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Monday, April 29, 2013

China-India Relations: Military Diplomacy Aspects & CBMs Agreed Upon Between 1988 And Thus Far

A positive trend in relations between China and India was facilitated after the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988, during which it was decided to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) for finding ways of resolving the boundary issue. Between December 1988 and June 1993, progress was made in reducing tensions on the border via Confidence-Building Measures (CBM), including mutually agreed-upon force-level reductions at Sumdorong Chu in Arunachal Pradesh, regular meetings of GOC-in-Cs of theatre commands of both sides that are responsible for all sections of the disputed boundary, and advance notifications of military exercises being held by these theatre commands. Seven rounds of JWG talks were held during this period. During Sharad Pawar’s visit to Beijing in July 1992, the first ever by an Indian Defence Minister, it was agreed to develop academic, military, scientific and technological exchanges. A senior-level tri-services delegation of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) made a six-day goodwill visit to India in December 1993, aimed at fostering CBMs between the armed forces of the two countries.  The visit was reciprocated by the Indian Army’s Chief of the Army Staff (VOAS) Gen B C Joshi’s visit to China in July 1994. This was followed by the visit to China by the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, in April 2003. This was followed by a return visit by the then Minister for National Defence (MND), Gen Cao Gangchuan, in March 2004.  The Chief of Air Staff (CAS) of the IAF, ACM A Y Tipnis, visited China in May 2001 and this was reciprocated by the PLAAF’s Commander, Gen Qiao Qingchen, who visited India in October 2006.  In December 2004, Gen N C Vij, the then COAS, visited China, the first by an Indian Army COAS in a decade, and both countries agreed to deepen defence cooperation.  In May 26, 2005, the PLA Army’s Chief of the General Staff (CGS), Gen Liang Guanglie, visited India on a six-day tour. His predecessor, Gen Fu Quanyu, had earlier visited India in May 1998. The then Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee visited India in May 2006 and signed the first ever MoU on Defence Exchanges between the Armed Forces of China and India. In May 2007 Gen Joginder Jaswant Singh, Chairman COSC and COAS visited China. This was the first time that the Indian armed forces’ Chairman COSC visited had China and he was hosted by the then CGS of the PLA, Gen Liang Guanglie. From November 4 to 7, 2008, the then Chief of Air Staff of the IAF, ACM Fali Homi Major, paid an official visit to China, while the Commander of the PLA Navy was also on a visit to India at roughly the same time. Chairman COSC and the Indian Navy’s Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Sureesh Mehta, visited China and participated in the International Fleet Review to mark the 60th Anniversary Celebrations of the PLA Navy between April 19 and 25, 2009. Earlier, the IN’s then CNS had visited China in March 1996, while the PLAN’s Commander, Admiral Wu Shengli, visited India in November 2008. 
While Indian Defence Ministers have visited China thrice—in July 1992, April 2003 and May 2006, China’s Ministers of National Defence have visited India thrice--in September 1994, March 2004 and September 2012. Gen Liang Guanglie, the present-day Defence Minister and Vice-Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), visited India from September 2 to 6, 2012. Accompanying him were 20 PLA Army officers hailing from the Chengdu and Lanzhou Military Regions (MR), PLAN (from its South Sea Fleet) and PLAAF senior officers, and the 2nd Artillery Corps.
The first Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) between China and India was held in Beijing in November 2007.  The Indian side was led by Bimal Julka, JS (G/Air), MoD, while the Chinese side was led by Maj Gen Qian Li Hua, Chief of FAO, MND. The second ADD was held in Delhi on December 15, 2008 between the PLA’s then Deputy Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian, and India’s then Defence Secretary Vijay Singh. The third ADD was held in in Beijing on January 6, 2010 between the PLA’s then Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian and India’s then Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar. The fourth ADD was conducted in Delhi on December 9, 2011 between the PLA’s then Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian and India’s Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma. The fifth ADD was held in Beijing on January 14, 2013 between the PLA’s Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Qi Jianghuo and India’s Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma.
