Pakistani Military's Conventional Deterrence Against India's Cold Start Doctrine

It is widely assumed that India enjoys substantial conventional military superiority over Pakistan. Many speculate that the difference between the conventional military strengths of the two South Asian rivals is so great that Pakistan would be forced to quickly resort to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an Indian attack. Are these assumptions and speculations accurate? How has the situation evolved since the nations went nuclear in 1998? Are nukes Pakistan's only deterrence against Indian aggression? Let's examine the answers to these questions based on the recent work of several analysts and authors.

India-Pakistan Standoff 2001-2002:

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, there was an incident with several gunmen entering the Indian parliament building and killing 14 people on December 13, 2001. India immediately accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack and vowed to respond militarily. Pakistan categorically denied India's accusations.

What followed was a massive mobilization of Indian troops to the Line of Control in Kashmir and the international border with Pakistan.  It was dubbed "Operation Parakram" by the Indian Army.  Pakistan responded with its own major mobilization of troops on its side of the LoC and the international border. Thus began the longest standoff between the two neighbors.

By October 2002, India began to pull back its troops along her border and later Pakistan did the same, and in November 2003 a cease-fire between the two nations was signed. Why did India back off from its explicit threats to attack Pakistan? A recent book "Defeat is an Orphan" by Myra McDonald answers this question as follows:

"Since partition, the Indian 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."

India's Cold Start Doctrine:

The Failure of India's Operation Parakram forced some soul searching and a re-evaluation that gave birth to the Indian Army's Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). It is a limited-war strategy designed to quickly seize Pakistani territory without provoking a a nuclear conflict. Supposedly a secret strategy, Indian Army Chief General Rawat confirmed its existence in 2017. Here's an analysis by Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood of India's CSD and Pakistan's expected response:

"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."


Source: SIPRI

India's Conventional Superiority:

Professor Walter Ladwig III of the Department of War Studies at London's Kings College  says that India's conventional edge over Pakistan is overblown. In a 2015 paper, Ladwig wrote that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege". Here's an excerpt of Ladwig's paper titled "Indian Military Modernization and Conventional Deterrence in South Asia":

"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 tactical nuclear 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".






Summary:

Common assumptions about India's insurmountable conventional superiority over Pakistan are not founded in reality, according to military experts.  Professor Walter Ladwig of the War Studies Department at London's Kings College believes that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege".  Pakistan's  NCWF (New Concept of War Fighting) developed in response to India's CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) is designed to "mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot", according to Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood. Ladwig sums it up well: "Despite a growing technological edge (over Pakistan) 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".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?

Pakistani Military's Performance in 1971 War

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s MIRVs like Ababeel are designed to penetrate India’s anti ballistic missile defense systems that India is working on with Israel’s help

It’s part of the strategy to maintain both strategic and conventional deterrence to keep peace in the region
Riaz Haq said…
Kings College War Studies Prof Walter Ladwig on the impact of terrain in India-Pakistan conflict:

http://www.walterladwig.com/Articles/Conventional Deterrence in South Asia.pdf

The 2,900km long Indo-Pak border is characterized by diverse and
varied terrain that has differential impacts on military operations. To
the north in Kashmir –—which has seen fighting in four wars –the
landscape is mountainous and heavily forested. When combined with a
lack of wide roads, the movement of vehicles and large military
formations is significantly hindered. Moreover, much of the highaltitude
territory suffers from significant snowfall in winter, high levels
of rain, and overall low visibility, the combination of which limit the
operability and payload of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, as well
as disrupting surveillance and surface communications.47 Depending on
the time of year, it is possible to conduct large-scale military operations
across the Line of Control (LoC) separating Indian and Pakistani
controlled Kashmir in the areas of Jammu south of the Pir Panjal
mountain range and the Kashmir valley.48 However, difficult terrain
and under-developed transport infrastructure in these areas hinders the
ability to concentrate forces, control dispersed units, and marshal
reinforcements and supplies.49 Consequently, as Jack Gill notes a
‘verity’ of combat in Kashmir is that ‘a combination of weather, terrain,
and logistical hindrances … makes swift, deep penetrations unlikely, if
not impossible, in the face of even minor resistance.’
50 This is hardly
ideal for a limited aims offensive that seeks to succeed by quickly
overwhelming or bypassing defending forces.
A second section of the border running from Southern Jammu and
Kashmir through the Punjab down to northern Rajasthan is marked by
a near continuous line of concrete irrigation canals that stretch for
2,000km. Not only does this network of canals and their tributaries –
which have a horizontal depth of up to several kilometers in some
places –form an obstacle in its own right, they have been turned into
defensive fortifications with the addition of large pilings of soil, concrete
bunkers, minefields, and fortified gun emplacements.51 This barrier
system –which runs as close as several kilometers to the international
border –significantly hinders the offensive operations of armored
vehicles while providing concealed fighting positions for defensive
troops who are protected from direct fire and artillery weapons.
Securing a bridgehead and mounting a cross-canal assault against a
dug-in opponent can be expected to be a time consuming and bloody
affair. Beyond the canals, many areas of Pakistani Punjab are densely
populated with several sprawling urban centers, which would also limit
the pace of military operations and the potential for battlefield
awareness.
This section of the border poses several problems for a limited aims
offensive. Regardless of whether the attacker achieves strategic surprise,
as Mearsheimer notes, the kind of forward defenses found here pose
problems for limited incursions on the ground because they allow even
thinly populated defenders to offer stiff resistance.52 Moreover, the
limited aims strategy is based on the belief that in the face of a
successful offensive a defender will either acquiesce or attempt a
counterattack against the aggressor turned defender that results in an
attritional stalemate so costly they eventually abandon it.53 In this
respect, it should be noted that both Kashmir and the Punjab hold great
political significance for both the Indian and Pakistani governments.

Loss of territory in these areas would be unacceptable to the defender,
who would be pressured to escalate the conflict either horizontally or
vertically instead of abandoning further military action.
Riaz Haq said…
Kings College War Studies Prof Walter Ladwig on the impact of terrain in India-Pakistan conflict:

http://www.walterladwig.com/Articles/Conventional Deterrence in South Asia.pdf

The third section of the international border, where the Sindh and
Punjab meet, is often described as Pakistan’s major point of strategic
vulnerability. It is in this region, between Sukkur and Rahim Yar Khan,
where the country’s primary north–south transportation artery runs
extremely close to the international border. Consequently, some
analysts have suggested that this leaves Pakistan extremely vulnerable
to a central assault that would spilt the country in two.54 It would be a
significant reversal for the Pakistani government were Karachi and
Hyderabad in the south cut off from Lahore and Islamabad in the north
by a limited incursion. However, that historical risk has been signifi-
cantly alleviated by the construction of a largely parallel highway on the
western side of the Indus River that can facilitate the movement of
goods and military traffic while remaining screened from the international
border by a major river. Although this region lacks the extensive
fortifications described in the northern Punjab, the presence of irrigation
canals and the Indus River will constrain the available axes of
advance for a military force moving from the border towards the
Sukkur–Rahim Yar Khan region. This in turn will allow Pakistani
forces to fight from prepared positions, albeit not as hardened as those
found further north.
The southern-most sections of the international border, consisting
of the flat, barren deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat are extremely
suitable for mechanized military operations. Indeed, during the
2001–2002 Operation ‘Parakram’ the Indian Army reportedly concentrated
all of its offensive forces in Rajasthan, suggesting that the
Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch is a likely location for either side
to undertake a large-scale armored offensive.55 Although the open
expanse of the Thar Desert lacks the kind of obstacles to a rapid
advance found further north, it also lacks the strategic value attached
to those regions. Irrigated and developed on the Indian side of the
border, on the Pakistani side areas of the harsh desert have been left
empty to provide a natural buffer-zone.
The story is similar in the Rann of Kutch, which depending on the
monsoons, is alternately a windswept desert or a salt marsh. In either
instance, the region has been described by one observer as ‘one of the
world’s least valuable pieces of real estate.’
56 Although relatively easy to capture in a limited aims offensive, neither of these two areas
would offer particularly useful leverage in post-conflict negotiations.
Loss of territory in this region would not impose a major cost on
Pakistan and if anything would allow it to trade space for time as it
readied a counterattack against Indian forces in significantly exposed
terrain.
The particular geography of the Indo-Pak border would inhibit an
RMA-enabled Indian limited aims offensive in two major ways. First,
the difficult terrain in the region north of the Thar Desert would prevent
modern sensor and weapons systems from operating at proving ground
effectiveness, while the presence of natural and man-made obstacles
would hinder a rapid advance. Second, the open spaces further south
that would allow an RMA-enabled force to shine lack the kind of
strategic objectives that would be worthwhile to target with a limited
offensive. Moreover, the vast, open expanse of the desert does not
provide significant advantages to an aggressor who subsequently has to
defend the territory they seized against a counterattack.
Riaz Haq said…
#India Is World’s Largest Importer Of #Weapons With Insatiable Hunger, While #Pakistan Slashes #Arms Imports. #Modi #BJP


https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-is-worlds-largest-importer-of-weapons-with-insatiable-hunger-while-pakista/309385


Report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India and growing preference of US over Russia as arms supplier.

India continues to be world’s largest importer for major firearms, an indication that Modi government’s Make In India drive for defence sector has faltered.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has found that India was the “world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013–17 and accounted for 12 per cent of the global total”.



The report spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India. India has managed to get just Rs 1.17 crore as FDI in the defecne sector under the “Make in India” framework.

“FDI of amount $0.18 million has been received in the defence industry sector from April 2014 to December 2017,” said junior defence minister Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply to Lok Sabha recently.

India’s imports increased by 24% between 2008–12 and 2013–17, according to the report and majority of the firearms were sourced from India’s long-time supplier Russia, which accounted for 62 per cent of India’s arms imports in 2013–17.

"Asian and Indian arms procurement in particular are a reflection of the growing security competition in Asia," Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan , a senior fellow at ORF, told Outlook.

--------

Surprisingly, India’s long-time foe has slashed its imports despite its tensions with India and internal conflicts.

“Pakistan’s arms imports decreased by 36 per cent between 2008–12 and 2013–17. Pakistan accounted for 2.8 per cent of global arms imports in 2013–17. Its arms imports from the USA dropped by 76 per cent in 2013–17 compared with 2008–12.”

Riaz Haq said…
#China acknowledges sale of advanced #missile #technology "highly sophisticated large-scale optical tracking and measurement system" to #Pakistan. #India #US https://n.pr/2uadwcF

China has sold Pakistan an advanced tracking system that could boost Islamabad's efforts to improve ballistic missiles capable of delivering multiple warheads, according to The South China Morning Post.

The website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the deal with Pakistan, and Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics, confirmed to the Post that the purchase was of a "highly sophisticated large-scale optical tracking and measurement system."

The newspaper writes:

"An optical system is a critical component in missile testing. It usually comes with a pair of high-performance telescopes equipped with a laser ranger, high-speed camera, infrared detector and a centralised computer system that automatically captures and follows moving targets.

The device records high-resolution images of a missile's departure from its launcher, stage separation, tail flame and, after the missile re-enters atmosphere, the trajectory of the warheads it releases."

The CAS said a Chinese team spent three months in Pakistan helping calibrate the system. "The system's performance surpassed the user's expectations," it said, adding that it was considerably more complex than Pakistan's home-made systems, the newspaper said.

Although ostensibly for missile testing, it is similar to technology deployed in ballistic missile defense systems.

Rival India has been working on a missile defense system, which it claims to have successfully tested late last year. Meanwhile, Pakistan has concentrated on a possible countermeasure. In January 2017, it tested a missile that reportedly can deliver multiple warheads, known as MIRVs, which can greatly increase the number of incoming targets, possibly overwhelming missile defense systems.

Pakistan, after its first successful launch of the MIRV-capable missile, known as Ababeel, said in a statement that it is "aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan's ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment."

India and Pakistan have been locked in a nuclear arms race since the two countries openly conducted nuclear weapons tests within days of one another in May 1998. Since that time, their respective rocket and missile programs have also proceeded swiftly, frequently raising tensions in the South Asian region.

On Thursday, India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the successful launch of a supersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia. One version is an anti-ship missile, and the army also has fielded its own variant. India is working on yet another version that could be launched from a Sukoi Su-30 fighter jet.

China, which also views India as a regional rival, has long been recognized as the covert benefactor of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, providing technical know-how and expertise.

Last year, Pakistan deployed a Chinese-made low-to-medium altitude air defense system (LOMAD).

But the latest public statement by Beijing of a deal with Islamabad for such sensitive technology is rare — and possibly meant as a signal to New Delhi, with whom it has had recent border tensions, and possibly the U.S., which has increasingly tilted toward India in recent decades, especially amid what is viewed as Pakistan's tepid commitment to shutting down Islamic extremism.

