Friday, January 30, 2015

Four New Defense Projects for India

The U.S. extended the Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) signed with India in 2005 by another decade, to 2025. The move came during this week’s visit to India by President Obama, the first U.S. president to be chief guest for India’s 66th Republic Day celebrations. He was accompanied by a large defense-related delegation. The visit came barely a week after Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was in the country for the 14th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation.

The DTTI covers potential partnership in U.S.-India military-industrial matters. From a list about 17 technologies permitted for transfer, the two sides have identified four “Pathfinder projects” for co-development and co-production. They are the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven B UAV; roll-on roll-off cargo modules for disaster-relief operations worldwide by Lockheed Martin C-130Js, to be designed by an inter-university competition; the General Atomics Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System for India’s second indigenous Aircraft carrier, and hot section jet engine technology for unspecified projects led by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation. The U.S. also offered the Javelin next-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) for co-development and manufacture under the DTTI. But India rejected the offer in favor of Rafael’s Spike ATGM.

The four pathfinder projects assume added importance even though technology offered with the lightweight UAV is basic. There is an indigenous counterpart. “We can match the Raven in terms of technology,” Avdhesh Khaitan, CEO and founder of Kadet Defense Systems told AIN. “This [Raven] is a model plane turned into a UAV…the move will scuttle the innovation efforts of the Indian small and medium industries that the government says it wants to promote.” He added: “Why doesn’t AeroVironment offer its Switchblade tactical missile system instead? This will bring technology into the country.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the dedicated rapid reaction team focused exclusively on advancing the DTTI by the U.S. Deptartment of Defense along with India’s MoD would identify more joint projects in the future. In a statement, the U.S. noted that “by establishing a new military education partnership, we will help shape the next generation of military leaders in both our nations, fostering relationships that will draw our defense establishments closer together for years to come.” The U.S. also stated its intention to support India's membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar arrangement and the Australia Group.

Susweta Bose  [Masters in Mass Comm ] 
Sub Editor

Malaysia needs to Pay Serious Attention to Aviation Industry

Malaysia needs to Pay Serious Attention to Aviation Industry
With changes in the worldwide civil Aviation landscape and emerging threats, Malaysia pledges to secure, strengthen and enhance its Aviation industry. It would be more vigilant to evolving and emerging issues, and adopt the latest technologies shared by the Transport Security Administration (TSA), the United States and Aviation community in Asean.
The threat in civil Aviation, especially terrorism to Aviation security continues to evolve and it is far from disappearing,” Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said at the Southeast Asia Regional Aviation Security Workshop here yesterday.
Civil Aviation, he said, was still one of the main targets and perhaps the “target of choice” of international terrorism.
“As the present and future threats to Aviation security are becoming more and more complex, this opportunity of knowledge and information sharing is timely,” he said.
The workshop, the first of its kind in the country, was held between TSA experts, representatives from the US Embassy, the Aviation Security Organisation from 10 Asean countries, including Malaysia, and representatives from Australia. Aziz said there was a pressing need for information sharing among the Aviation security community such as intelligence in combating threats concerning terrorism and smuggling.
This can be achieved through a robust regional partnership. “In 2010, there were attempts to circumvent air cargo security where explosive devices were concealed in packages and shipped as cargo,” Aziz said. “This has made us realise that even air cargo remains vulnerable in today’s global threat environment. 

Malaysia, he added, has adopted new and more stringent security standards for its air cargo. “We are in the midst of implementing the secure freight programme to set up a safer and secure security process – right from the manufacturer until the aircraft,” Aziz said. Speaking to reporters later, Aziz condemned Monday’s hacking of the Malaysia Airlines website on Monday, by the “Lizard Squad”, stating that it was an irresponsible act.

Susweta Bose  [Masters in Mass Comm ]