sense.

Any immediate impact of the Rafale on IAF’s air power capabilities is, thus, simply over-hyped. This inference, however, must not be dealt with lightly, as there is a distinct possibility of the Indian Prime Minister using the Rafale for a false-flag operation in a surreptitious manner, to prove his point that, “with the Rafale, the results would have been different,” from those of 27 February 2019.
Riaz Haq said…
Chuck Yeager, Test Pilot Who Broke the Sound Barrier, Is Dead at 97
A World War II fighter ace and Air Force general, he was, according to Tom Wolfe, “the most righteous of all the possessors of the right stuff.”

Chuck Yeager, the most famous test pilot of his generation, who was the first to break the sound barrier and, thanks to Tom Wolfe, came to personify the death-defying aviator who possessed the elusive yet unmistakable “right stuff,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 97.

His death, at a hospital, was announced on his official Twitter account and confirmed by John Nicoletti, a family friend.

General Yeager came out of the West Virginia hills with only a high school education and with a drawl that left many a fellow pilot bewildered. The first time he went up in a plane, he was sick to his stomach.

But he became a fighter ace in World War II, shooting down five German planes in a single day and 13 over all. In the decade that followed, he helped usher in the age of military jets and spaceflight. He flew more than 150 military aircraft, logging more than 10,000 hours in the air.

His signal achievement came on Oct. 14, 1947, when he climbed out of a B-29 bomber as it ascended over the Mojave Desert in California and entered the cockpit of an orange, bullet-shaped, rocket-powered experimental plane attached to the bomb bay.

An Air Force captain at the time, he zoomed off in the plane, a Bell Aircraft X-1, at an altitude of 23,000 feet, and when he reached about 43,000 feet above the desert, history’s first sonic boom reverberated across the floor of the dry lake beds. He had reached a speed of 700 miles an hour, breaking the sound barrier and dispelling the long-held fear that any plane flying at or beyond the speed of sound would be torn apart by shock waves.

“After all the anticipation to achieve this moment, it really was a letdown,” General Yeager wrote in his best-selling memoir “Yeager” (1985, with Leo Janos). “There should’ve been a bump in the road, something to let you know that you had just punched a nice, clean hole through the sonic barrier. The Ughknown was a poke through Jell-O. Later on, I realized that this mission had to end in a letdown because the real barrier wasn’t in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight.”

Nonetheless, the exploit ranked alongside the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903 and Charles Lindbergh’s solo fight to Paris in 1927 as epic events in the history of aviation. In 1950, General Yeager’s X-1 plane, which he christened Glamorous Glennis, honoring his wife, went on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

His feat put General Yeager in the headlines for a time, but he truly became a national celebrity only after the publication of Mr. Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff” in 1979, about the early days of the space program, and the release of the movie based on it four years later, in which General Yeager was played by Sam Shepard. He was depicted breaking the sound barrier in the opening scene.
Riaz Haq said…
Q: Of all the pilots you've flown iwth, which do you respect the most and why?A: In 1971-73, I flew with the Pakistan Air Force in the war with India. They were the best in the world because they had the most experience - over 75 hours/month.

Riaz Haq said…
How will #Pakistan Kill #India’s New Aircraft Carriers? It has several means to attack Indian carriers — with near-undetectable #submarines & anti-ship #missiles — which must also operate relatively far from India itself in #ArabianSea. #SouthAsia

To directly threaten Pakistan, the small-deck carriers will have to maneuver nearer to shore — and thereby closer to “anti-access / area denial” weapons which could sink them. And even with a third carrier, the threat of land-based Pakistani aircraft will force the Indian Navy to dedicate a large proportion of its own air wings to defense — perhaps half of its available fighters, according to 2017 paper by Ben Wan Beng Ho for the Naval War College Review.

“Therefore, it is doubtful that any attack force launched from an Indian carrier would pack a significant punch,” Ho writes. “With aircraft available for strike duties barely numbering into the double digits, the Indian carrier simply cannot deliver a substantial ‘pulse’ of combat power against its adversary.”

To see why Vishal is a big deal for the Indian Navy, one needs only to look at her proposed air wing — some 57 fighters, more than Vikramaditya — 24 MiG-29Ks — and Vikrant‘s wing of around 30 MiG-29Ks. While below the 75+ aircraft aboard a U.S. Navy Gerald R. Ford-class supercarrier, Vishal will be a proper full-size carrier and India’s first, as the preceding two are really small-deck carriers and limited in several significant ways.

The Indian Navy is also looking at an electromagnetic launch system for its third carrier, similar to the one aboard the Ford class. India’s first two carriers have STOBAR configurations, in which aircraft launch with the assistance of a ski-jump, which limits the maximum weight a plane can lift into the air. Typically this means that fighters must sacrifice weapons, or fuel thus limiting range, or a combination of both.

The Indian Navy is searching for a foreign-sourced twin-engine fighter for the Vishal, with the U.S. F/A-18 and French Rafale in the running, and India has already ordered 36 multi-role Rafales for its air force. This is a blow to advocates of an Indian-made fighter for the carrier such as naval version of the delta-wing HAL Tejas, which is too heavy for carrier work

But regardless of what kind of fighters Vishal uses, the question is whether India really needs a third carrier, which will cost billions of dollars over its lifetime. To be sure, a third and much larger carrier will free up the burden on the Vikramaditya and Vikrant, only one of which is likely to be battle-ready at any given time.