In January, President Trump tweeted that Pakistan had given the U.S. "nothing but lies [and] deceit" in exchange for billions of dollars in foreign aid.
Riaz Haq said…
This Makes War in Syria Look Small: If India and Pakistan Fight Millions Will Die in a Nuclear Fire

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/makes-war-syria-look-small-if-india-pakistan-fight-millions-25321

The sea component of Pakistan’s nuclear force consists of the Babur class of cruise missiles. The latest version, Babur-2, looks like most modern cruise missiles, with a bullet-like shape, a cluster of four tiny tail wings and two stubby main wings, all powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. The cruise missile has a range of 434 miles. Instead of GPS guidance, which could be disabled regionally by the U.S. government, Babur-2 uses older Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships, where they would be more difficult to neutralize. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in January and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

(This first appeared last March.)

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan raises military budget as India faces squeeze

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1297296/world

Dispute started when Chinese troops attempted to build a road in the area and India, at Bhutan’s request, sent in troops to stop the Chinese.
China sold Pakistan a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system, making it the first country in the subcontinent to acquire a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.
NEW DELHI: India should be concerned at the recently announced steep rise in Pakistan’s defense budget — especially as its own budget has been squeezed, experts said on Saturday.

Late last month in its budget announcement for the financial year, Islamabad laid out a nearly 20 percent hike in its military spend, a huge boost to its defense spending and one that is likely to stir more tension with its larger neighbor India.

The two are nuclear-armed and what worries experts about Islamabad’s budget rise is that the money could go toward boosting its nuclear program, including plans for a sea leg of its nuclear deterrent program.

“New Delhi should be concerned,” said Sharad Joshi, assistant professor its nuclear deterrent program.

“New Delhi should be concerned,” said Sharad Joshi, assistant professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, “especially when the increased focus by Islamabad is on its nuclear program, its quest for a sea-based deterrent capability, including the expansion of its nuclear-capable cruise missile fleet.”

The news comes at a time when India’s military, owing to a budget crunch, reportedly has a depleted arsenal and no cash to replenish it — even as the government wants its armed forces to be ready to deal with a conflict simultaneously with Pakistan and China.

The possibility of such a two-front war has been on the agenda for the forces. Last month the Indian Air Force held its biggest ever combat exercise — with an eye on being prepared for a simultaneous threat from Pakistan and China.

That two-week exercise, which ran day and night, was done in two phases — the first phase was on the Western side, along the border with Pakistan. The second phase was in the north and included operations that involved landing at high-altitude areas, reportedly aimed at Chinese defenses on the Tibet front.

Barely a week later, army commanders gathered to take stock of the country’s security in a bi-annual exercise in which they focused on management of existing security infrastructure, how to mitigate future security threats, how to increase India’s combat edge over potential adversaries and ways to optimize the budget to make up for the critical deficiency in ammunition.

Like Pakistan, India and China, too, are old rivals. India has lost one war to its eastern neighbor and the two continue to wrestle for dominance in the subcontinent where India likes to hold sway. More importantly, China is also a political and military ally of Pakistan.

In June, India and China were locked in a stand-off on the Doklam plateau, an area spread over less than a 100 sq km comprising a plateau and a valley between India, Bhutan and China, and which is disputed between China and Bhutan.

That dispute started when Chinese troops attempted to build a road in the area and India, at Bhutan’s request, sent in troops to stop the Chinese. The standoff lasted nearly three months.

More recently, China sold Pakistan a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system, making it the first country in the subcontinent to acquire a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and one that can overwhelm a missile defense system.

The news of that sale came on the heels of India testing its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile, which has a range long enough to strike nearly all of China.
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.


http://www.janes.com/article/79542/pakistan-navy-releases-images-of-zarb-coastal-defence-system


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 defence establishment's response to the controversy over Point 5353 plumbs new depths.

PRAVEEN SWAMI

http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1720/17200340.htm

IN August, news broke that Pakistan holds one of the most important mountain features in the Drass Sector, Point 5353-metres. Since then, there has been a welter of fresh revelations, the most important of them being lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Anand' s disclosure that five other positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) are held by Pakistan. Anand also made public Army's internal correspondence on the causes of the debacle over Point 5353. The revelations did not lead to a considered rebuttal, but generated a wave of hostile official polemic, often through pro-establishment journalists. One so-called security affairs expert charged that the revelations were part of a Pakistani intelligence plot to generate a "divisive debate" in Indi a.

Addressing an audience of businessmen in Mumbai in early August, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes put forward the sole cogent official response to the revelations about Point 5353. "5353," he said, "is the point over which the LoC goes. The fact i s, our troops had never occupied that. The normal practice among them has been that where the line goes over a peak, then nobody occupies it." The Minister then proceeded to assault what he perceived to be irresponsible media organisations, much to the d elight of the assembled Mumbai businesspersons, many of whom have had their own skirmishes with reporters. But an analysis of Fernandes' statement shows not only little concern for fact, but an alarming willingness to use falsehood to ensure that his cho sen team in the defence establishment can continue to be incompetent with impunity.

"5353 is the point over which the LoC goes"

Assertions that the LoC is imprecisely defined on the ground, and that the territorial status of Point 5353 is therefore unclear, have formed the central component of official discourse on the controversy. A few hours spent poring over old newspapers are all that it takes to set the record straight. Sadly, few of the many commentators who have engaged with the revelations made in Frontline and other publications on the status of Point 5353 have seen it fit to make the effort.

During the Kargil war, Pakistan had put forward claims that the LoC was undefined on the ground, and that its territorial contours were imprecise. An irate spokesman of the Union Ministry of External Affairs responded on June 19, 1999. "The LoC is well d efined and delineated," he said, "and is the very cornerstone of Indo-Pakistan relations." Pointing out that detailed co-ordinates of the LoC were given in 19 annexures to the agreement of December 11, 1972, arrived at between Lieutenant-General Abdul Ha mid Khan and Lieutenant-General P.S. Bhagat, the spokesman added that "so far as the de jure position is concerned, there are no doubts."

Speaking in New Delhi on June 23, 1999, his first press conference after military operations began in Kargil, Chief of the Army Staff V.P. Malik was even more explicit. "In today's display," he said after a formal presentation, "we have also given you de tails of the LoC; its delineation; how it was delineated." "With marked maps, a military man without a GPS (Global Positioning System) can make an error of a few hundred metres on the ground, but an error of 8 to 9 kilometres is unimaginable."

Riaz Haq said…
Return of Haji Pir Pass in 1965 – Myth and the Reality

Read more at:
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/return-of-haji-pir-pass-in-1965-myth-and-the-reality/

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…
PAKISTAN AIR FORCE INAUGURATES NEW AIR BASE – PAF BHOLARI

https://quwa.org/2017/12/25/pakistan-air-force-inaugurates-new-air-base-paf-bholari/

On December 25, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) formally inaugurated its newly built main operating base (MOB), PAF Bholari.

In his inauguration speech, the PAF’s Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman stated that the new base would enable the PAF to support the Pakistan Army “more efficiently.” The CAS added that PAF Bholari will also “augment and supplement” the Pakistan Navy’s operations.

Located in Thatta District in Sindh, northeast of Karachi, construction of PAF Bholari began in December 2015. At that time, the current CAS of the PAF had implied that PAF Bholari’s focus would be on the “conventional threat” – i.e. the PAF’s traditional focus on India.

Notes & Comments:

The PAF’s Southern Air Command (SAC) hosts a comprehensive suite of assets for air defence, strike and maritime operations. In recent years, SAC has seen the introduction of a JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter squadron (i.e. No. 2 Squadron at Masroor Air Base in Karachi) and the ZDK03-based Karakoram Eagle airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. PAF Shahbaz in Jacobabad, Sindh also hosts the No. 5 Squadron’s F-16C/D Block-52+ squadron. The PAF’s MBDA Excoet anti-ship missile (AShM)-configured Mirage 5PA continue to operate from Masroor along with the No. 2’s C-802 AShM-armed JF-17.

In line with the CAS’ statements from PAF Bholari’s inauguration, the new MOB is located within reach of the Pakistan Army’s expected combat theatres in southeast Sindh. Likewise, PAF Bholari is within 150 km of Karachi and Pakistan’s littoral waters. Currently, Pakistan has a number of options for how to set-up Bholari, which can include assigning current and forthcoming JF-17 squadrons, the ZDK03 and/or Erieye AEW&C and – considering maritime operations are a factor – in-flight refueling tankers. During the inaugurating ceremony of the MOB the PAF held a flypast with four F-16s from the No. 19 Squadron, which operates the F-16A/B Block-15ADFs (Air Defence Fighter) acquired from Jordan. It is currently unclear if these will permanently operate from Bholari.

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India building new frontline airbase near border with Pakistan

http://www.janes.com/article/81678/india-building-new-frontline-airbase-near-border-with-pakistan

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun constructing a ‘forward’ airbase in the western Indian state of Gujarat to counter a similar facility located across the border in Pakistan’s Sindh Province.

Official sources told Jane’s that India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “quietly” approved the construction of the base at Deesa in March for an estimated INR40 billion (USD581 million).

The move followed the inauguration in December 2017 of the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF’s) main operating base (MOB) at Bholari, which is located some 420 km northwest of Deesa and about 145 km northeast of the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN NAVY RECEIVES ITS FIRST ATR-72 MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT

https://quwa.org/2018/07/15/pakistan-navy-receives-its-first-atr-72-maritime-patrol-aircraft/


The Pakistan Navy received its first of two ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) in the “second quarter” of 2018, announced Aerodata AG, one of the subcontractors involved in the program.

“This delivery represents a major milestone for Rheinland Air Service as prime contractor and Aerodata as the key project partner,” said Aerodata AG in an official news release dated for 02 July 2018.

Pakistan contracted Rheinland Air Service (RAS), an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm based on Germany, in 2015 to convert two refurbished ATR-72s into MPAs. As per Aerodata AG, the work began in January 2016, following the release of export permits by the German government.

Aerodata AG was contracted to supply its AeroMission mission management system, which will function in concert with the Leonardo Seaspray 7300E active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, Elettronica electronic support measures (ESM) suite, FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE III electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability through lightweight ASW torpedo compatibility.

In addition, the ATR-72 MPAs were also configured with a self-protection suite providing defensibility to infrared, radar and laser-guided munitions. It also has passive electronic intelligence (ELINT) capabilities.

In June 2017, Aerodata’s President and CEO, Hans J. Stahl, outlined that Pakistan will deploy its new MPAs for “maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and also search-and-rescue” operations.

In August 2016, the Pakistan Navy had received its third ATR-72, but it is unclear at this time if this unit is slated to receive the MPA upgrade. However, in 2015 the Pakistan Navy had reportedly requested $294 million US for the ATR-72 MPA program, potentially indicating that additional aircraft are intended.

If sought to replace its aging Fokker F-27s, the ATR-72 MPA offers a substantially improved capability-set, not least from the fact that it has ASW capabilities and an AESA surface-surveillance, search and targeting radar. Interestingly, Pakistan’s ATR-72 MPA appears to share many of the same subsystems as Leonardo’s ATR-72MP offering, i.e. Seaspray 7300E, Star SAFIRE EO/IR and Elettronica ESM. However, Pakistan opted for the AeroMission mission management system instead of Leonardo’s ATOS.

According to Aerodata, the AeroMission enables each human machine interface (HMI) console in the ATR-72 MPA to control all of the aircraft’s sensors. In addition, the AeroMission can compile feeds from each sensor to build a complete situational awareness picture for the crew and off-board assets (via network-enabled connectivity, e.g. tactical data-links). AeroMission includes a sensor fusion algorithm.
Riaz Haq said…
Dr. Riffat Husain's review of Moeed Yusuf's Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: US Crisis Management in South Asia"

"nuclear weapons in the hands of non-western leaders are necessarily a bad thing as these leaders cannot be trusted to resist the temptation of nuclear use in situations of armed conflict. Indeed, South Asia is presented as a paradigm case where the nuclear taboo is most likely to be broken.""

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1800932/1-book-review-brokering-peace-nuclear-environments/

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Rakesh Sood's review of Moeed Yousuf's "Brokering Peace"

"Neither India nor Pakistan possess the kind of monitoring and surveillance capabilities that the U.S. can position in the region. This puts it in a unique position to manipulate outcomes by selective sharing and dissemination of information. Nuclear capabilities take time to mature."

https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/brokering-peace-in-nuclear-environments-us-crisis-management-in-south-asia-review-asymmetry-and-influence/article24180514.ece
Riaz Haq said…
#Russia and #India 'set to sign $5 billion S-400 missile deal'. President Putin to oversee the sale of air #defense systems during his visit to India this week, #Kremlin official says. @AJENews http://aje.io/w8let

ussia and India are set to sign a deal worth more than $5bn on the delivery of Russian S-400 missile systems to New Delhi, according to the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will oversee the agreement during his trip to India this week, top Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Tuesday.

"The president is leaving for India on October 4," Ushakov told reporters.

"The key feature of this visit will be the signing of the agreement to deliver S-400 air defence systems," he said. "The value of the contract will be more than $5bn."

Moscow has been negotiating to sell the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles to India for months.

The sale has irked the United States, India's defence partner, which has wanted to wean India off Russian technology.

The US has imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which means any country that engages in defence or intelligence sharing with Russia could also be subject to sanctions.

