India joins MTCR, next NSG?
India’s march in the comity of nations continues on different fronts. While its bid to get into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was blocked by neighbour China, India was successful in joining as a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in Paris. Since the conclusion of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal between President George Bush and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh nearly a decade ago, India has been making efforts to be a part of these two export control regimes as also of the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that together regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and technologies.
In this issue, Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd) analyses how India’s membership of the MTCR would help strengthen global non-proliferation objectives. India’s entry into the MTCR is expected to remove or reduce impediments for the nation to export high-tech missiles such as BrahMos to other countries as well as purchase the Predator unmanned combat aerial vehicles from the US. However, fresh policy framework would have to be drawn up and implemented. Air Marshal Pandey states that the major diplomatic challenge before India would be to negotiate the next round of negotiations for entry into the NSG without further escalating animosity with China.
In another article, Air Marshal Pandey has hailed the first squadron of home-grown light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas which became a reality with the induction of two aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) after a wait of over three decades. The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited handed over two LCA Tejas Mk I. The new squadron has been christened the ‘Flying Daggers 45’. While commissioning of the Flying Daggers 45 will go down in the history of IAF as a milestone to be cherished, the LCA Tejas has still a long way to go.
In the article on Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016, Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) writes about how the government is allowing foreign entities to engage agents for defence deals under a strict set of conditions, which includes giving the Defence Ministry (MoD) access to company accounts. What the Defence Minister and the MoD need to ensure is that military equipping is not delayed at any cost considering the poor state because of extreme neglect over the past decade.
We have an article on the C295 military transport aircraft which will be the first project wherein a military transport aircraft will actually be manufactured in India by an original equipment manufacturer from abroad. The Airbus-Tata Advanced Systems Limited joint venture company will virtually become the proverbial ‘Jewel in the Crown’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ scheme.
From aerospace to space is one big leap which India has been taking. Though much hard work lies ahead for developing the final space shuttle, what ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has demonstrated over the years is a remarkable sense of dedication and progress in the space arena at minimal costs.
From space to technology, we have eRider robotic vehicle from Safran which combines a multi-mission platform and drone capabilities.
This and more in this issue and we look forward to your feedback!