These smaller carriers probably have fewer operational fighters than they do on paper, given that the air wings likely have serviceability rates below 100 percent. Vikramaditya by itself could have significantly less than 24 MiGs capable of flying — and fighting.

Now imagine a scenario in which these carriers go to battle.

Most likely, India would attempt to enforce a blockade of Pakistan and use its carriers to strike land-based targets. But Pakistan has several means to attack Indian carriers — with near-undetectable submarines and anti-ship missiles — which must also operate relatively far from India itself in the western and northern Arabian Sea. China does not have a similar disadvantage, as the PLAN would likely keep its carriers close and within the “first island chain” including Taiwan, closer to shore where supporting aircraft and ground-based missile launchers can help out.

Thus, Indian carriers would be relatively vulnerable and only one of them will have aircraft capable of launching with standard ordnance and fuel. And that is after Vishal sets sail in the next decade.
Riaz Haq said…
Aircraft carrier

The INS Vikrant is the first India's indigenous aircraft carrier. It is also the largest warship ever built in India. Development of such a complex warship signifies a high degree of India's self-reliance in this field. Currently only four other countries in the world, including United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia are capable of construction aircraft carriers of this size.

Work started on this ship in 2005. Originally it was planned to enter service with the Indian Navy in 2014. However due to constant delays the ship will be commissioned not earlier than in 2020. Indigenous Indian weapon programs are typically plagued with delays and setbacks due to technical difficulties, funding problems, procurement problems and corruption. The INS Vikrant aircraft carrier is no exception. Once comissioned, it will operate alongside INS Vikramaditya, a former Kiev class aircraft carrier, that has been refitted and was commission with the Indian Navy in 2014. It has been reported that second ship of the class is also planned.

The Vikrant has broadly similar capabilities as the INS Vikramaditya. It can carry up to 36 aircraft and helicopters. The hangar accomodates a total of 17 aircraft and helicopters, while remaining 19 can be stored on the flight deck. There are two elevators. The Vikrant is fitted with sky jump and will have to take-off runways.

It has been reported that main weapon of the Vikrant will be its fighter aircraft. It will carry a mix of Russian MiG-29K and Indian carrier-borne version of the HAL Tejas and, possibly, Sea Harrier. The multi-role MiG-29K will be the primary air superiority and ground attack aircraft.

The ship will also carry Russian Ka-31 early warning helicopters, Ka-28 anti-submarine helicopters, HAL Dhruv utility helicopters, and, possibly helicopters of other types.

Defensive weapons of the Vikrant will include Israeli long-range air defense missiles. It is reported that two 16-cell vertical launch systems will be installed. Also the ship will be fitted with Russian AK-630 close-in weapon systems. Some sources report that the ship will also have four 76 mm naval guns.

This aircraft carrier has conventional propulsion. It is powered by four LM 2500 gas turbines, generating 80 MW of power and driving two shafts. The INS Vikrant will have a range of about 8 000 nautical miles (15 000 km).

Once commissioned the INS Vikrant will join the INS Vikramaditya. So within the next couple of years Indian Navy will operate two large modern aircraft carriers.

Riaz Haq said…
Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, told Defense News the speculation can be put aside with the unveiling of a Pakistani ship-launched ballistic missile, dubbed P282.

“Imagery revealed during the commissioning of Tughril confirms that the ‘P282′ is the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) CM-401 hypersonic-speed capable anti-ship ballistic missile,” Fisher said. The CM-401 is a short-range ballistic missile that can maneuver to avoid interception and can allegedly travel at Mach 6.

Highlighting the flexibility of the Type 054A/P, Fisher said the Tughril is the “first Chinese export warship to feature a 32-cell vertical launch system that can be armed with an array of anti-aircraft missiles, ship and land-attack cruise missiles and anti-submarine missiles, as they are on PLA Navy Type 054A frigates.”

The Type 054A/P also carries HHQ-16 medium-range air defense missiles that provide an area defense capability. Pakistan has experienced a capability gap since its lease ran out with the United States for four American Brooke-class frigates in 1994.

Pakistan’s four F-22P Zulfiquar (Type 053H3-derivative) frigates are incapable of dealing with modern missile threats, but might receive upgrades with the fielding of the Type-054A/Ps.

Tom Waldwyn, a naval expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the Type 054A/P ships “will be a considerable improvement … particularly in terms of [anti-submarine warfare] capability” over the 1970s-era ex-British Type 21 frigates that Pakistan acquired in the 1990s. The Type 21s will now undergo decommissioning.

However, he added, India’s Navy “maintains a significant numbers and capability advantage over Pakistan” despite its own programs having suffered “significant delays” and the service’s spread-out deployment among several coastal areas.

Furthermore, the “potentially more lucrative Indian market” had lured European, Russian and American firms away from supplying Pakistan, essentially forcing Islamabad to rely on Beijing for defense equipment, he said.