A senior Pentagon official said in August that sanctions against India would come under consideration if its purchase goes through.

India has signalled it will ask Washington for a special waiver from sanctions, though a US official last week said there is no guarantee it would do so.

The S-400 missile system is a state-of-the-art weapons platform with a maximum range of 400km, considered one of the best defence systems in existence.

The acquisition of the S-400 system would be the latest in a long series of Indian defence purchases, as the country has previously bought combat planes, ships and submarines from Russia.

India is not the only country buying the air defence systems from Russia.

Other countries such as China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have all bought or are planning to buy the anti-aircraft missile weapon.

US military officials and politicians have also expressed concerns over Turkey's intention to buy the Russian missile system.

In June, Saudi Arabia said it would consider "all necessary measures" if Qatar closes the deal with Russia.

Despite these threats, Russia has said the supply of the missiles to Qatar will continue, with Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani saying acquiring the system is a "sovereign" decision.

Meanwhile, Russia's defence minister said on Tuesday that the delivery of a modern S-300 system to bolster Syria's air defence has been completed.

Russia announced last month that it would provide the S-300s a week after it blamed Israel for the accidental shooting down of its aircraft.

However, the Kremlin said the installation of S-300 was aimed at increasing safety of Russian military and "not directed at any third country".
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to maintain strategic balance with #India, says NCA (Nuclear Command Authority) Adviser. Pakistan already possesses “cost-effective solutions” to counter India’s #BMD in the shape of #MIRV capability and four categories of cruise #missiles. https://www.dawn.com/news/1444087

Adviser to the National Command Authority (NCA) retired Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai on Tuesday said Pakistan would not follow India’s suit in developing a defence system against ballistic missiles because it found little value in such systems, but would continue to seek to redress the imbalances caused by Indian moves.

“Pakistan remains unfazed and as before, we have adequate response options which will disallow any disturbance of the strategic balance or strategic stability. That fundamental policy will prevail,” Gen Kidwai told a conference on ‘Nuclear Deterrence and Strategic Stability in South Asia’ hosted by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI).

He was speaking in the context of India-Russia deal for S-400 missile systems. India had been working on the development of a multi-layer ballistic missile defence system for over a decade now. Besides the S-400 deal, India has large-scale cooperation with Israel for BMD development.

“Much hype has been created around this particular technology induction and some have gone to the extent of calling it a game changer for South Asia,” he said, adding that this was wrong.

“The history of our strategic force development clearly indicates that Pakistan has never allowed this (strategic) balance to be disturbed to our disadvantage; we have always found effective solutions to redress induced imbalances from time to time,” Gen Kidwai said.

He said Pakistan had already possessed “cost-effective solutions” to take care of India’s BMD in the shape of MIRV capability and four categories of cruise missiles. He said India’s BMD only had symbolic value and “Pakis­tan’s answer [to it] is available today”.

The NCA adviser said Pakistan had long ago taken “conscious decision” of not developing an anti-ballistic missile system because of reasons that remain valid even today.

He maintained that Pakistan’s response to India’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant too could be found in Full Spectrum Deterrence which implied possession of a full array of strategic, tactical and operational weapons, having appropriate weapons yield, coverage and numbers, and liberty to choose targets.

SVI president Dr Zafar Iqbal Cheema said India was looking for space for fighting a limited war with Pakistan, whereas the latter was trying to deprive the former of that opportunity by coming up with responses like tactical deterrence. “This is our contribution to peace,” he added.

India, he regretted, was pushing the region into an arms race that would have long-lasting consequences.
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 http://thediplomat.com/2018/11/are-aircraft-carriers-still-relevant/

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…
Pakistan procuring 600 tanks to bolster capability along border with India: Intelligence Sources
Apart from battle tanks, Pakistan Army is also procuring 245 150mm SP Mike-10 guns from Italy out of which it has already received 120 guns, sources said.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-procuring-600-tanks-to-bolster-capability-along-border-with-india-intelligent-sources/story-wiMPaiwlKRgHliUSvlCpZM.html

Pakistan has drawn up an ambitious plan to procure close to 600 battle tanks including T-90 tanks from Russia, primarily to bolster its military might along the border with India, intelligence sources said Sunday.

Most of the tanks Pakistan was procuring will be able to hit targets at a range of 3 to 4 km, the sources told PTI.

Apart from battle tanks, Pakistan Army is also procuring 245 150mm SP Mike-10 guns from Italy out of which it has already received 120 guns, they said.

The sources said Pakistan was eyeing to buy from Russia a batch of T-90 battle tanks- the mainstays of the armoured regiments of the Indian Army - and that the move reflects Islamabad’s intent to forge a deeper defence engagement with Moscow.

Russia has been India’s largest and most trusted defence supplier post Independence.

The sources said as part of the mega plan to significantly revamp its armoured fleet by 2025, Pakistan has decided to procure at least 360 battle tanks globally besides producing 220 tanksindigenouslywith help from its close ally China.

Pakistan Army’s move to enhance its armoured corps comes at a time when the Line of Actual control in Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed growing hostilities in the last one year. The Indian Army has been strongly retaliating to every unprovoked firing by Pakistani side. But, when the Indian Army is focused on counter-terror operations, the Pakistan Army was fast reducing its gap with Indian forces in fighting a conventional war, sources said. The Indian Army had drawn up a mega plan to modernise its infantry and armoured corps.

However almost all the procurement projects including the Rs 60,000 crore Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme are stuck due to a variety of reasons. At present, India’s armoured regiments, comprising mainly T-90, T-72 and Arjuna tanks, have much more superiority over Pakistan, but sources said Islamabad was seriously planning to bridge the gap at the earliest. As against around 67 armoured regiments of Indian Army, the number of similar regiments in Pakistan Army is around 51, the sources said.

They said, at present, over 70 per cent of the tanks in Pakistan’s armory have the capability to operate during night which, they said, was a matter of concern.

Besides eyeing to procure T-90 tanks, Pakistan Army is also in the process of inducting Chinese VT-4 tanks as well as Oplod-P tanks from Ukraine, the sources said. Trials for both Oplod and VT-4 tanks have already been conducted by the Pakistan Army.

At present, Pakistan is learnt to have around 17 units pf Chinese origin T-59 and T69 tanks, which comprise 30 per cent of its total tank strength, the sources said. It also has 12 regiments of Al-Zarar tanks, which makes 20 per cent of the tank fleet while Ukrain origin T-80-UD and T-85 UD as well as upgraded version of T-59 tanks comprise the rest of the 50 per cent tank fleet, they said.

“The Pakistan Army is carrying out modernisation of its armored regiments in a calibrated and time-bound manner which is not the case in India,” said an expert, who wished not to be named.

He said it was a matter of concern the way Pakistan was modernising its tank fleet.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s Consolidating #Conventional Deterrence: Pakistan will not be forced to retaliate with #nuclear weapons as an initial response to a limited conventional incursion by #India. #ColdStart #SouthAsia https://southasianvoices.org/pakistan-conventional-deterrence-assessment/

In the case of South Asia, India’s quest to explore the space for limited conventional war below Pakistan’s nuclear thresholds has shifted the strategic debate in the region to the merits of limited aim strategies, i.e. Cold Start, that might be pursued despite Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. In response to potential Indian proactive war strategies, Pakistan has introduced the low-yield, short-range ballistic missile system (SRBMs), (HATF-IX)/Nasr, with the intention of using it as a last resort against Indian forces in the case of impending failure of conventional defenses. In this way, Pakistan has adopted a cost-effective solution to Indian proactive war strategies that complements its conventional forces, neutralizes India’s growing technological edge, and bridges the conventional disparity between the two rivals.

In response to Pakistan’s introduction of Nasr, India has begun to shift away from the traditional logic of conventional deterrence towards the use of conventional weapons and dual-capable missiles to bolster its deterrence by punishment strategy. With the aim of destroying Pakistan’s strategic and high-value assets (such as exposed Nasr batteries), India is pursuing new conventional weapon technologies to form the basis of its counterforce capabilities, including precision guided munitions, missile defenses, stand-off weapons, and cyber operations.

Pakistan’s Conventional Developments

Although Pakistan’s full-spectrum deterrence doctrine has succeeded in deterring an Indian full-scale military attack in the past, the persistent conventional imbalance and India’s revisions to its conventional doctrines have pushed Pakistan to modernize and upgrade its conventional capabilities.

Besides Nasr, Pakistan is improving its existing conventional platforms to deter (by denial) Indian proactive conventional war strategies and any potential conventional counterforce aims. To this end, it is updating its conventional strategies, conducting military exercises, improving its weapons systems, and seeking new defense partnerships. For instance, Pakistan developed an offensive-defense “Riposte” strategy after 1989. The strategy calls for a Pakistani Army strike corps to launch an offensive in an event of war, with the aim of occupying Indian-territory near border while holding back the initial hostile advances. To supplement this doctrine, Pakistan has reorganized its strategic reserves, i.e. the Army Reserve North and Army Reserve South. In addition, Pakistan’s six defensive Corps are situated in close proximity to Indian territory; these are the country’s initial defenses against Indian conventional aggression. In addition, conventional military exercises—such as Azm-e-Nau, New Concept of War Fighting (NCWF), High Mark, Strike of Thunder, and Sea Spark—are positioned to enhance the synergy of Pakistan’s three military services and combat readiness along the eastern border.

To further consolidate conventional deterrence against India, Pakistan is actively engaged in negotiations and contracts for upgrades and procurement of conventional armaments from various suppliers. Initiatives in the conventional domain such as additions to and/or modernization of its cruise missile program, air defenses, unmanned aerial vehicles, and surface and sub-surface fleet (see below table) will help Pakistan implement a limited or large-scale conventional military operation against India if the need arises by denying the Indian Air Force the ability to achieve air superiority over Pakistan. Furthermore, improvements in air defenses will enable Pakistani ground forces to conduct defensive and counter-offensive operations against Indian integrated battle groups (IBGs) or strike corps.
Riaz Haq said…
LESSONS FROM THE BRINK
Ejaz Haider Updated March 10, 2019

https://www.dawn.com/news/1468744


India thought — and many experts agreed — that there was a band in which India could act militarily and punitively. That, if India were to play within that band, it would make it extremely difficult for Pakistan to escalate to the nuclear level because such escalation would be considered highly disproportionate and would draw international opprobrium and consequences. The argument was that the certainty of international diplomatic and economic isolation would force Pakistan to stay its hand and not escalate to the nuclear level.

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The banal equivalent of such a situation would be someone punching another person in a crowded bazaar and the victim, instead of keeping the fight to fisticuffs, chooses to draw and fire a pistol. Not only would such a person lose the sympathy of the crowd, he would also invite the full coercive and normative weight of the law.

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The interesting assumption in all this, and one that should not be missed is this: the first-round result. Every subsequent assumption flows from what India could achieve militarily in the opening hand.


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It is precisely for this reason that the opening round is so crucial for the aggressor, in this case India. To recap, as noted above in the list of assumptions, every subsequent assumption flows from the success of the opening round.

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what is important is not whether Indian planes came into Pakistan (original claim), whether they struck in a stand-off mode (i.e. when aerial platforms are used from a safe distance, away from defensive weapons, and use precision munitions such as glide bombs to attack a distant target without actually coming upon the target and swooping down for a bombing run) or even whether they could or could not make a hit. The important and crucial point was that India had challenged Pakistan and Pakistan needed to put an end to the “new normal” talk. Pakistan chose its targets, struck to show resolve and capability and then also won the dogfight.

Later, we are told that India had thought of using missiles to hit nine targets in Pakistan. But Pakistan readied its missiles and informed India that it will hit back. That forced India to back off. If this is true — and it comes to us from a briefing by Prime Minister Imran Khan — then it seems that Modi had nursed the idea of playing a very dangerous hand, which he couldn’t because that would have meant exchange of missiles between a nuclear dyad — a development which has remarkable escalation potential. Missilery between nuclear powers is a big no. There’s no known technology in the world that can determine whether the incoming missile has a tactical or a strategic (nuclear) warhead and that can lead to response miscalculation.

The two sides are back to the ‘old normal’ — artillery and small-arms duelling across the LoC. The attempt by an Indian submarine to enter Pakistan’s territorial waters was also deftly picked up by Pakistan Navy, with the sub forced to return. It could have been sunk but Pakistan, in keeping with its policy of not escalating, chose not to make a hit.

From here on, there’s nothing more for India but to understand the imperative of positive engagement through a sustained dialogue. The framework for such engagement is already in place. There is no alternative to talking and walking that talk. But that will not happen until we see the electoral contest in India and its results.

