STRATEGIKA: Security Digest of India
Digest Compiled by
Doctoral Candidate, Diplomacy and Disarmament Divison, CIPOD, JNU
He tweets at @rawatra10 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello and Welcome to the Strategika, India’s Security Digest, where we track and bring before you all the news and developments related to India’s National Security on a regular basis. Our aim is to provide you with the most comprehensive of data on the ongoing developments concerning India’s National Security
Rafale Marine Aircraft
Source: The Wire
Indian Navy begins evaluating Rafale’s compatibility with Vikrant
The Indian Navy (IN) began evaluating its long-standing requirement for multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) on Monday, with the French-origin Rafale-M fighter demonstrating its capabilities at its Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa.
Next, the IN will assess Dassault’s twin-engine Rafale-M’s ability to undertake short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) flights and other related operational parameters at the SBTF’s 283-metre mock-up ski jump at INS Hansa.
The Navy’s objective is to assess whether the French fighter would be capable of operating from INS Vikrant, its 37,500-tonne STOBAR indigenous aircraft carrier that began its third round of sea trials over the weekend and is scheduled for commissioning in August, on India’s 75th Independence Day.
Meanwhile, the ongoing flight demonstrations by the Rafale-M fighter and those imminently by the F/A-18 Super Hornet, exhibit the urgency of acquiring naval combat aircraft for Vikrant at a time of great turbulence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the IN’s ‘coming out’ as a ‘pivot’ force in this area.
India undertakes Maritime Partnership Exercise with Japan
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik & Kadmatt undertook Maritime Partnership Exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Ships Uraga and Hirado in the Bay of Bengal on January 13. The exercise included a wide range of flying operations, replenishment approaches and tactical manoeuvres.
The complex maritime exercises will enable the two navies to further strengthen their already wide-ranging strategic partnership and, when required, to jointly safeguard their maritime interests and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.
Indian Navy's INS Kochi Undertakes PASSEX With Russia's Admiral Tributs In Arabian Sea
Russian ship Admiral Tributs exercised with the Indian Navy's indigenously designed and built guided-missile destroyer, INS Kochi in the Arabian sea on January 14, 2022. The PASSEX showcased “cohesiveness and interoperability between the two navies''.
India and Russia continue to engage annually in naval exercises such as the Indra Navy which is a joint millennial military exercise conducted between both countries since 2003.
INS Kochi, the indigenously designed second ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers was built under the code name of Project 15A for the Indian Navy. It was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai and was later commissioned to the Indian Navy services on September 30, 2015, after undergoing extensive sea trials.
India Mulls Scrapping P-8 Poseidon, MiG-29 Fighter Jet Deal With The US & Russia To Boost ‘Make In India’ Initiative
HAL likely to be in fray for Navy’s NUHs after defence ministry junks Coast Guard chopper deal
The Ministry of Defence is likely to allow state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to bid for the Navy’s programme to buy 111 naval utility helicopters (NUHs), as the Narendra Modi government reviews all foreign procurement programmes in favour of indigenous systems.
The Navy’s proposed NUH programme comes under the ‘strategic partnership’ route, which will allow a selected foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to partner a nominated Indian company to manufacture the choppers domestically.
Defence sources said the HAL has proven its blade-folding capability to the Navy and if the Coast Guard can forgo plans to buy foreign helicopters in favour of HAL, there is no rationale of not including HAL in the competition for NUH.
On Relations With India, Pakistan’s New National Security Policy Makes No Changes, Say Former Envoys
The document claims that Pakistan’s deterrence regime is “aimed at regional peace”. “The expansion of India’s nuclear triad, open-ended statements on nuclear policy, and investments in and introduction of destabilising technologies disturb the strategic balance in the region”.
On relations with India, the document stated that Pakistan wants to “improve relationship with India” but adds that a “just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains at the core of the bilateral relationship”.
Former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, Sharat Sabharwal, observed that “Pakistan has always said that it is willing to have good relations with India but on the condition of Kashmir resolution. This discourse has always been there. So it is nothing new”.
1st S-400 unit to be ready by April, 4 others by 2023
All the five units of the S-400 system, which can take down a hostile aircraft or missile at a range between 40km and 400km, are expected to be operational by next year.