Though this may have hampered Pakistan’s ability to acquire cutting-edge defense equipment, Waldwyn said the delivery of eight Type 039B Yuan/Hangor II-class submarines will “enlarge the fleet and be a significant capability improvement, particularly if they are fitted with long-range cruise missiles.”

Citing Pakistan’s tests of the submarine-launched Harbah nuclear-capable cruise missile, he said their service entry “would be far more significant to the strategic balance than a handful of new frigates.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan resumes armor modernization as terror threat recedes

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s armor modernization efforts are maturing amid a refocus toward archrival India and away from operations against the militant group TTP, otherwise known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan.

With India having ordered the advanced T-90MS tank, built a large fleet of T-90A tanks and upgraded most T-72M1 tanks, Pakistan is countering with its own acquisition and upgrade programs for new types of vehicles and improved battlefield integration.

Though low-level acquisition continued throughout the TTP campaign, author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad Brian Cloughley explained that necessity demanded larger programs be cut back or frozen.

“The expansion of Taliban and other militant activity, particularly in regions along the border with Afghanistan which are inaccessible to heavy vehicles, focused the army on COIN [counterinsurgency]. It was a budgetary decision, backed by tactical pragmatism,” he said. “But it was acknowledged that as counterinsurgency wound down, so could armor programs be reinstituted.”

The Pakistan Army effectively defeated the TTP-led threat after first launching Operation Zarb-e-Azb (or “Cutting Blow” in English) from 2014 to flush out domestic and foreign terrorists in the ungoverned spaces along the border with Afghanistan.

The TTP and its allies had until then mainly held territory in rugged Waziristan, in the essentially self-governed Federally Administered Tribal Areas that were later absorbed into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

This was followed by Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (or “Elimination of Strife”) from early 2017, a combined ongoing military-civilian effort to eliminate terrorist sleeper cells nationwide.

Fencing along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border is also largely complete, restricting the movement of remaining TTP forces.

The Taliban recently retook control of Afghanistan following a U.S. withdrawal from the country. The group subsequently assured Pakistan it will not allow TTP remnants to attack the country.

Though there are occasionally low-level terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the government there has felt confident enough to offer amnesty to TTP members on the condition they lay down arms and surrender.

However, Cloughley said, the Army “has not effected a ‘switch’ from counterterrorism, which as in all armies continues to be a very high priority in asset management, technology and training.”

Still, he added, “the years of emphasis have been productive, and the Army now feels its primary role — continental defense against India — can be allocated more resources than it has been able to commit for the past 20 years.”

What armor upgrades are in the works?
Some of Pakistan’s latest armor developments were revealed during a Nov. 9 visit by Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa to state-owned armored fighting vehicles manufacturer Heavy Industries Taxila, or HIT.

Bajwa inspected the upgraded production facilities and ongoing projects, including:

Newly developed protection measures and remote weapon stations for main battle tanks.
An indigenously developed 155mm artillery gun barrel.
Ballistic and improvised explosive device protection for armored fighting vehicles.
Programs to manufacture, rebuild and upgrade armored personnel carriers and tanks.

Notably, footage of the visit shows the indigenous Viper infantry fighting vehicle and a modernized version of the Type-85APII main battle tank. At one point, a Type-85APII turret is visible with an exposed composite armor module, possibly indicating replacement with a new type.

An industry source with knowledge of HIT’s ongoing programs told Defense News on the condition of anonymity that the Viper was undergoing pilot production. The source also said Ukrainian-supplied T-80UD tanks have been equipped with a new thermal gunner’s sight and a locally developed solid-state autoloader.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan resumes armor modernization as terror threat recedes

Though he was unable to provide details on the Type-85APII upgrade, Defense News understands it was upgraded along similar lines to the T-80UD.

HIT officials previously told Defense News that the T-80UD and Type-85APII tanks would receive upgrade after undergoing a pilot rebuild, although the Type-85APII fire and gun control systems had already received some attention, and the gunner was already equipped with a thermal sight.

The Type-85APII has also received an upgraded power pack, with some sources now referring to the platform as the Type-85UG.

Future hopes are pinned on the VT-4, with the first delivered in April 2020. It entered service around June 2021.

Though derived from the Type-90II/Al-Khalid, the VT-4 features the improved gun of China’s high-end Type-99A main battle tank and therefore can fire the same rounds with greater penetrative power compared to Pakistan’s other tanks. The VT-4 also has more advanced composite and reactive armor; China’s third-generation thermal imaging systems; more advanced fire and gun control systems; and a Chinese-made powertrain.

Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the VT-4 and related technology will deliver an element of parity between India and Pakistan.

“NORINCO’s VT-4, as a direct purchase or as the basis for the domestically produced Al-Khalid 2, would offer Pakistan a wide array of modern tank technologies competitive with the Russian T-90MS being acquired by India, from powertrain to fire control, high velocity gun, gun-launched anti-tank missiles and active protection systems,” he said.

However, he cautioned, “rough parity may be unsatisfactory for both Pakistan and India, so both likely will seek regular available upgrades or next-generation options.”

Unlike with the original Al-Khalid, Pakistan avoids with its VT-4 a reliance on expensive European sighting systems and the occasionally problematic supply of Ukrainian powertrains. But there is no indication that the Chinese powertrain will replace that shared by T-80UD and Al-Khalid tanks.