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At the same time, Pakistan must not underestimate India based on these limited rounds. While India could not coerce Pakistan militarily at this moment, if the growth differential between Pakistan and India continues to grow, the technological asymmetry will increase to the point where strategies of coercion could kick into play. That scenario could see very different results on the ground. For instance, India will possess the anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) S-400 system by 2020.
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 https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/fighting-tactical-battles-for-one-upmanship/760082.html 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…
#PakistanNavy flexes land attack capabilities in #Arabian #Sea. #Pakistan is known to be pursuing #air-, #ship-, and #submarine-launched variants of the Babur #cruise missile to complement its line-up of longer-ranged #ballistic #missiles. | Jane's 360. https://www.janes.com/article/88035/pakistan-navy-flexes-land-attack-capabilities-in-arabian-sea#.XMEpjKJzfZA.twitter

Key Points
The Pakistan Navy has conducted another test-firing of an indigenously developed cruise missile
The weapon is being tested amid heightened tensions with India over the long-standing Kashmir dispute
The Pakistan Navy has conducted another test-firing of what appears to be a shipborne variant of an indigenously developed cruise missile.

The weapon was fired from its latest Azmat-class patrol craft, PNS Himmat (1027), in the North Arabian Sea, the Pakistan Armed Forces' official media communications group known as the inter-services public relations (ISPR) office revealed on 23 April.

In January 2018, Himmat conducted a similar test-firing of the weapon. On both occasions, the ISPR office stopped short of disclosing the type of missile used in the firings, only noting that it has anti-ship and land-attack capabilities, and that the weapon has been developed in-country.

The test announced in April 2019 was also described as one that has "accurately hit its target on land", but no further details were given on this, including the type of target deployed, and its distance from Himmat at the time of firing.

Images of the launch released by the ISPR office suggest a weapon length of between 6 m and 7 m, when taken in relation to Himmat 's overall beam. Based on its visible markings, it is probable that the missile is the 'Harbah', which is shipborne variant of Pakistan's indigenously developed Hatf 7 (Babur) short-range cruise missile.

Pakistan is known to be pursuing air-, ship-, and submarine-launched variants of the Babur cruise missile to complement its line-up of longer-ranged ballistic missiles.
Riaz Haq said…
What exactly is behind Pakistan’s much-discussed low-yield Nasr? And how might it be used?

By Aditya Ramanathan and Kunaal Kini
May 07, 2019

https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/are-pakistans-battlefield-nuclear-weapons-a-mirage/

Like China, Pakistan started out by making implosion bombs based on highly enriched uranium (HEU). (In these bombs, a conventional explosive compresses the fissile core into a supercritical mass.) Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests were based on such designs. But for smaller warheads like the Nasr’s, (Brig Feroz Hasan) Khan believes Pakistani scientists will “likely use a plutonium warhead with an implosion assembly.” The NIAS study similarly concludes that a variant – the plutonium-based linear implosion device – is best suited for the slim profile of the Nasr missile.

However, as the authors of the NIAS study note, there are two problems with this approach. First, since the linear variant needs twice the amount of fissile material as a spherical implosion system, Pakistan would run out of its estimated plutonium stock (as of 2013) after producing just 12 warheads. Second, any such device would be untested.

An alternative for Pakistan is to reject the implosion system altogether and produce a simple gun-type HEU device – essentially a highly miniaturized version of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Such a device would need no testing and could be fitted into the Nasr. It would, however, go against the deeply-ingrained preference for implosion devices among Pakistan’s weapon-makers.

Whatever its design options, Pakistan may also be facing greater constraints on its supply of fissile material than previously thought. While previous estimates put Pakistan’s arsenal size in 2018 at 140-150 warheads (and growing at the rate of about 10 warheads a year), a recent assessment suggests Pakistan’s dwindling domestic supply of uranium will limit its nuclear arsenal size to between 112 and 156 weapons. While such studies are necessarily speculative, it’s likely Pakistan will be forced to make hard choices when it allocates weapons-grade material among its growing array of missiles.

Considering the Cold War Experience

Pakistan could adopt more than one pathway toward miniaturizing a Nasr warhead, but how long would the process take? Information about the current state of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program is scarce, but U.S. and Soviet efforts at miniaturization during the early years of the Cold War provide some indications.

In 1949, the United States began a project to develop nuclear artillery for battlefield use. Just four years later, a 280 mm cannon fired a shell with the new W-9 warhead, which airburst 10 kilometres away, with a yield of about 15 kilotons. The W-9 was a simple gun-type HEU fission device. Over the next decade, the United States would produce even smaller nuclear artillery, including a tiny plutonium linear implosion warhead that could be fired from a standard 155 mm artillery piece.

The Soviets took longer to miniaturize. After they became a nuclear power in 1949, the Soviets struggled to catch up with the U.S. atomic artillery program, only producing small warheads in the early 1960s. By then, new nuclear-capable artillery rockets like the Luna-M had already superseded atomic cannons.

Considering these time scales of 4-15 years, could Pakistan have developed a miniaturized device for the Nasr between the first indications of Cold Start in 2004 and the present?

In developing a miniaturized warhead, the Pakistanis would have enjoyed two principal advantages over their Cold War counterparts. One, they would have had a head start, having worked on warhead designs since the 1970s. Khan notes that between 1983 and 1995, Pakistan carried out at least 24 “cold tests” of their nuclear devices (in which the bomb is detonated minus the fissile core).

Riaz Haq said…
#India-#Pakistan track 2 diplomacy in #Islamabad. The civil society dialogue calls for more #trade, #people contacts. The dialogue comes ahead of a meeting on Sunday between the officials of both sides at #Wagah on the #KartarpurCorridor https://gn24.ae/8557640e7b01000

Improving cross-border connectivity and trade, people-to-people exchanges and educational collaboration were among the subjects discussed at the two-day civil society-led Track-II dialogue between India and Pakistan in Islamabad, the first such initiative after the Pulwama terror attack that soured relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The dialogue, titled ‘Beyond Politics and Polemics New Beginning on a Difficult Trail’, has been convened by the Islamabad-based Regional Peace Institute (RPI).

According to media reports, six delegates from India are participating in the dialogue that concludes on Saturday.

“There is no official-level representation from India. It is a purely a civil society-led initiative,” a source said.

Raoof Hasan, founder of the Regional Peace Institute, was quoted as saying: “Track-II diplomacy is the first step to improve relations between the governments of both the countries,” and added that the main objective of the talks was to bring the youth of the two countries towards peace.

Hasan also tweeted: “Here we are finally trying to untangle the tricky knot! It is always the scent of possibilities that sustains my hope for the future. Let’s do a toast to a tomorrow of peace and reconciliation.”

Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas, addressing the talk on Saturday, stressed on greater people to people contacts between the two neighbours to normalise the bilateral relationship.

Abbasi said the 770 million young people on both sides of the border are a “ray of hope” and by bringing them together a paradigm shift can be brought in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

She also said that great trade potential exists between the two nations which needs to be explored.

Abbasi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has consistently been giving the message of peace to India, adding that war is not a solution to any problem and conflicts can only be resolved through peace and negotiations.


The second round of the dialogue will be held in New Delhi in September this year.

The theme of the first session was “With young leading the charge — discovering new paths for reconciliation & progress”, while the second session was on “Moving to overcome challenges — formulating a vision of the future”.

Another session was themed “Commonality of stakes — Connectivity as the gateway to development.”

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood is slated to address the participants of the dialogue later on Saturday, media reports said.

The dialogue comes ahead of a meeting on Sunday between the officials of both sides at Wagah on the Kartarpur corridor.
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. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/09/19/government-report-reveals-pakistans-progress-on-military-acquisitions-amid-financial-woes/#.XYQ9NRqtC7A.twitter

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…

All the Reasons Why #India Hates the #Aircraft Carrier It Bought from #Russia. Vikramaditya cost $2.2 billion, more than 2x the initial agreed price, and still lacks active air defenses. #indiannavy https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-reasons-why-india-hates-aircraft-carrier-it-bought-russia-92076.

Like a lot of countries, India wants the best weapons it can afford. But ideological and financial concerns mean there are a lot of things it won’t buy from the United States or Europe. That pretty much leaves, well, Russia.

India has been a big buyer of Russian weapons for 50 years. Those haven’t been easy years for New Delhi. India’s defense contracts with Russia have consistently suffered delays and cost overruns. And the resulting hardware doesn’t always work.

Of all India’s Russian procurement woes, none speak more to the dysfunctional relationship between the two countries than the saga of INS Vikramaditya. In the early 2000s, India went shopping for a new aircraft carrier. What followed was a military-industrial nightmare.

Wanted—one new(ish) carrier

In 1988, the Soviet Union commissioned the aircraft carrier Baku. She and her four sisters of the Kiev class represented a unique Soviet design. The front third resembled a heavy cruiser, with 12 giant SS-N-12 anti-ship missiles, up to 192 surface-to-air missiles and two 100-millimeter deck guns. The remaining two-thirds of the ship was basically an aircraft carrier, with an angled flight deck and a hangar.

Baku briefly served in the Soviet navy until the USSR dissolved in 1991. Russia inherited the vessel, renamed her Admiral Gorshkov and kept her on the rolls of the new Russian navy until 1996. After a boiler room explosion, likely due to a lack of maintenance, Admiral Gorshkov went into mothballs.

In the early 2000s, India faced a dilemma. The Indian navy’s only carrier INS Viraat was set to retire in 2007. Carriers help India assert influence over the Indian Ocean—not to mention, they’re status symbols. New Delhi needed to replace Viraat, and fast.

India’s options were limited. The only countries building carriers at the time—the United States, France and Italy—were building ships too big for India’s checkbook. In 2004, India and Russia struck a deal in which India would receive Admiral Gorshkov. The ship herself would be free, but India would pay $974 million dollars to Russia to upgrade her.

It was an ambitious project. At 44,500 tons, Admiral Gorshkov was a huge ship. Already more than a decade old, she had spent eight years languishing in mothballs. Indifference and Russia’s harsh winters are unkind to idle ships.

Russia would transform the vessel from a helicopter carrier with a partial flight deck to an aircraft carrier with a launch ramp and a flight deck just over 900 feet long. She would be capable of supporting 24 MiG-29K fighters and up to 10 Kamov helicopters.

She would have new radars, new boilers for propulsion, new arrester wires for catching landing aircraft and new deck elevators. All 2,700 rooms and compartments—spread out over 22 decks—would be refurbished and new wiring would be laid throughout the ship. The “new” carrier would be named Vikramaditya, after an ancient Indian king.

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Finally, Vikramaditya lacks active air defenses. The ship has chaff and flare systems to lure away anti-ship missiles, but she doesn’t have any close-in weapons systems like the American Phalanx.

India could install local versions of the Russian AK-630 gun system, but missiles will have to wait until the ship is in drydock again—and that could be up to three years from now. In the meantime, Vikramaditya will have to rely on the new Indian air-defense destroyer INS Kolkata for protection from aircraft and missiles.

As for Sevmash? After the Vikramaditya fiasco, the yard is strangely upbeat about building more carriers … and has identified Brazil as a possible buyer. “Sevmash wants to build aircraft carriers,” said Sergey Novoselov, the yard’s deputy general director.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan reveals orders for latest MANPADSs (shoulder-fired air defense missiles), anti-tank missiles and other #weapon systems in 2017–18 | Jane's 360 https://www.janes.com/article/91749/pakistan-s-modp-reveals-orders-for-manpadss-and-other-weapon-systems-in-2017-18#.XdBz0H-icHw.twitter


Pakistan's Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) revealed in its recently released yearbook for 2017-18 that the country ordered 52 9K129 Kornet-E anti-tank guided missile weapon systems and 295 FN-16 man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADSs) during that period.

The document stated that the deal for the Russian-made Kornet-E ATGWs, which is likely to have included hundreds of missiles, was valued at USD62.46 million, while the procurement of the Chinese-made third-generation MANPADSs was valued at USD25.13 million.

According to Jane's Infantry Weapons , the Kornet-E system comprises the 9M133-1 anti-tank and 9M133F-1 anti-structure missiles, the 9P163-1 GLS, along with the optional 1PN79-1 thermal sight.

The missile, which is armed with the 9N156-1 tandem-shaped charge warhead, has a stated maximum range of 5,500 m during the day and of 3,500 m at night. The warhead is claimed to be able to penetrate between 1,000 mm and 1,200 mm of vertically inclined rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) plates protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).

The Chinese-made FN-16 is an upgrade on the FN-6 MANPADS that has been designed mainly for battlefield air defence to intercept low altitude and ultra-low altitude air targets. In particular, the FN-16 missile has an extended range of 6,000 m and the capability to pull an 18 g turn. If required, the FN-16 can also be integrated into an overall air defence system or a local air defence system.

Also purchased were 369 additional anti-tank rockets for the Pakistan Army for USD9 million to supplement the 1,430 rockets the army had ordered in 2016 to arm 158 Instalaza ALCOTAN-100 man-portable, shoulder-launched, lightweight anti-armour systems.

According to MoDP's latest yearbook, which was released in September, Pakistan also ordered 60 additional Chinese-made CM-400AKG air-launched anti-ship missiles for the air force for USD100 million.
Riaz Haq said…
#China-#Pakistan Navy Drills. 5 major #Chinese ships: 2 guided-missile destroyers, supply ship and submarine rescue ship. And 2 #Pakistani frigates, 2 fast attack craft, fixed-wing anti-sub aircraft, 2 ship-borne helicopters, over 60 special ops soldiers. https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/china-pakistan-naval-drills-more-than-just-symbolism/

Earlier in the week, the navies of China and Pakistan began their sixth bilateral naval exercise, titled Sea Guardians-2020, in the northern Arabian Sea. Such military exercises are expected to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries, who are already “iron brothers.” According to Chinese media reports, the naval drills are aimed at exploring new methods of conducting China-Pakistan joint naval drills while stepping up the capabilities to jointly addresses issues such as maritime terrorism and crime.

