En­hanc­ing com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK -

Not just in the light of reg­u­lar in­cur­sions on both the western and eastern borders, but also in view of the grow­ing asym­met­ric threats, the need for the armed forces to en­hance their com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties and fulfilling the vi­sion of na­tional se­cu­rity as­sumes im­por­tance. In a press con­fer­ence on the eve of the Army Day, the Army Chief, Gen­eral Bikram Singh re­it­er­ated that the In­dian Army was en­hanc­ing its com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity and as­sured that there would be no re­peat of the 1962 war with China.

While agree­ing that there have been reg­u­lar in­tru­sions from Pak­istan and small arms fir­ing, the Army Chief was em­phatic that the In­dia com­man­ders and the soldiers on the line of con­trol were do­ing a great job in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, ter­rain, etc. In­dia re­serves the right to re­tal­i­ate to any in­cur­sions.

Without be­ing bor­der-spe­cific, the Army Chief em­phat­i­cally stated there was no com­pla­cency on the part of the Army and that ca­pa­bil­i­ties were be­ing cre­ated in a sys­tem­atic man­ner. The ap­proval for the Moun­tain Strike Corps by the govern­ment is also an in­di­ca­tion of the govern­ment’s un­der­stand­ing of the need to strengthen our com­bat power. The In­dian Army has out­lined a roadmap, ac­cord­ingly it is in the process of in­tense mod­erni­sa­tion and that nearly 40 con­tracts for ac­qui­si­tions are in dif­fer­ent stages of ex­e­cu­tion.

As we are all aware, all the three ser­vices have stepped up mod­erni­sa­tion plans. The In­dian Navy has just got a big boost with the ar­rival of INS Vikra­ma­ditya, an air­craft car­rier, based at its home­port of Kar­war Naval base in Kar­nataka. The 44,500 tonne ship is ex­pected to set sail on op­er­a­tional train­ing ex­er­cises in the Ara­bian Sea soon with ships from the Western fleet. While that is good news, the bad news is that at the time of go­ing to print, INS Sind­hughosh sub­ma­rine has been re­port­edly grounded, com­ing close on the heels of the ma­jor fire ac­ci­dent on INS Sind­hu­rak­shak. Mean­while, the al­ready de­layed Project 75I re­quest for pro­posal for six new con­ven­tional at­tack sub­marines con­tin­ues to hang fire. This has up­set a wee bit the Navy’s op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity. There is an of­fer from the French ship­yard DCNS to pro­vide six Scor­pene class sub­marines.

In his fort­nightly view­point, Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch has un­der­scored the im­por­tance of stealth and the tech­no­log­i­cal progress made in terms of cam­ou­flage. A Cana­dian com­pany has come up with cam­ou­flage fab­ric which is light­weight and in­ex­pen­sive, which, he avers, could un­leash a far more deadly wave of ter­ror­ism at the global level.

In this is­sue, we have a fea­ture on the Air­bus A330 multi-role tanker trans­port (MRTT) and how it per­forms si­mul­ta­ne­ously three dif­fer­ent types of mis­sions – aerial re­fu­elling; freight trans­port and med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion.

In this Golden Ju­bilee Year of our group – SP Guide Pub­li­ca­tions – we at SP’s M.A.I reded­i­cate our­selves to giv­ing the best to the grow­ing base of read­ers. We look for­ward to your valu­able feed­back which will help us in ad­vanc­ing fur­ther.

Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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