The Viper is based on the Saad armored personnel carrier (similar to the American Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle), featuring additional armor protection and the unmanned Slovakian Turra 30 combat module with a 30mm gun and two anti-tank missiles. It carries a crew of three, plus nine dismounts.

Pakistan’s shift to infantry fighting vehicles comes many years after other major armies, which Cloughley said was unavoidable.

“IFVs are expensive, and their operation requires a great deal of training at all levels, which the Army, of necessity concentrating on counterinsurgency operations, did not want to commit to,” he explained. “The [Pakistan Army] has always wanted IFVs, and now sees the opportunity for a balanced introduction program, taking into account unit training.”

The Army is also sharpening its armored warfare skills, having this year held a series of large-scale exercises to improve integration among the various branches of its ground force, including infantry, mechanized forces, combat aviation, surveillance platforms, air defense and artillery.

Cloughley believes emphasis is also “being placed on maneuvers in the nuclear battlefield, and that closed-down operations are being practiced on almost all exercises.”

“HIT has always been conscious of the importance of developing [nuclear-, biological- and chemical-protected] technology, and crew comfort has received attention,” he said.

While the Army will be relieved its armor modernization program is back on track, Cloughley issued a word of warning: “While I agree that it is very important that the [Pakistan Army] continues to improve interoperability and must upgrade its armored capabilities, it must not lose sight of the COIN imperative, which is a significant aspect of its mission.”
Riaz Haq said…
China’s ‘Most-Powerful’ Missile Defense System Likely To Be Deployed Along Both LAC & LOC
EurAsian Times Desk
October 21, 2021
Pakistan Army’s air defense unit has recently inducted a variant of the Chinese-made HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system most likely to be deployed along the LOC. China had earlier deployed these missiles along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), its de facto border with India.

The HQ-9/P (P for Pakistan) high-to-medium air defense system (HIMADS) was inducted into the Pakistan Army at a ceremony held at the Army Air Defence Centre, Karachi. Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was in attendance at the event.


Powered By ‘On The Fly’ Algo, China Says Its AI-Controlled Hypersonic Missiles Can Hit Targets With 10 Times More Accuracy

The latest defense collaboration between the ‘iron brothers’, Pakistan and China, may be seen as a fresh threat to India, whose military has long been strategizing to tackle two-front war challenges.

The Hóng Qí-9 (HQ-9), literally the ‘Red Banner-9’, is a Chinese medium- to long-range, active radar homing SAM system. The weapon uses an HT-233 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar system, which has a detection range of 120 km with a tracking range of 90 km.

The system has four different types of radar — Type 120 low-altitude acquisition radar, Type 305A 3D acquisition radar, Type 305B 3D acquisition radar, and H-200 mobile engagement radar. In terms of capability, HQ-9 can be compared with the Russian S-300 and American Patriot air defense systems.

The EurAsian Times had earlier speculated that HQ-9 missile battery could feature one 200 kW Diesel generator truck, and eight transporter erector launchers (TELs) each with 4 missiles, totaling 32 rounds ready to fire.

A variety of equipment can be added to the system to make larger, more capable formations. Among the equipment that can be added is one TWS-312 command post, one site survey vehicle based on the Dongfeng EQ2050, additional transporter/ loader vehicles with each vehicle housing four missile TELs based on Tai’an TAS5380, etc.

Big Breakthroughs: After Landing Taikonauts On ‘Space Station’, China Tests World’s ‘Largest Solid-Fuel Rocket Engine’
Various units of these highly mobile systems have finished conducting long-distance maneuvers and drills.

China has developed multiple variants of this SAM system. The Hǎi Hóng Qí-9, literally the ‘Sea Red Banner-9’, is HQ-9’s naval variant. It seems to be quite identical to the land-based version.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has deployed the HHQ-9 in its Type 052C Lanzhou-class destroyer in Vertical Launch System or VLS tubes.

An anti-radiation variant of the missile system has also been designed and developed by China. The export designation for the air defense version is Fang Dun-2000 (FD-2000), literally meaning defensive shield. Its is developed by China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation (CPMIEC). It comes with anti-stealth capability.

Meanwhile, the HQ-9A version of the missile features advanced electronic equipment and software that provides it with increased accuracy and probability of kill. The HQ-9B has a longer range and is equipped with an extra seeker.

This new vertical launch, ground-to-air missile defense system has a target range of over 250 km and up to a height of 50km.

The naval variants of the missile are HHQ-9A and HHQ-9B. HQ-9C is currently under development. It is expected to be equipped with fully active radar homing.

Meet Pakistan’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft That Reportedly Detected Indian Navy Submarine Near Karachi

Riaz Haq said…
What's behind Pakistan's rumoured purchase of Chinese fighter jets?

While there is no official confirmation from Islamabad, Ejaz Haider, a Pakistani military analyst, also says that “the purchase has been made and the first batch will fly on 23rd March, which is Pakistan's Republic Day,” according to multiple reports.

The primary threat against Pakistan comes from India, resulting in wars and conflicts, says Haider, reminding us that the most recent escalation happened in Feb 2019 “when India aggressed against Pakistan.”

Why now?