The exercise is also sensitive because it is taking place on India’s west coast, a critical security area from New Delhi’s perspective. Clearly, the exercise will be very important for China because it increases the PLA Navy’s familiarity and understanding of the operational conditions in this part of the Arabian Sea. Moreover, gaining greater access to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan is also likely an attractive incentive for China. If it works, it can be an alternate route for China in the event of a naval blockade by an adversary that closes the Malacca Straits choke point.

In addition, India will also have concerns because India’s Arabian Sea coast hosts several major Indian ports including Kandla, Okha, Mumbai, Nhava Sheva (Navi Mumbai), Mormugão, New Mangalore, and Kochi. For China, the Arabian Sea is also important in the context of its air and naval facility, Jiwani, close to the Gwadar Port and the Iranian Chahabar Port that is jointly developed by India and Iran.

China appears enthusiastic about undertaking these naval exercises on a regular basis. In a story about these exercises in the Chinese newspaper Global Times, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, argues that “serializing the drills and making them a routine will further enhance China and Pakistan’s friendship and cooperation.” Similarly, Zhou Hanwen, an executive director of the exercise, stated that “the training involving submarine will boost the two navies’ combat capabilities and show a high level of strategic mutual trust.” Commenting on the exercise, China’s ambassador to Pakistan Ambassador Yao Jing said that the exercise “fully reflects the good wishes of the Chinese and Pakistani navies in jointly building a community of shared maritime destiny, and demonstrates the confidence and capability to jointly guard marine peace and security.”

The exercise that began at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard in Karachi will go on for nine days from January 6 to 14. The opening ceremony had Vice Admiral Dong Jun, general director of the Chinese side and deputy commander of PLA Southern Theater Command, and Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, general director of the Pakistani side and commander of the Pakistani Naval Fleet deliver speeches emphasizing the importance of their joint collaboration. China has continued to reiterate that the naval drills have nothing to do with the prevailing situation in the Middle East and that it is not aimed at any third country. The PLA reportedly stated that the joint exercise will involve two sessions – “joint training in Karachi and live-fire drills in northern parts of the Arabian Sea-and will include workshops, tactical simulation, joint patrol, air and missile defense, law enforcement inspection and anti-submarine operation.”
Riaz Haq said…
#China, #Pakistan complete 9-day joint #naval exercise in #ArabianSea. Special forces, warships, submarines and warplanes participated in live-fire drills. #India sent aircraft carrier to monitor events amid simmering tensions in region #CPEC https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3046064/china-pakistan-complete-sea-guardians-2020-joint-naval via @scmpnews

Chinese and Pakistani troops completed a nine-day naval exercise in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday, against a backdrop of simmering tensions in the Middle East and South Asia.
The operation – Sea Guardians 2020 – was the sixth joint naval drill between the two countries and took place in the northern reaches of the waterway and along the Pakistani shoreline. It involved special forces, warships, aerial assets and, for the first time, submarines in a series of live-fire exercises.
Tensions have been running high in the region since the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US air strike earlier this month and the increased hostility between India and Pakistan in the disputed region of Kashmir

While the US and India were likely to have been keeping a close eye on the exercises – New Delhi deployed an aircraft carrier to monitor events – experts said the operation was largely routine and not intended to stoke tensions.
“It was planned well in advance, long before things began escalating in the Middle East,” said Du Youkang, director of the Pakistan Study Centre at Fudan University in Shanghai.

James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, agreed, saying the drills should not be seen as a reaction by China to the tensions in the Middle East.
“I don’t think it’s an issue of showing more muscle in the region … you have an ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and China and this is part of it,” he said.

“Others may read it as a signal, but I don’t think it’s the driving incentive. But the cooperation [between China and Pakistan] will be closely followed by India and the United States.”

Nonetheless, Beijing has been expanding its military presence in the Middle East, and last month took part in a four-day exercise with Russian and Iranian forces in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
Dorsey said that the drills coincided with a shift in the security architecture in the region.
“Over a period of time, we will see changes, moving from a unipolar, US-centric system to a multipolar arrangement,” he said.
“That would most probably include China, as well as Russia, and potentially countries like India. It’s all on the drawing board, but that’s clearly the trend.”
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan and #China launch joint #naval drills for “augmenting interoperability and strategic cooperation.” Should #India be concerned? https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/surface-navy-association/2020/01/08/pakistan-and-china-launch-joint-naval-drills-should-india-be-concerned/#.XiZQIiqBX20.twitter

A nine-day Sino-Pakistani naval exercise commenced in Pakistan’s port of Karachi on Monday with the arrival of a Chinese naval task group from its South Sea Fleet. Sea Guardians 2020 is the sixth in the bilateral series, which, according to the Pakistan Navy, will focus on “augmenting interoperability and strategic cooperation.”

The exercise will include a range of drills to share “professional experiences on contemporary and non-traditional threats at sea” to improve regional security cooperation, plus promote a “safe and sustainable maritime environment.”

While stating the exercise aims to “enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly cope with maritime terrorism and crime,” China’s military media branch stressed it had “nothing to do with the regional situation and is not target[ing] at any third party.”

This was likely an attempt to reassure India that the drills were unrelated to the tension between rivals India and Pakistan.

However, India will certainly have noted that Sea Guardians included warlike air defense systems, anti-missile technology, anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and live-fire and joint marine training drills.

Sidharth Kaushal, a research fellow specializing in sea power at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said “India has generally regarded Chinese exercises and naval activity in the Indian Ocean with apprehension.” Consequently, New Delhi has invested in countering China’s naval presence.

“The Indian Navy’s efforts over the past decade to improve its situational awareness in the region and to upgrade the capabilities of tri-service command in Andaman and Nicobar reflects a growing consensus that the [Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy] will be a challenger in the [Indian Ocean region] in the foreseeable future,” Kaushal said.

Riaz Haq said…
The India-Pakistan Conflict Won't Be Won By Having The Largest Army
Nuclear weapons are a persistent threat.

by Kyle Mizokami

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/india-pakistan-conflict-wont-be-won-having-largest-army-120206

If the two countries (India and Pakistan) went to war, a major clash between the two armies would be inevitable. Outnumbered and under-equipped, the Pakistani army believes it is in a position to launch small local offensives from the outset, before the Indian army can reach its jumping-off points, to occupy favorable terrain. Still, the disparity in forces means the Pakistanis cannot hope to launch a major, war-winning offensive and terminate a ground war on their own terms. As a result, the Pakistani army is increasingly relying on tactical nuclear weapons to aid their conventional forces.

For its part, the Indian army plans to immediately take the offensive under a doctrine called “Cold Start.” Cold Start envisions rapid mobilization followed by a major offensive into Pakistan before the country can respond with tactical nuclear weapons. Such an offensive—and Pakistan’s likely conventional defeat—could make the use of tactical nuclear weapons all the more likely.

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The Indian army is the primary land force of the Indian armed forces. The army numbers 1.2 million active duty personnel and 990,000 reservists, for a total force strength of 2.1 million. The army’s primary tasks are guarding the borders with Pakistan and China and domestic security—particularly in Kashmir and the Northeast. The army is also a frequent contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions abroad.

The army is structured into fourteen army corps, which are further made up of forty infantry, armored, mountain and RAPID (mechanized infantry) divisions. There is approximately one separate artillery brigade per corps, five separate armored brigades, seven infantry brigades and five brigade-sized air defense formations.

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The Pakistani army numbers 650,000 active duty personnel and five hundred thousand reserves, for a total strength of 1.15 million. Although Pakistan resides in what most would consider a rough neighborhood, it is on relatively good terms with neighbors China and Iran. As a result, the army’s primary missions are domestic security operations against the Pakistani Taliban and facing off against the Indian army. Like India, Pakistan is a major contributor of forces to United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The Pakistani army consists of twenty-six combat divisions falling under the control of nine army corps. Most divisions are infantry divisions, with only two armored and two mechanized infantry divisions. Each corps also controls an average of one armored, one infantry and one artillery brigade each. Not only is the Pakistani army smaller than the Indian army, but it features fewer offensive forces capable of attacking India head-on. Special operations forces are concentrated under the control of the Special Services Group, which controls eight commando battalions.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's How China Made Pakistan Into a Military Powerhouse

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/heres-how-china-made-pakistan-military-powerhouse-135137

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…
These Are the Horrific Weapons India Would Use to Fight Pakistan
Let's hope it never happens.

by Kyle Mizokami

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/these-are-horrific-weapons-india-would-use-fight-pakistan-138692

It’s distinctly possible that any future war between India and Pakistan would involve limited action on the ground and full-scale fighting at sea and in the air. India has the upper hand in both, particularly at sea where it would have the ability to blockade Pakistani ports. Pakistan imports 83% of its gasoline consumption, and without sizable reserves the economy would feel the effects of war very quickly. An economic victory, not a purely military one might be the best way to decisively end a war without the use of nuclear weapons.

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Vikramaditya is 282 meters long and displaces 44,000 tons, making it less than half the displacement of American supercarriers. Nevertheless Vikramaditya’s powerful air wing is capable of executing air superiority, anti-surface, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. The carrier air wing is expected to consist of 24 MiG-29K or Tejas multi-role fighters and 10 anti-submarine warfare helicopters. India has ordered 45 MiG-29Ks, with the first squadron, 303 “Black Panthers” Squadron, stood up in May 2013.

While INS Vikramaditya would be the visible symbol of a naval blockade, perhaps the real enforcers would be India’s force of 14 attack submarines. The most powerful of India’s submarines is INS Chakra, an Akula-II nuclear-powered attack submarine.

INS Chakra would be able to fulfill a variety of wartime tasks. It would be a real threat to Pakistan’s Navy, particularly her 11 frigates and eight submarines, only three of which are reasonably modern. Chakra is also capable of covertly laying mines in Pakistani waters and conduct surveillance in support of a blockade.
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INS Chakra is armed with not only four standard diameter 533 torpedo tubes but also another four 650mm torpedo tubes. Armament includes the VA-111 Shkval supercavitating torpedo, a high speed torpedo capable of traveling at 220 knots to ranges of up 15 kilometers. Missile armament is in the form of 3M54 Klub anti-ship missiles. Chakra can carry up to 40 torpedo tube launched weapons, including mines. (Five merchant ships were struck by mines during the 1971 India-Pakistan War.) For defensive purposes, Chakra has six external tubes, each carrying two torpedo decoys.

According to the terms of the lease with Russia, Chakra cannot be equipped with nuclear weapons.

India’s recent agreement to purchase the AH-64D Apache helicopter represents a quantum leap in land firepower for the Indian Army. The Apache’s versatility means that it will be able to do everything from engage armored formations in a conventional war scenario to hunt guerrillas and infiltrators in a counterinsurgency campaign.

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The helicopter has four external hard points, each of which can mount four Hellfire missiles. A 30mm cannon capable of engaging light armor, soft targets or personnel is mounted underneath the helicopter chin and slaved to an optical sight worn by the pilot and gunner.

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The Su-30MKI is an evolution of the 1980s-era Su-27 Flanker. Thrust vectoring control and canards make the plane highly maneuverable, while the Zhuk active electronically scanned array radar makes it capable of engaging several targets at once. Complementing the Zhuk will be the Novator long-range air to air missile, capable of engaging targets at up to 300 to 400 kilometers.

The Su-30MKI has an impressive twelve hardpoints for mounting weapons, sensors and fuel tanks. The Su-30MKI is arguably superior to any fighter in the Pakistani Air Force, with the possible exception of the F-16 Block 50/52, of which Pakistan has only 18.

A portion of the Su-30MKI force has been modified for the strategic reconnaissance role. Israeli-made sensor pods reportedly give the Indian Air Force the ability to look up to 300 kilometers into Pakistan (or China) simply by flying along the border.
Riaz Haq said…
#India's big #military purchases from #US: 22 MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) #drones for $2.6 billion; 6 P-8I maritime #surveillance #aircraft for $1 billion; 2 Gulfstream 550 aircraft for #intelligence for nearly $1 billion; #SAM #missiles for over $1 billion. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2020/02/04/new-weapons-purchases-suffer-under-indias-latest-defense-budget/#.XpqKVKqPXtE.twitter

India’s defense budget for 2020-2021 will be $73.65 billion, the country government announced Saturday, but officials and analysts are warning the amount is unlikely to meet new demands for weapons purchases and military modernization, as India is set to spend about 90 percent if its defense funds on existing obligations.

Of the total budget, $18.52 billion is for weapons purchases; $32.7 billion is for maintenance of the military’s weapons inventory, pay and allowances, infrastructure, and recurring expenses; and $21.91 billion is for defense pensions.