James O’ Brien, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the US State Department’s coordinator for sanctions policy, told the Senate Foreign Committee that while the US has discouraged India from acquiring the S-400 systems from Russia, Washington’s decision on whether to sanction India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or grant a waiver will be done only after weighing important geostrategic considerations in relations to China.
Already, advance consignments of two S-400 systems have arrived in India from Moscow and work is on to assemble the systems and the radars by Indian teams trained in Russia.
Republican senator supports waiving CAATSA sanctions against India
India, Senator Todd Young said, is currently taking delivery of the Russian S-400 system. The country is also in the process of acquiring new frigate ships from Russia. "Both are important systems for the Indians," he said during a confirmation hearing for James O'Brien for the position of the State Department coordinator for Sanctions Policy.
"India is a vital ally in our competition against China, and thus, I believe we should resist taking any actions that might drive them away from us and the Quad. I am therefore strongly supportive of waiving CAATSA sanctions against India, given our shared foreign policy interests," Senator Young said.
Rourkela Plant steel to be used by Indian Navy for making submarines
The Rourkela Steel Plant, a unit of Maharatna public sector undertaking SAIL, has received a certificate from the Indian Navy for producing high-strength steel for making submarines.
Rear Admiral R Vishwanathan (heading IN delegation) said, "As a policy, the Indian Navy is using indigenous steel for its ship and submarine manufacturing. The RSP is fulfilling the needs of a tough and meticulous customer like the Indian Navy for the last 10 years...commencement of commercial production of the submarine grade steel will further strengthen our association."
India extends $500 million Line of Credit to help Sri Lanka purchase fuel
India on Tuesday announced a $500 million credit line to help Sri Lanka purchase petroleum products as the island nation struggles with a massive fuel and energy crisis.
In addition to this, the Indian government announced a billion dollar assistance package in addition to other balance of payment support to Sri Lanka. The billion dollar loan credit facility is to be used to avert a food crisis while allowing for the import of items and medicines. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/india-extends-500-million-line-of-credit-to-help-sri-lanka-purchase-fuel-7954251.html
Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant completes third sea trials; to be induced into the Indian Navy by this year
The third sea trial of India's first indigenously-built aircraft carrier IAC Vikrant started on Sunday, January 9, witnessed the presence of several scientists of the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, a DRDO facility based at Visakhapatnam.
IAC Vikrant constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited has been built at a cost of Rs 23,000 crore and has over 2,300 compartments designed for a crew of around 1,700 people including specialised cabins for women. It will also operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, and MH-60R multi-role helicopters.
Pakistan to acquire deadly Turkish torpedo countermeasure system to check Indian Navy’s rapid expansion
In a recent development, Turkey has followed up on its previous decision of 2019 to equip the Pakistani submarines with its torpedo countermeasure systems for the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B-class submarines.
The contract is part of the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B MLU program, which includes the upgrading of three Agosta 90B submarines under a deal signed with the Turkish STM Company in 2016. Pakistan became the second country after Indonesia to employ the Zargana, which many experts call superior to its global competitors.
However, this is not the first time that Turkey is aiding Pakistan in upgrading its naval fleet. The Pakistan Navy inked a contract with ASFAT, a Turkish defence manufacturer, in July 2018 to purchase four MILGEM-class ships.
New chapter in ties as Indian Foreign Secretary meets Germany navy chief, warship ‘Bayern’ visits
India and Germany are opening a new chapter in their defence and security ties as Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held maritime security cooperation talks with Germany’s navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach, and a German frigate entered Indian waters for a rare port call.
The developments, seen as a major signal to China, come as Germany strengthens its own Indo-Pacific policy and Berlin identifies New Delhi as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific strategic framework.
Germany’s new Olaf Scholz administration has made it clear that as an export-oriented economy, it will maintain its trade ties with India, but will also begin to assert its strategic autonomy, the source said.
Over 45 countries expected to participate in multilateral exercise Milan in 2022: Indian Navy
Biennial multilateral exercise Milan’s 2022 edition is expected to be the largest one with participation of navies of 45-plus countries, said the Indian Navy.
Milan’s 2022 edition is scheduled to be held at Visakhapatnam from February 25 to March 4, the Navy mentioned.
Theme of Milan’s 2022 edition would be ‘Camaraderie-Cohesion-Collaboration’. Milan is a biennial multilateral event hosted by the Indian Navy since 1995.