“India operates the French Rafale and the capability is boosted by the Russian S-400 A2-AD system. As a result, that threat has to be tackled not just in relation to intentions but also capabilities. Pakistan cannot afford to allow major asymmetries in relation to its adversary,” Haider tells TRT World, explaining why Pakistan is making the purchase.

In July, the Indian defence ministry announced its purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Interestingly, Pakistan will also procure 36 warplanes from China, suggesting it’s a direct retaliation against New Delhi’s move.

“Pakistan’s F-16 fighters are aging already and Pakistan’s own JF-17 Thunder is in the making. We actually needed to create a deterrent to face India’s purchase of Dassault Rafale,” Javed tells TRT World.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jet F-16 performs to commemorate the country's 'Operation Swift Retort', following the shot down of Indian military aircrafts on February 27, 2019 in Kashmir, during an air show in Karachi, February 27, 2020. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters Archive)
While Pakistanis cannot create a direct symmetry with the Indians considering the size of New Delhi’s military, Islamabad wants to ensure with the purchase of Chinese jets that it can compete in near-equal terms, according to Javed.

“The Pakistan air force is one of the top air forces in the world,” he says.

Haider agrees with that assessment.

“PAF is a professional air force which, despite constrained resources, has performed brilliantly against the Indian Air Force. The February conflict proved that once again. That said, even top-shelf human resource and training requires state-of-the-art platforms,” he says.

Why Chinese jets?

China is a close ally of Pakistan due to various clashing points between Beijing and New Delhi across South Asia as Asia’s two major powers compete with each other to secure their political and economic interests in the strategically vital region.

This equation means Pakistan and China share plenty of common ground on a number of issues, developing strategic ties and increasing military cooperation. But there are also other reasons for Pakistan’s purchase of Chinese jets.

“Pakistan Air Force needs a 4.5 generation multirole fighter. European fighters are very expensive and the US is not an option because of suspension of security assistance with Islamabad, despite Pakistan being nominally a Non-Nato Ally,” Haider says.

“Pakistan faces remarkable sanctions from the US despite its purchase of F-16s,” Javed says. As a result, like Turkiye, Pakistan has moved to create indigenous solutions to develop its military hardware in the face of US opposition, he says.

Even operating F-16s is problematic for Pakistan because Washington places restrictive conditions on their use, Javed says. There are also problems related to its repair process, he adds. China does not usually place conditions on the weapons it sells to other countries.

Riaz Haq said…
Can #Pakistan counter #India’s new S-400 air defense system? Aerospace expert Douglas Barrie:“In and of itself, I see the S-400 acquisition having little to no impact on the overall credibility of the Pakistani [nuclear] deterrent” #AirDefense #Missiles

“Pakistan’s missile tests over the past several years appear to demonstrate enhanced accuracy and penetration capability in view of India’s growing investment in missile defenses. It has also introduced the [multiple independent reentry vehicle]-capable Ababeel ballistic missile system, designed to defeat any dedicated Indian anti-missile system,” he said. “While the S-400 remains a highly capable air defense system at best, its utility against missiles has yet to be proven in real-time conditions.”

Nevertheless, the S-400 does pose a considerable threat to Pakistan’s conventional deterrent.

“Suppression or destruction of enemy air defense (SEAD/DEAD) will likely have taken greater priority for the Pakistani Air Force in response to the S-400 acquisition,” Barrie said. “Options include acquiring more capable anti-radiation missiles, improved electronic countermeasures and aircraft self-protection.”


Overconfidence in its newly acquired S-400 air defense system may give India a false sense of invulnerability and increase the likelihood of a military miscalculation involving archrival Pakistan, analysts warn.

“Indian rhetoric appears to suggest a belief that the S-400 effectively makes its airspace impenetrable and its forces invulnerable,” Mansoor Ahmed, a senior fellow at the Pakistan-based think tank Center for International Strategic Studies who studies the country’s nuclear program and delivery systems, told Defense News.

Consequently, there are concerns “India may be emboldened to resort to military adventurism, believing its ‘Cold Start’ doctrine for punishing strikes and destabilizing incursions into Pakistan” is an assured success, he said.

Deliveries of India’s five S-400 regiments began in December 2021, with initial deployments along the Indo-Pakistan border.

On paper, the defensive — and potentially offensive — anti-access, area denial capabilities of the S-400 appear formidable. The system is reportedly effective against aircraft, UAVs, and ballistic and cruise missiles, with the latter capability potentially neutralizing Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent.

Its layered coverage is provided by a combination of the 40-kilometer-range 9M96E, 120-kilometer-range 9M96E2, 250-kilometer-range 48N6, and 400-kilometer-range 40N6E missiles, enabling it to protect large areas, high-value targets and itself from attack.

It is also highly mobile, can be made operational 5 minutes after arriving at a new location and therefore can be regularly relocated to avoid detection.

However, aerospace expert Douglas Barrie at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, told Defense News the S-400 “should not be underestimated, neither should it be over-estimated.”

A notable claimed feature of the S-400 is its potential offensive capability that would restrict an adversary’s use of its own airspace. For Pakistan, due to its geography and the long border it shares with India, the weapon system would cover most of the country.