“The capital budget leaves no room for any big-ticket weapons purchase, as over 90 percent of the allocation capital funds will [be spent] for past [defense] contracts’ committed liabilities," a senior Ministry of Defence official told Defense News.

The limited procurement spending is expected to directly impact “Make in India" defense projects, a policy meant to boost the local economy under the ruling National Democratic Alliance government.

“This also [leaves] no room for any major weapons purchases from U.S. at least for one to two years,” the MoD official added.

India is slated to make a number of purchases through the U.S. Foreign Miltiary Sales program, including 22 MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drones for $2.6 billion; and additional six P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft for $1 billion; two Gulfstream 550 aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance for nearly $1 billion; and one unit of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System II for more than $1 billion

During at least the last two years, the Indian military has complained about a lack of funds for resolving existing liabilities. Amit Cowshish, a former financial adviser for acquisitions at the MoD, said the military will likely continue to face the challenge of preventing defaults on contractual payments.

The senior MoD official told Defense News that due to the shortage of funds, at least a dozen pending defense contracts will experience delays. “The current $18.52 billion capital allocation is only [a] marginal increase from [the] previous year [capital] allocation of $18.02 billion [and] does not even adequately cover inflation costs.”

The Indian Air Force is to receive $6.76 billion from the 2020-2021 budget, a drop from the previous year’s $7.01 billion. The money is expected to go toward payments for orders of Rafale fighters from France and an S-400 missile system from Russia.
Riaz Haq said…
#India's big #military purchases from #US: 22 MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) #drones for $2.6 billion; 6 P-8I maritime #surveillance #aircraft for $1 billion; 2 Gulfstream 550 aircraft for #intelligence for nearly $1 billion; #SAM #missiles for over $1 billion. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2020/02/04/new-weapons-purchases-suffer-under-indias-latest-defense-budget/#.XpqKVKqPXtE.twitter


The senior MoD official told Defense News that due to the shortage of funds, at least a dozen pending defense contracts will experience delays. “The current $18.52 billion capital allocation is only [a] marginal increase from [the] previous year [capital] allocation of $18.02 billion [and] does not even adequately cover inflation costs.”

The Indian Air Force is to receive $6.76 billion from the 2020-2021 budget, a drop from the previous year’s $7.01 billion. The money is expected to go toward payments for orders of Rafale fighters from France and an S-400 missile system from Russia.

The Indian Navy is to receive $4.56 billion, which is expected to help cover the cost of leasing a nuclear submarine and stealth frigates from Russia, as well as pay for warships from Indian companies. A Navy official said it is unlikely the service will be able to sign a contract for 24 MH-60R multirole helicopters for more than $2 billion from the U.S. next year.

The Indian Army is to receive $5.06 billion to pay cover previous orders of wheeled and ultralight artillery guns, T-90 tanks, and ammunition.

India’s state-owned defense companies continue to receive 60 percent of defense-related business, with 30 percent going to overseas defense companies and 10 percent to domestic private defense firms.

Another MoD official said the armed forces plan to focus on industry-funded defense projects under the government’s “Make-II” category, which allows private companies to participate in the prototype development of weapons and platforms with a focus on import substitution, for which no government funding will be provided.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s New Midget #Submarine: Emerging Challenge to #India in the Arabian Sea. What will Pakistan’s new indigenous midget submarine bring to its #naval capabilities? #PakistanNavy #SSG #NavySeals
@Diplomat_APAC https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/pakistans-new-midget-submarine-emerging-challenge-to-india-in-the-arabian-sea/

a recent satellite image (Figure 1) confirms that Pakistan might have indigenously developed a new midget submarine as it proposed in the MoDP 2015–2016.

From 2016 on, one can see the submarine partially covered in a tent in. Since 2019, the submarine can be seen in open view, suggesting that the construction is near completion and that sea trials may have commenced.

The new midget submarine, which is compact in size, is leading to speculation regarding its possible role in the Arabian Sea and in combat.

The midget submarine as seen from the satellite images has a length of around 55 feet (16.7 m) and a beam measurement of around 8 feet (2.43 m). The vessel’s displacement is currently unknown.

The prominent vertical rudder, propeller, and the round-shaped nose are visible from the shadow of the midget submarine. The snorkel is not visible in the image. But it is clear from the image that the submarine appears to be larger than the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) and slightly smaller than the MG110 midget submarines.

The compact size of the submarine with simple hull constructions suggests that it is easy to operate and maintain. The vessel can likely be transported over land due to its size. The defense expert H. I. Sutton writes in Forbes that the submarine design is new and doesn’t appear to be an imported one.

Given the present level of cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey, one cannot rule out the possibility of a Turkish firm’s involvement in the development of new midget submarines. In an interview in 2019, Murat İkinci, the general manager of STM, confirmed that the “Pakistan Navy and STM are currently discussing new projects, including serious and dedicated works for midget submarines.” However, there are no official sources to confirm that the new midget submarine has been codeveloped with Turkey.

A Role for the Midget Submarine

The Pakistan has been using new midget submarines for many years now. The development of a new midget submarine not only showcases its indigenous capability, but also shows that Pakistan is prepping its underwater warfare capability.

As Pakistan continues to lay emphasis on a sea denial strategy there is a possibility that it may use the midget submarine in an offensive role during any conflict with India in the coming months and years.

The seaward defense of Karachi has been one of the major challenges for the Pakistan Navy since the 1971 war with India. The midget submarine would fill a gap in protecting Karachi Port from sea-based attack. Most importantly, it would replace the current MG110s in service with the SSG (Navy) for operations such as frogmen operations, laying mines, and so on.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan To Host Historic #Naval Drills #AMAN2021. It will be the first time #Russia participates in a joint exercise with #NATO members (#US, #UK, #Europe) & #China in 10 years, which is scheduled to take place off #Karachi between February 11-16, 2021. https://eurasiantimes.com/pakistan-to-host-the-historic-naval-drills-between-russian-nato-countries/

Russia said on Thursday it would take part in drills involving more than 30 countries off the coast of Pakistan, in rare joint exercises with Russian and NATO member ships.

The AMAN-2021 anti-piracy drills are set to be held in waters near Karachi in February 2021 and will involve British, U.S., Turkish, Chinese, Japanese and other forces, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said Russian and NATO vessels last took part in drills together at the NATO-led Bold Monarch exercises in 2011 off the coast of Spain, the TASS news agency reported.

A NATO official said that the 30-member military bloc had no plans currently to take part in exercises with Russia, but that the participation of individual nations was up to them to decide.

"Our practical cooperation remains suspended as a consequence of Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014," the NATO official said.

Ties between Russia and the West are languishing at post-Cold War lows, strained by everything from the annexation of Crimea to allegations of hacking U.S. elections and Syria.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Tests Indigenous Fatah-1 Guided MLRS. It's an indigenously developed multiple launch guided #rocket system that can accurately deliver conventional warheads up to a range of 140 km deep inside enemy territory. #artillery https://quwa.org/2021/01/10/pakistan-tests-indigenous-fatah-1-guided-mlrs-2/ via @QuwaGroup

Adding to Pakistan’s rocket artillery inventory, the Fatah-1 joins the A-100, Nasr, and Yarmouk-series. Like the Fatah-1, Pakistan manufactures the A-100, Nasr, and Yarmouk domestically.

But in contrast to its other rockets, Pakistan is positioning the Fatah-1 as an offensively oriented weapon. The ISPR says the Fatah-1 gives Pakistan the ability to precisely engage targets “deep in enemy territory.”

Background on the Fatah-1
The Fatah-1 seems to be one of two MLRS the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) referenced in its annual yearbook in 2015-2016. [1] These were a base MLRS and an “extended-range” MLRS.

In 2019, the ISPR revealed the A-100 (which has a range of over 100 km) as an “indigenous” rocket. If the A-100 is the base MLRS, the 140-km Fatah-1 could be the “extended-range” MLRS design.

There is no confirmed connection between the A-100 and Fatah-1. However, Pakistan apparently localized the A-100, so it would make sense for it to develop the Fatah-1 as a subvariant. If the Fatah-1 is a variant of the A-100, then it could share the same caliber (300 mm) and warhead weight (reportedly 235 kg).

However, this apparent link is only speculation. The Fatah-1 could also be distinct design and, as a result, be a larger rocket design. For reference, the Chinese Weishi or WS-series of rockets have spun out into a diverse line-up of missiles of varying calibres, ranges, and applications.

The ISPR’s mention of “precision target engagement” indicates that Pakistan configured the Fatah-1 with a guidance system. It could be a GPS/INS (or BeiDou/INS)-based suite. This enables Pakistan to feed Fatah-1 missiles with location data of predetermined targets.

Thus, Pakistan could use the Fatah-1 as a long-range strike weapon, and potentially deploy it combination with precision-guided bombs (PGB), land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), and glide-munitions.

How Pakistan May Deploy the Fatah-1
Past footage of Pakistan’s artillery deployments show that it is using the SLC-2 counter-battery radar with the A-100E (which it was using before announcing a locally built variant). However, the range potential of the Fatah-1 exceeds the reported detection range of the SLC-2…
Riaz Haq said…
General Bajwa pledges to modernize Pakistan Infantry
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa aims to equip infantry divisions in Pakistan Army with the best training and equipment to prepare it for future threats

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/general-bajwa-pledges-to-modernize-pakistan-infantry/

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday said the Pakistan Army would do all that was possible to modernize the Infantry as part of its overall drive to prepare for future threats.

He expressed these views while visiting Punjab Regimental Centre (PRC). He installed Lieutenant General Majid Ehsan, Inspector General Arms as Colonel Commandant of the PRC, said an ISPR news release.

Interacting with the officers and troops, the COAS appreciated the Regiment for displaying the highest standards in all professional pursuits, including their exemplary performance in operations.

Earlier on arrival at Punjab Regimental Centre, the COAS was received by the Incoming, Outgoing Colonel Commandants and Commandant of Punjab Regimental Centre.

The COAS also laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada.

Outgoing Colonel Commandant of the Punjab Regiment Lieutenant General Shahid Baig Mirza (R), large number of serving and retired officers and soldiers were attended the ceremony.

“The role of national security dialogue is not limited to Army nowadays, other stakeholders are in this too,” said Bajwa.

“National security is thus multi-layered. The outer layer being the exogenous factors of the global and regional environment, and the internal layers being indigenous factors of internal peace, stability and developmental orientation, he added.

“A nation at peace and a region at harmony are thus essential pre-requisites for attaining national security in the true spirit.”

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had been at the heart of Pakistan’s economic transformation plan and the country had aimed make the project inclusive, transparent and attractive for all global and regional players, remarked Bajwa.


However, only seeing Pakistan through [the] CPEC prism is also misleading, he said.

COAS satisfied over stabilization operations
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa last month expressed satisfaction over progress of the stabilization operations across Pakistan following the successes of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

Addressing the two-day long 78th Formation Commanders’ Conference held here at GHQ (General Headquarters), he said, “Pakistan Army shall continue defending and serving the nation in every possible way.”


The COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa was presiding over the conference which was attended by corps commanders, principal staff officers and all formation commanders of Pakistan Army, said an Inter Services Public Relations news release.
Riaz Haq said…
Despite its economic challenges, Pakistan has maintained progress on critical modernization programs to strengthen its conventional military forces, according to a recently revealed government document.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2019/09/19/government-report-reveals-pakistans-progress-on-military-acquisitions-amid-financial-woes/


Spiraling debt and rising cost of imports along with low government revenue hit military modernization efforts hard. That, combined with an economic restructuring imposed by the International Monetary Fund as well as currency devaluation, increased the need for indigenous solutions.

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…
1st of 3 ‘Sea Sultan’ Maritime Patrol Aircrafts Joins #Pakistan #Navy. Based on Embraer’s Lineage 1000E, it has 8,500 km range & equipped for anti-surface & anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence surveillance & reconnaissance (ISR) https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/09/first-sea-sultan-maritime-patrol-aircraft-joins-pakistan-navy/ via @navalnewscom

First ‘Sea Sultan’ Maritime Patrol Aircraft Joins Pakistan Navy
The Pakistan Navy inducted its first of three modern maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) dubbed locally as "Sea Sultan" and designated "Long Range Maritime Patrol jet".
Xavier Vavasseur 06 Sep 2021

Pakistan Navy press release

Karachi, 02 Sept 21: Induction ceremony of Pakistan Navy’s first modern Long Range Maritime Patrol twin engine jet aircraft was held at PNS Mehran, Karachi. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi graced the occasion as chief guest. Upon arrival at Mehran base, the Chief Guest was received by Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Naveed Ashraf.

The newly inducted twin engine jet aircraft is a variant of Brazilian built state of the art Embraer Jet aircraft globally utilized in air operations. Two more aircraft of the series have also been contracted by Pakistan Navy. These aircraft will be equipped with latest weapons and sensors to undertake Maritime Air Operations.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff paid rich tribute to Veteran Kashmiri Huriyat Leader Syed Ali Geelani and expressed condolence on his demise.