However, Barrie is unconvinced. “Its much-touted maximum engagement range is dependent on the variant of surface-to-air missile deployed, the acquisition ranges of the associated radars in the operational area, the capacity of the personnel to effectively exploit the system, and also the steps and countermeasures any opponent might take.”

India plans to integrate the S-400 into its existing air defense network, which consists of indigenous and Indo-Israeli systems.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Air Force going out on a roll and disclosing several new acquisitions:
1. Bayraktar Akinci drones.
2. Bayraktar TB-2 drones.
3. HQ-9B SAMs.


Yes PAF is acquiring the HQ-9B SAM, aside from the Pakistan Army’s acquisition of the HQ-9P.


YLC-8E radar as well
Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan Army is Evolving its Strike Capabilities

On 13 January 2022, the Pakistan Army (PA) started taking delivery of SH-15 self-propelled howitzers (SPH) from China’s Norinco Group. Publicly accessible export-import records show that Pakistan got 76 packages comprising of both vehicles and transfer-of-technology (ToT) equipment for its ammunition.

The SH-15 is a 155 mm/52-caliber SPH capable of firing extended range and guided artillery shells. These include HE ERFB-BB-RA (High-Explosive Extended-Range Full Bore Base-Bleed Rocket-Assisted)/VLAP (very long-range artillery projectile) rounds. VLAP rounds can offer a range of around 50 km. In terms of guided shells, the SH-15 can fire laser-homing, satellite-guided, and top-attack projectiles.

Not only does the SH-15 extend the range of Pakistan’s artillery coverages, but it also offers a vehicle with which the PA can undertake targeted strikes at a high volume. Guided shells are much more cost-effective than guided rockets (such as the 140 km-range Fatah-1), for example. Moreover, the SH-15 sets the stage for the PA to look at more advanced artillery shells, such as ramjet-powered projectiles.

However, the SH-15 is just one piece of the Army’s efforts to build its precision, stand-off range capability. Rather, Pakistan is building a family of assets through guided shells, guided rockets, and drones to build a varied and versatile strike capability from land.

SH-15: A Refocus on Artillery
The induction of the SH-15 marks the start of Pakistan’s refocus on modernizing artillery. The SH-15 itself is the Army’s first 155 mm/52-caliber gun, but, as noted above, it also supports an array of new capabilities such as VLAP shells and guided projectiles. In 2017, officials Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) were quoted saying that the Army could acquire 500 wheeled SPHs. The fact that Pakistan will manufacture the VLAP shells under license indicates that a large 155 mm/52-caliber howitzer requirement is abound…


Pakistan buys SH-15 howitzers to compete with India
This howitzer can attack up to a distance of 53 km
Pakistan is buying 236 howitzers from China, delivery has started
Islamabad: Pakistan has bought Pakistan SH-15 Howitzer from China to counter India. This howitzer will be mainly deployed in mountainous areas along the border with India. Made in China, this weapon can fire 155 mm shells. This Howitzer (SH-15 Howitzer) is fitted on the chassis of the truck. In such a situation, it can be easily deployed from one place to another in a short time. It is reported that Pakistan had signed a deal to buy 236 SH-15 155 mm howitzers from China in 2019. Some of these units have been handed over to Pakistan this year. In 2018 also this howitzer appeared at a Defense Expo in Karachi. It was also told that Pakistan had also tested this howitzer in the hilly areas near Karachi.

This new 155mm truck-mounted howitzer from China first appeared in 2017. The SH-15 howitzer is based on the design of the older SH-1 gun from China. It was made primarily for export. Now China has made many improvements to the new SH-15 howitzer. The SH-15 was inducted into its army by the Chinese Army in 2018 or 2019 under the name PCL-181 (PCL-181 China). This howitzer was deployed in place of China’s old PL-66 field howitzer. China first publicly displayed this operational howitzer during a military parade in 2019.

This howitzer can hit up to 53 km
The range of the PCL-181 howitzer is said to be 53 km. This howitzer is capable of firing 155 mm NATO ammunition as well as indigenous ammunition. A total of five crew members are required to operate it. The weapon is fitted on the chassis of a Shaanxi truck with 6×6 wheels. The cabin of this truck has been made bulletproof. The windows and windshield in the cabin are bulletproof. One of its trucks is fitted with four boxes to carry 60 rounds of ammunition.

Riaz Haq said…
Should India insist on large warships after sinking of Russia’s Moskva?

Moskva rests at the bottom of the Black Sea and its loss could animate India’s maritime debate involving large naval ships. But the warning sign that must hang over it, is that its relevance to the Indian context can be different.

The loss of a key surface naval asset to cruise missiles provides fodder to buttress some arguments in an ongoing global debate within maritime powers. The debate is an offshoot of a larger debate on the survivability of large platforms like aircraft carriers due to their vulnerability to precision-guided munitions like cruise missiles. It is a debate that is particularly relevant to India and one that continues to animate the Indian Navy’s insistence on the continued relevance of the aircraft carrier.

Technological advancements in surveillance capabilities that are networked with missiles based on air, land, and sea platforms have certainly increased the vulnerability of surface naval assets. Accuracy is significantly improved by using a combination of Global Positioning Signals (GPS), laser guidance and inertial navigation systems. Simultaneously, the development of countermeasures also reduces the vulnerability factor. It is a cat-and-mouse game in technology development that mostly tends to favour the attacker over the defender. The obvious route for the attacker is to overwhelm the defender’s ability by firing a large number of missiles simultaneously on the same target. Also, the pace of development and cost of missiles that can penetrate the defender’s missile shield is quicker and cheaper than developing and fielding missile defences.
Riaz Haq said…
News From India:

New Pakistani radars, including one being installed now, close to Balakot
Pakistan is strengthening its radar system. A TPS-77 multi role radar, that can spot not just fighters, but drones, and ballistic missiles is being installed at Cherat, about 200 from Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan has decided to place a dozen radars, in strategically significant locations, mostly in Punjab and also, in Sindh.

Srinjoy Chowdhury

Three years after Balakot, the attack by the Indian Air Force on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp, Pakistan is strengthening its radar system. In February 2019, Indian fighters entered Pakistan airspace, flew all the way to Balakot, dropped its bombs on the terror camp and returned with the PAF nowhere in sight.
A TPS-77 multi role radar, that can spot not just fighters, but drones, and ballistic missiles is being installed at Cherat, about 200 from Balakot, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the strikes happened. Installing the Lockheed Martin radar at Cherat is part of a plan to fit these radars all over the country. Pakistan has decided to place a dozen other radars, in strategically significant locations, mostly in Punjab and also, in Sindh. some are already functional.

* Kamra, known for its Pakistan Air Force base in Punjab.
* Arifwala in Pakpattan, also in Punjab
* Malir, near Karachi, Pakistan's largest city in Sindh.

* Dera Nawab Khan in Punjab.
* Deosai near Skardu, in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, specifically in the Gilgit Baltistan area. Skardu, of course, is an important air base.
* Mangla, where an army corps HQ is located in the Jhelum district.
* Pasrur in the Sialkot district of Punjab. Sialkot, is also a big city.
* Chunian, near Kasur in Punjab.
* Bholari, where there is a Pakistan Air Force base. It is in Sindh, not far from Karachi.
* Pano Aqil in Sukkur, Punjab, where a cantonment is located.
* Badin, in Sindh and,
* Bhawalpur, where the Army's 31 Corps HQ is located.
Of the 13, eight have already been delivered and five more are due.
Riaz Haq said…
'Pakistan isn't Collapsing, India Should Focus on Silver Linings. Boycott or War Aren't Options'

In a 30-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire to discuss his book ‘India’s Pakistan Conundrum’, Sharat Sabharwal ( ex Indian Ambassador to Pakistan) identified three preconceived notions that the Indian people must discard. First, he says it’s not in India’s interests to promote the disintegration of Pakistan. “The resulting chaos will not leave India untouched”.

Second, Indians must disabuse themselves of the belief that India has the capacity to inflict a decisive military blow on Pakistan in conventional terms. “The nuclear dimension has made it extremely risky, if not impossible, for India to give a decisive military blow to Pakistan to coerce it into changing its behaviour.”

Third, Indians must disabuse themselves of the belief that they can use trade to punish Pakistan. “Use of trade as an instrument to punish Pakistan is both short-sighted and ineffective because of the relatively small volume of Pakistani exports to India.”


Historically, the relationship between India and Pakistan has been mired in conflicts, war, and lack of trust. Pakistan has continued to loom large on India's horizon despite the growing gap between the two countries. This book examines the nature of the Pakistani state, its internal dynamics, and its impact on India.

The text looks at key issues of the India-Pakistan relationship, appraises a range of India's policy options to address the Pakistan conundrum, and proposes a way forward for India's Pakistan policy. Drawing on the author's experience of two diplomatic stints in Pakistan, including as the High Commissioner of India, the book offers a unique insider's perspective on this critical relationship.

A crucial intervention in diplomatic history and the analysis of India's Pakistan policy, the book will be of as much interest to the general reader as to scholars and researchers of foreign policy, strategic studies, international relations, South Asia studies, diplomacy, and political science.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan has shown remarkable resilience in the face of adversity – evidenced most tellingly by its recovery following the humiliating defeat in 1971. It has recovered significantly from the terror backlash, which followed Musharraf’s U-turn in the wake of 9/11. Fatalities in terror violence that mounted sharply from 2004 onwards, reaching the peak of 11,317 in 2009 (civilians, security forces personnel and terrorists), were down to 365 in 2019. Similarly, fatalities in suicide attacks, which reached the peak of 1,220 in 2010, were down to 76 in 2019. The secular decline in fatalities as a result of the violence perpetrated by the terror groups operating against the Pakistani state, seen since 2009, is however not visible in the case of the killings in sectarian violence. At the peak of the terror wave in 2010, such violence claimed 509 lives. The number has waxed and waned during the subsequent years and stood at 507 and 558 in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The number of Shias killed has also not shown a secular decline since 2009 and has waxed and waned.8 Clearly, Pakistan’s action against terror has been focused essentially on the terror groups attacking the Pakistani state and not the groups perpetrating terror outside Pakistan or indulging in sectarian violence.

Sabharwal, Sharat. India’s Pakistan Conundrum (pp. 148-149). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.