Later the Naval Chief commended remarkable transition of Pakistan Navy Air Arm from prop to jet age of Long Range Maritime Patrol Operations. He reassured the nation that Pakistan Navy is fully cognizant of prevailing challenges and is committed to upgrade its combat inventory to generate swift response. He also highlighted that Pakistan Navy is effectively contributing towards Government’s policy of promoting peace and stability in the region as a responsible maritime nation. He further underscored that Pakistan Navy is committed to safeguard its sea
fronts while ensuring conducive maritime environment in the region.

Earlier during his welcome address, Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Naveed Ashraf highlighted capabilities of the new aircraft and expressed hope that addition of this potent aircraft will enhance PN capabilities to protect Maritime interests of Pakistan.

Later, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad khan Niazi handed over aircraft documents to Commanding Officer of the concerned squadron. The ceremony was attended by senior serving and retired PN officers and CPOs/Sailors.

-End-

Naval News comments:

The Sea Sultan is based on Embraer’s Lineage 1000E business jet, which is a variant of the Embraer 190 regional airliner. The Lineage 1000E has a range of 8,500 km, a maximum speed of Mach 0.82, a service ceiling og 41,000 ft and a 120,000 lb MTOW. According to Defense News, Italy’s Leonardo was in charge of the conversion of three aircraft, but a follow-on contract is expected to bring the total number of Sea Sultans MPA to 10.

Details on the mission payload and sensor systems have not been disclosed but the latest MPA of the Pakistan Navy are fitted to conduct a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic intelligence (ELINT), electronic support measures (ESM), command and control (C2) and search and rescue (SAR).

The Pakistan Navy currently operates a fleet of modern ATR72 Sea Eagles and ageing P-3C Orions (set to be replaced by the Sea Sultans) for maritime patrol missions.


Riaz Haq said…
P282 Anti-ship Ballistic Missile: Strengthening Navy’s Conventional Deterrence - Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research

https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/defense-security/p282-anti-ship-ballistic-missile-strengthening-navys-conventional-deterrence/


The development of the P282 anti-ship missile in Pakistan was announced by the Ex-Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, during his farewell address in October 2020. Only the information about the development work on the missile was made public. No other details like the range and timeline were then shared. The missile, however, will be capable of anti-ship and land-attack strikes. It could also be launched from a ship. It is also said to have hypersonic or Mach 5+ speed. A typical ballistic missile with a certain range normally has hypersonic speed. In addition to other factors, the speed of the missile increases with its range. Typically, a short or medium-range missile would have less speed than an intermediate or long-range missile. So, it can be assumed that the missile will likely have at least a 1000km range.

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The expansion of the number and range of capabilities of the Indian Navy in recent decades has not gone unnoticed in Pakistan. The number of warships is increasing in the Indian Navy, and with that, their war-fighting capabilities would also get a boost. In comparison, Pakistan Navy was mostly constrained by budgetary allocations that could not enhance its war-fighting capabilities in the past. However, given the fast-paced Indian Naval modernisation plans, Pakistan Navy is now focusing on acquiring more assets and modern capabilities. Factors such as the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, operationalisation of Gwadar port, maritime and blue economy awareness have also enhanced the navy’ role in the security structure of the country. One capability that the Pakistan Navy is working on is to attain the capability to restrict the operational freedom of the Indian Navy during the war. In order to do that, it is working on the development of the P282 anti-ship/land-attack ballistic missile.

The possession of an anti-ship ballistic missile by the Pakistan Navy can become a major asset to deter India’s large naval fleet’s presence in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean during the peace and war. Pakistan has been developing capabilities that are in line with the Anti-Access/Area-Denial (A2/AD) concept. Under this strategy, the defensive forces try to restrict the movement of the adversary in an area of interest and deny it the freedom to operate if limited access has been gained. Anti-ship warfare is the major component of anti-access capabilities. Anti-ship warfare includes a variety of cruise missiles, but the development of anti-ship ballistic missiles by China has received more attention.

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.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/11/09/pakistan-receives-new-chinese-made-frigate-how-would-it-fare-against-indias-navy/

“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

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2021/11/19/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

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2021/11/19/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 tests high-altitude #weapons performance in #Karakoram mountains near border with #India. Weapons range from sniper rifles to vehicle-mounted remote control weapon systems, mortars, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles | South China Morning Post

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3156980/china-tests-high-altitude-weapons-performance-near-border-india

A range of conventional weapons were on display, from sniper rifles to vehicle-mounted remote control weapon systems, mortars, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles. Military experts said the training indicated the PLA infantries had been equipped with specially designed weapons for high-altitude combat-readiness operations.
“The PLA has introduced precision strike training in Indian border [areas] that aims at controlling more area in future contingencies,” said Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong, who added the operation would save manpower and secure the PLA’s defensive capability along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during the winter.

“The use of the Type 06 semi-automatic grenade launchers and mortars in the recent drill indicated China would deploy the powerful but handy weapons with precision strike capabilities to other disputed border areas,” he said.

The precision shooting drill is just the latest high-altitude battle capability training carried out by the PLA near the border areas with India in the Himalayas after both sides failed to reach agreement to resume talks on disengagement last month.
New Delhi has also ramped up its defences along the disputed border, stepping up the construction of roads and other infrastructure along the LAC, as well as deploying MiG-29UPG and Su-30MKI fighter jets to the region. There are also plans to buy high altitude armed swarm drones for the Indian military.

Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Beijing-based Yuan Wang military science and technology institute, said the PLA’s new weapons systems would be able to eliminate Indian outposts, military assets, and other targets.

“According to ballistic computation, there are differences for all guns and artillery systems and even aircraft to operate in plains regions and at high altitudes, due to anoxia and extreme weathers,” he said.
Before China’s military modernisation – accelerated under President Xi Jinping – there was no firing operations data for many of its weapons systems at elevations over 5,000 metres, according to an insider. Today, live-fire tests supported with electronic combat data are carried out at high altitudes for most new weapons.
Modernisation of the PLA’s weaponry began in the late 1990s under former president Jiang Zemin, who studied electronic engineering, and aimed to speed up weapons replacement as part of the goal to transform the military into a modern fighting force on a par with its US counterpart by 2035.
The deadline was brought forward to 2027 – the 100th anniversary of the PLA’s foundation – with China’s leadership announcing in the latest five-year plan that the country should accelerate its military modernisation programme and ensure the PLA becomes a modern army to meet one of the three centennial goals.
Riaz Haq said…
China’s ‘Most-Powerful’ Missile Defense System Likely To Be Deployed Along Both LAC & LOC
By
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.

https://eurasiantimes.com/new-headache-for-india-chinas-most-powerful-missile-defense-system-likely-to-be-deployed-along-both-lac-loc/

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.

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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…
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…

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https://hindustannewshub.com/world-news/sh-15-howitzer-pakistan-how-dangerous-is-chinas-sh-15-howitzer-pakistan-bought-to-compete-with-india/

Highlights
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…
Russian tanks being destroyed by Ukraine's US-supplied anti-tank missiles:


https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/russian-tanks-in-ukraine-are-sprouting-cages/21808191


This approach is known as statistical armour, because the protection it offers is all or nothing. It is typically quoted as having a 50% chance of disrupting an incoming rpg. But Dr Appleby-Thomas notes that it works only against munitions with a nose fuse, which Javelins, nlaws and mam-ls do not have.

Russia has been fitting slat armour to vehicles since 2016, but the design of the new cages, seemingly improvised from locally available materials, is baffling. They appear to be oriented in a way that protects only against attacks from above. In principle, that might help against Javelins, which have a “top attack” mode in which they first veer upwards and then dive to punch through a tank’s thin top armour. But, as Nick Reynolds, a land-warfare research analyst at rusi, a British defence think-tank, notes, even if the cage sets off a Javelin’s precursor warhead, the main charge is still more than powerful enough to punch through the top armour and destroy the tank—as the Ukrainian army itself proved in December, when it tested one against a vehicle protected by add-on armour replicating the Russian design. As expected, the Javelin destroyed the target easily.

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Notable purchases made with national funds since 2001 include: 18 new F-16 combat aircraft, 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and six Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns. Also, using U.S. military aid, Pakistan has purchased about 5,250 TOW anti-armor (anti-tank) missiles, five refurbished SH-2I Super Seasprite maritime helicopters, and one ex-Oliver Hazard Perry class missile frigate.

https://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/05/03/the-problem-with-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
#Ukraine’s Anti-Tank #Missiles Could See #Russia Shift War Tactics. Even Russia’s most modern tanks have proved vulnerable to “St. Javelin,” as a Ukrainian meme has dubbed the U.S.-made weapons. Note: Both #India & #Pakistan use #Russian designed #tanks. https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/bloomberg/ukraine-s-anti-tank-missiles-could-see-russia-shift-war-tactics/47434284#.Yj0DExemX3k.twitter

Oryx, a project that logs independently verified losses during the conflict, has so far counted six of Russia’s most advanced, T-90 tanks among the 76 destroyed by Ukraine’s military. In total, Russia has lost 214 tanks to attack, capture, or abandonment, and 1,292 vehicles in total, according to Oryx’s tally.

Ukraine claims higher Russian tank losses, while the Russian Defense Ministry does not release figures. Ukraine has lost 65 tanks, 22 of them destroyed, among 343 vehicles in total, according to Oryx.

In addition to supplies from abroad, the Ukrainian military already had Soviet-era and, more recently, domestically produced anti-tank weapons. Though less sophisticated than Javelins and NLAWs, these remain effective against most other armored vehicles.

What that all implies is evident from several Ukrainian videos widely shared on social media, including one of an attempted drive into the Kyiv suburb of Brovary last week by dozens of Russian tanks and other armored vehicles. Ukrainian troops destroyed several before the column retreated.

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A flood of anti-tank missiles sent to Ukraine has potentially changed the course of the war, putting pressure on Russia to find enough capable troops for the grueling urban combat that is now more likely.

For some military analysts, the number of latest generation anti-tank missiles shipped to Ukraine in recent weeks is breathtaking, giving Ukraine’s soldiers an arsenal of these weapons that may be unprecedented in a major modern war.

The U.K. alone says it has sent 3,615 of its short range Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) missiles, with launchers; Germany said it was sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons from its inventory; Norway 2,000; Sweden 5,000 and the U.S. an unpublicized number of Javelin missile systems. Others have also sent the weapons. Many are not the latest technology, but the threat they represent is considerable.

Javelins feature among the $3.5 billion the U.S. administration just secured from Congress to replenish stocks as they are sent to Ukraine. According to the Pentagon’s annual budget request, the 10 Javelin launch units and 763 missiles it bought in 2021 cost $190.3 million.

“The armies sending these things would certainly have had fewer per soldier than Ukraine has been promised,” said Phillips O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at Scotland’s St. Andrews University. “Basically people seem to be stripping themselves almost bare to get this stuff to the Ukrainians.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion is not going to plan, largely due to Ukrainian resistance and Russian miscalculations. The latest generation anti-tank weapons pouring into Ukraine are a factor, too.

Even Russia’s most modern tanks have proved vulnerable to “St. Javelin,” as a Ukrainian meme has dubbed the U.S.-made weapons, according to Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based expert on the Russian military for the Jamestown Foundation, an American think tank. Russia doesn’t make a third generation anti-tank weapon itself, he added.

Both Javelins and NLAWs hit a tank from above, where its armor is weakest. They are also so-called fire and forget missiles, allowing the attackers to move away as soon as a shot is taken. That reduces the risk they’ll be hit by a counterattack with their position revealed.


Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #PAF to Unveil Locally Made #AESA radar sending radio waves of multiple frequencies in different directions without moving the antenna. Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) #radar to be deployed in both ground-based and airborne roles. https://propakistani.pk/2022/03/24/paf-to-unveil-locally-made-stealth-radars-for-fighter-jets/

AESA is a second-generation phased radar in which radio waves of multiple frequencies can be sent in different directions without moving the antenna. AESA radars allow aircraft and ships to send powerful signals while remaining stealthy and resistant to jamming.

According to details, Pakistan’s local AESA radar is being developed by the Air Weapon Complex (AWC), an R&D facility of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), in collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).




Although complete details of the radar are unavailable at the moment, sources have claimed that the indigenously developed AESA radar will use the latest gallium nitride (GaN) transmit and receive modules that are owned by only a few countries.

AWC reportedly designed two types of GaN transmit and receive modules- S-band and X-band- in late 2019 and early 2020 respectively.

Both modules have different functionalities. The S-band module is used in ground-based and airborne search radars for target search and detection. On the other hand, the X-band module is associated with fire control due to its superior resolution.

The indigenous AESA radar is expected to officially make its debut in the JF-17 Block 4 fighter jet or the fifth-generation stealth fighter jet being developed under Project Azm.
Riaz Haq said…
Russian Influence on India’s Military Doctrines > Air University (AU)

By Vipin Narang


https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/JIPA/Display/Article/2473347/russian-influence-on-indias-military-doctrines/

In terms of doctrine and strategy, although it may be difficult to trace direct influence and lineage between Russia and India, there are several pieces in India’s conventional and nuclear strategy that at least mirror Russia’s behavior. On the conventional side, the core formation in the quick-strike concept known as “Cold Start” or “proactive strategy options” was modeled on the Russian formation known as the “operational maneuver group” (OMG). The idea was to have a formation that could be rapidly assembled from tank and armored divisions that could break through reinforced defenses—NATO for Russia, and Pakistan’s I and II Corps in the plains and desert sectors for India.