In conclusion, it can be said that Pakistan is neither a failed state nor one about to fail in the foreseeable future. Further, so long as the army remains a largely professional and disciplined force, having at its disposal Pakistan’s rapidly growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, the probability of a change in Pakistan’s external boundaries would remain very low. Therefore, a policy premised on the failure or disintegration of the Pakistani state would hinge on unsound expectations. However, because of the various factors examined in the previous chapters, Pakistan will continue to be a highly dysfunctional state with widespread lawlessness.

Sabharwal, Sharat. India’s Pakistan Conundrum (p. 149). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

Should India work to break up Pakistan? A body of opinion in India recommends that India should be proactive in causing the disintegration of Pakistan. For the reasons mentioned in Chapter 6, a policy premised on disintegration of the Pakistani state would hinge on unsound expectations. However, let us examine, for the sake of argument, the consequences of heightened turmoil in/break up of Pakistan for India. The unwise policies of Pakistan’s rulers have already resulted in considerable turbulence there. Though the Pakistani state uses terror against India, it is calibrated by its instrumentalities. Heightened chaos in Pakistan leading to collapse of the state authority will not leave India untouched. Let us not forget that Pakistan has continued to pay a heavy price for having caused instability in its neighbour – Afghanistan – something I repeatedly recalled to my Pakistani audiences. Collapse of the state will also present India with a humanitarian crisis of a gigantic proportion, with the terrain between the two countries offering an easy passage to India for those fleeing unrest in Pakistan. At the height of terrorism in the Pakistani Punjab in 2009–10, some of my interlocutors in Lahore were candid enough to say that in the event of a Taliban takeover, they would have no option but to run towards India. Break up of Pakistan could lead to a civil war amongst the successor states or worse still among various warring groups vying for influence, as was the case after collapse of the state authority in Afghanistan, entailing the undesirable consequences mentioned above and perilous uncertainty concerning the ownership of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Alternatively, India may be faced with a hostile Pakistani Punjab in possession of nuclear weapons. In either case, it will be bad news for India.

Sabharwal, Sharat. India’s Pakistan Conundrum (pp. 290-291). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.
Riaz Haq said…
3 cheers for INS Vikrant & 3 questions for India’s leadership on naval doctrine

by Shekhar Gupta

Key points:

1. Indian aircraft carrier is powered by American General Electric turbines

2. Russian MIG 29s require a lot of maintenance. These will be replaced with French Rafales or US F-18s in future.

3. Chinese aircraft carriers are totally indigenous (including engines, weapons, and aircraft) are much bigger

4. China has developed "aircraft carrier buster missiles" to deal with hostile nations' Navies.

5. Indian Navy hid its aircraft carriers from Pakistani submarines during 1965 and 1971 wars.

6. Indian-American analyst Ashley Tellis questions the utility of Indian aircraft carriers in the absence of India's geopolitical aims and its Naval Doctrine.


Ashley Tellis on submarines vs aircraft carriers


The Unusual Carrier Killer Capability Of The Chinese Navy’s Strategic Bomber - Naval News

China’s recent test of a hypersonic ‘Orbital Bombardment System’ has been characterized as a ‘Sputnik moment’. The world is only just waking up to Chinese advances in strategic weapons technologies. Among a raft of new weapons, which increasingly do not have direct equivalents in the West, are anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs). One of these, an air-launched version, appears to include a hypersonic maneuvering missile.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s PL-15 Missile Equipped JF-17 Block 3 is a Serious Game Changer - How India Can Respond to Regain Superiority,%2D29%20and%20Su%2D30MKI.

Despite considerable investments in modernisation, the balance of power in the air with neighbouring Pakistan may soon deteriorate as the Pakistani Air Force pursues a far cheaper modernisation program for its own fighter fleet centred around two main programs - the JF-17 and Project AZM. The most advanced variants of the JF-17 the JF-17B and JF-17 Block 2 currently have capabilities comparable to lower end Indian fighters. These jets are overall slightly superior to the Mirage 2000, but face a considerable disadvantage if facing the MiG-29 or Rafale - let alone the Su-30MKI which would retain an overwhelming advantage across the spectrum. These JF-17 variants nevertheless represent a considerable upgrade for the Pakistani Air Force from reliance on near obsolete J-7 and Mirage III fighters, and currently form the elite of the fleet alongside American F-16C Fighting Falcons. The JF-17 is the only Pakistani fighter other than the F-16 equipped with active radar guided air to air missiles - namely the PL-12 with a 100km range.

While the JF-17 Block 2 represents is far from a qualitative peer to the majority of the Indian fleet, the upcoming JF-17 Block 3 variant unveiled in December 2019 appears set to be a game changer for Pakistani aerial warfare capabilities. The fighter integrates some limited stealth features, a more powerful engine, a larger AESA radar, the first ever infra red search and track system on a Pakistani fighter, new electronic warfare systems and PL-15 long range air to air missiles. With an estimated range of 200-300km, the PL-15 will outrange all of India’s existing air to air missiles built for use against fighters - from the 80km range MICA used by Rafale and Mirage 2000 jets to the 110km range R-77 used by the MiG-21, MiG-29 and Su-30MKI. With Pakistan potentially fielding over 100 of these new fighters, including both single and twin seat variants, the JF-17 Block 3 could be a serious game changer.

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