On the nuclear side, India is currently seized with the same dilemma the Soviet Union was during the Cold War: both NATO and Pakistan threaten battlefield nuclear weapons against conventional thrusts (India, at least, presumably would be retaliating following a Pakistan-backed provocation). While both states refined their conventional concept of operations, there may have also been corresponding adjustments to their nuclear strategies. It was long believed that, in response to NATO threats to use nuclear weapons first on the battlefield, the Soviet Union had strong preemptive counterforce elements in its strategy to try to at least disarm the United States of its strategic nuclear weapons for damage limitation. It is increasingly evident that at least some serious Indian officials are interested in developing the same sort of option: preemptive counterforce against Pakistan’s strategic nuclear forces, both for damage limitation and to reopen India’s conventional superiority. It is no surprise perhaps, then, that India chose to go ahead with acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile and air defense system, despite the threat of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions from the United States: the S-400 is key to India’s damage limitation strategy, capable of potentially intercepting residual ballistic and cruise missiles that a counterforce strike might miss.
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.

https://theprint.in/opinion/should-india-insist-on-large-warships-after-sinking-of-russias-moskva-the-lesson-not-to-take/921688/

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…
The Army in Indian Military Strategy: Rethink Doctrine or Risk Irrelevance
ARZAN TARAPORE

https://carnegieindia.org/2020/08/10/army-in-indian-military-strategy-rethink-doctrine-or-risk-irrelevance-pub-82426

India’s military strategy has been dominated by an orthodox offensive doctrine—a method of using force that favors large formations tasked with punitive incursions into enemy territory. This doctrine is orthodox in its preference for large combined-arms army formations, usually operating with minimal coordination with other services and relatively autonomously from its political masters. It is offensive in its military aims of imposing a punitive cost on the enemy––usually in the form of capturing territory for the purposes of gaining leverage in postwar negotiations––even if it is usually deployed in the service of a strategically defensive policy of maintaining the territorial status quo. And it is a doctrine in that it represents an enduring set of principles governing the Indian Army’s use of force, regardless of the scarcity of public doctrinal publications.

This paper argues that the stubborn dominance of the orthodox offensive doctrine, even in the face of drastic changes in India’s strategic environment, renders the military a less useful tool of national policy. In the two decades since India fought its last war in and around the district of Kargil in 1999, three major strategic trends have fundamentally changed India’s security environment: nuclear deterrence has made major conventional war unlikely; China’s military power and assertiveness now pose an unprecedented threat; and radical new technologies have redefined the military state of the art. India’s security policy has not kept pace. Given the balance of military power on India’s northern borders, India cannot decisively defeat either Pakistan or China on the battlefield. Without the ability to impose such unacceptable costs, India’s doctrine will not deter its rivals, which both have significant resolve to bear the costs of conflict. The continued pursuit of large, offensive military options also raises the risk that its enemies will rely on escalatory—even nuclear—responses. And because the doctrine demands a force structure of large ground-holding formations, it pulls scarce resources away from modernization and regional force projection—a problem made especially acute as the Indian government makes tough economic choices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The remainder of this paper is divided into five parts. First, it surveys the history of India’s military strategy, showing its reliance on ground forces and the orthodox offensive doctrine. Second, it outlines the three major strategic changes that have upended India’s security environment in the twenty-first century. Third, it analyzes the reasons why India’s strategy and doctrine have failed to adapt. Fourth, the paper argues that India’s military is less useful in this new environment. Finally, the paper concludes with some recommendations for the Indian Army.

Riaz Haq said…
The Army in Indian Military Strategy: Rethink Doctrine or Risk Irrelevance
ARZAN TARAPORE

https://carnegieindia.org/2020/08/10/army-in-indian-military-strategy-rethink-doctrine-or-risk-irrelevance-pub-82426


Modern India’s military strategy has been dominated by ground forces managing threats on its northern continental periphery. Air power has traditionally been used only as a supporting adjunct to land power, rather than an independent strategic tool; and India has not projected significant maritime force despite a notable history of seafaring and influence across the Indian Ocean region. Historically, there were sound reasons for this emphasis on ground forces. Wedged between two powerful and hostile neighbors, Pakistan and China, independent India fought five land wars along its northern land borders. Its most formative modern episodes were entirely or almost entirely ground-force actions. This includes its most searing defeat against China in 1962 and its most celebrated victory, in East Pakistan in 1971. India’s most immediate security threats today, from cross-border terrorism in the northern territories of Jammu and Kashmir to periodic incursions across its disputed boundary with China, are managed by the army and ground-force paramilitaries. To handle all this, the army attracts an ever-growing share of the military budget and resources. Despite its potential as a hybrid continental-maritime power, India’s security policy is dominated by ground forces.

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The orthodox offensive doctrine took center stage by the mid-1960s, propelled by two formative experiences that taught the Indian military the limits of the British Raj’s frontier defense doctrine.2 The first Kashmir war, in 1947–48, was a light-infantry conflict to gain control of the disputed territory.3 India quickly seized control of Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley, with most fighting thereafter occurring in the surrounding mountainous terrain. This reduced the scope for using combined arms, let alone other services. Air power did, however, play a vital—if not decisive—role in the war, when India used an air assault on Srinagar airport to launch its initial deployment into Kashmir. This allowed Indian forces to seize the initiative, establish and reinforce their military presence in the vital valley before Pakistan could, and resupply its lead forces. Without that initial use of air power, India would not have been able to make its timely intervention or sustain its operations in Kashmir. The bulk of the subsequent inconclusive fighting was done by India’s newly inherited ground forces. They secured ground lines of communication through Jammu to sustain the fight in the following months and pressed out of the valley to fight for control in the mountains until a ceasefire suspended hostilities.

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In response to the Cold Start doctrine, Pakistan has made tactical nuclear weapons an integral part of its military strategy and consistently warns that it will not hesitate to escalate a crisis past the nuclear threshold. Perhaps to preclude the possibility of a Pakistani nuclear attack, Indian strategists and planners may be developing a counterforce option to preemptively defang Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.63 A counterforce element of a cost imposition strategy—a contentious but plausible supposition—would multiply the risks already inherent in its orthodox offensive doctrine, especially while India’s counterforce capabilities are still under development and unproven. In response to India’s growing military presence near the Line of Actual Control, China has reinforced its border deployments and periodically seeks to revise the territorial status quo with provocative incursions, as it did most recently from April 2020.64

Riaz Haq said…
The US intelligence community is carrying out a sweeping internal review of how it assesses the fighting power of foreign militaries amid mounting pressure from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill who say officials have failed twice in one year on the two major foreign policy crises faced by the Biden administration in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sent a classified letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Department and the CIA pointing out that the agencies broadly underestimated how long the Ukrainian military would be able to fend off Russian forces and overestimated how long Afghan fighters would hold out against the Taliban last summer after the US withdrawal from the country, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. They questioned the methodology behind the intelligence community's assessments, and the underlying assumptions behind them, the sources said.
CNN has learned that one smaller intelligence agency within the State Department did more accurately assess the Ukrainian military's capability to resist Russia. But while that assessment was shared within the US government, it did not override the wider intelligence community's predictions.


https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/13/politics/us-intelligence-review-ukraine/index.html

Current and former intelligence officials acknowledge that only looking at military "capabilities" leaves out the quintessentially human factors that could prove decisive. Assessing a population's will to fight is an art, not a science, that defies purely data-driven analysis, the senior State Department official said. But, the official said, it is a key element to determining how successful a military will be in a fight.
"The basic challenge is, you can see what you can count: so you know something about the armaments they have and you can maybe see something about the training they have," said Treverton.
"But the things that matter are all intangible," he said. "You just don't know how good they're going to be and how willing they're going to be to fight. I've never seen us have much by way of a good method for doing that."

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Ukraine crisis: Could India cut its defence ties with Russia?


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61274042

"There's strong reason to believe that... Russia will be unable to fulfil its contractual commitments to India with delivery of all of the S-400 system," says Mr Lalwani.

He also believes that the losses Russia has incurred in Ukraine could mean it may not be able to meet India's needs "because it will be desperate to use all the spares to replenish its own forces".

Why is Russia losing so many tanks in Ukraine?
And he says Indian policymakers may be taking note of some of the issues that have faced Russian battlefield equipment and munitions in Ukraine.

Could India manage without Russian arms?
That looks unlikely at the moment.

A US Congressional report in October last year said that the "Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment and will continue to rely on Russian weapons systems in the near and middle term".

The report noted that Russia offers its weapons at relatively attractive prices.

Sangeeta Saxena, editor of Delhi-based Aviation and Defence Universe, says the Indian army in particular will continue to keep buying from Russia.
Riaz Haq said…
Early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it wasn’t just Moscow that believed its offensive could succeed quickly. In February, even U.S. officials warned Kyiv could fall in days.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-simple-ratio-came-to-influence-military-strategy-11652434202

Russians had numbers on their side, or more precisely a number: the 3:1 rule, the ratio by which attackers must outnumber defenders in order to prevail. It is one of several “force ratios” popular in military strategy. Russia, it seemed, could amass that advantage.

The war in Ukraine has brought renewed interest in force ratios. Other ratios in military doctrine include the numbers needed to defeat unprepared defenders, resist counterinsurgencies or counterattack flanks. Though they sound like rules of thumb for a board game like Risk, the ratios have been taught to generations of both American and Soviet and then Russian tacticians, and provide intuitive support for the idea Ukraine was extremely vulnerable.

“I would imagine that most of them are thinking in those terms, that you need something on the order of a 3:1 advantage to break through,” said John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago professor whose work focuses on security competition between great powers. “It’s clear in this case that the Russians badly miscalculated.”

Modern versions of the 3:1 rule apply to local sectors of combat. A Rand Corp. study determined a theater-wide 1.5-to-1 advantage would allow attackers to achieve 3:1 ratios in certain sectors.

Overall, Russia’s military has quadruple the personnel and infantry vehicles, triple the artillery and tanks, and nearly 10 times the armored personnel carriers, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the London-based think tank.

With 190,000 Russian troops concentrated to invade in February, and Ukraine’s military spread across the country, (only 30,000 troops, for example, were estimated to be in Ukraine’s east near the Donbas region) it appeared Russia had the numbers to overwhelm Ukraine.

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Ratios don’t account for Western intelligence and materiel support, for Ukrainian resolve, for low Russian morale, for Russia’s logistical struggles, or for severe Russian tactical errors, like leaving tanks exposed in columns on major roadways, Mr. Biddle said.

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These ratios originate from 19th-century European land wars.

In his seminal 1832 text on military strategy, “On War,” the Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz proclaimed: “The defensive form of warfare is intrinsically stronger than the offensive.” By the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Prussians distilled this to requiring triple the attackers. Prussia decisively triumphed; maybe they were on to something.

World War I, with years of stalemate in the trenches as combatants struggled to break through defenses, lent further credibility to the idea.

English Brigadier-General James Edmonds, writing shortly after World War I, recorded an early version of the rule: “It used to be reckoned in Germany that to turn out of a position an ebenbürtigen foe—that is, a foe equal in all respects, courage, training, morale and equipment—required threefold numbers.”

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Still, he said of Ukraine: “It’s obvious in this case, the force ratio, the number of static units, are a very poor predictor of what’s going to happen on the battlefield.”

To Mr. Epstein, force ratios exemplify a quip from the writer H.L. Mencken—and a lesson Russia is learning the hard way:

“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's 3rd MILGEM corvette 'PNS BADR' launched in Karachi - Naval News

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/05/pakistans-3rd-milgem-corvette-pns-badr-launched-in-karachi/


Turkish state-owned company ASFAT ceremonially launched the third PN MILGEM corvette for Pakistan Navy (PN), PNS BADR (281), at Pakistan's Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on 20 May 2022.


PN MILGEM Program consists of 4 ships, 2 ships will be built in Istanbul Shipyard Command and 2 ships will be built in KSEW. The program started on 11 March 2019. 4 ships are planned to be delivered in August 2023, February 2024, August 2024, and February 2025, respectively.

The exact configuration of the Pakistan Milgem-class ships has not been made public yet. During the Aman Naval Exercise held in February 2019, Admiral Abbasi said that Pakistan ships will be fitted with a 16-Cell VLS behind the main gun. It is expected that the Babur-class corvettes will be armed with MBDA’s Albatros NG air defence system and Harbah Anti-ship and land attack missiles.

The propulsion system for all the MILGEM ships consist of one LM2500 gas turbine in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines; total propulsion power is 31,600 kilowatts.

Turkey’s Ada-class are multipurpose corvettes able to conduct a wide a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare.

Key data:

Displacement: 2,926 tonnes
Length: 108.2 m
Beam: 14.8 m
Draft: 4.05 m
Propulsion: CODAG
Max speed: 31 knots
Range: 3500 nautical miles
Endurance: 15 days at sea
Crew: 93+40

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