Since 2002, China and India have also held six rounds of counter-terrorism dialogues. The first-ever dialogue on counter-terrorism was held on April 23, 2002 between India’s joint secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and China’s Director-General of the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. India’s then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh had formalised the dialogue during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Tang Jiaxuan on March 30, 2002. The 5th round of counter-terrorism dialogues was held in March 2012, with Ashoke Mukherjee, Additional Secretary in MEA, leading the Indian side. The 6th round was held on April 11 and 12, 2013 in Beijing, with the MEA’s Additional Secretary, Navtej Sarna, leading the Indian side.
India and China held their first-ever dialogue on Afghanistan on April 18, 2013 in Beijing The meeting took place in the backdrop of talks between the National Security Advisers of India, China and Russia, which were held in Moscow recently to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. China also held a trilateral meeting with Russia and Pakistan later. From the Indian side the talks on Afghanistan were led by Y K Sinha, Additional Secretary, Pakistan Afghanistan Iran, (PAI) of India’s MEA. India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is expected to visit Beijing in the coming weeks to establish contacts with his new counterpart for Special Representatives talks on the boundary dispute. Former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has been appointed as State Councillor succeeding Dai Bingguo, but he was yet to be officially designated as China's Special Representative for boundary negotiations with India.
In addition to all the above, there have been several reciprocal visits by senior-level military officials, as well as joint military exercises. On November 14, 2003, the IN and PLAN conducted a joint search-and-rescue exercise off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea, a first for both countries. On November 18, 2003 an Indian delegation headed by Lt Gen Mohinder Singh, GOC 4 Corps, visited PLA bases and academic institutions in Beijing, and also visited Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. At the invitation of Lt Gen Puri, Chief of India’s HQ Integrated Defence Staff, a PLA delegation headed by Gen Wu Quanxu, Deputy CGS of the PLA Army, visited India from December 10 to 15, 2003. On August 28, 2004 PLA and IA troops held a joint mountaineering training programme in the border area of TAR, the first of its kind between the two armed forces. Between August 18 and 25, 2005 Indian observers were invited to witness ‘Peace Mission-2005’, a one week-long joint anti-terrorism military exercise that involved 10,000 troops from China and Russia and which had started in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East and later had moved to eastern China’s Shandong Peninsula. In return, PLA observers were invited during the Indian Army’s ‘Exercise Desert Strike’ in the western sector in 2005. Between December 21 and 27, 2007, 100 personnel each from the PLA Army and IA conducted the first-ever joint anti-terrorism military training exercise—code-named ‘Hand-in-Hand’—in Kunming. Maj Gen Xiong Zuoming led the PLA Army contingent. Wu Xiaoyi, Deputy Director of the Asian Affairs Bureau under the Foreign Affairs Office of China’s MND and Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian, Deputy CGS of the PLA were the senior-most observers from the Chinese side, while Lt Gen Susheel Gupta, Deputy COAS of the IA, was the senior-most Indian observer. Between December 6 and 12, 2008 a 147-member PLA Army team from the 1st Company of Infantry Battalion of Chengdu MR, and IA troops from 8 Maratha Light Infantry Battalion underwent joint tactical manoeuvres and drills; inter-operability training; and joint command post procedures, finally culminating in a joint counter-terrorist operational exercise with a simulated enemy at Belgaum, Karnataka).  Lt Gen Ma Xiaotian and Lt Gen Nobel Thamburaj, the then GOC-in-C Southern Command, were the senior-most observers. In August 2009, Lt-Gen V K Singh, then the IA’s GOC-in-C Eastern Command, paid a week-long visit to TAR. He was accompanied by the then GOC IV Corps (based in Tezpur, Assam). Maj Gen Gurmeet Singh of the IA’s HQ Northern Command in June 2011 visited Beijing, Shanghai and Urumqi. Lt Gen Lang Youliang from the Tibet Military District of the Chengdu MR led an eight-member PLA delegation to India between November 3 and 9, 2011 and visited various IA establishments in New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, while a multi-command IA delegation headed by a Maj-Gen made a daylong visit to Lhasa on July 11, 2012.
India and China on March 1, 2012 decided to set up a maritime dialogue between the IN and PLAN. The decision came at the end of a meeting between the then visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Indian counterpart S M Krishna.

Both countries held the second round of strategic economic talks in New Delhi on November 26, 2012. Zhang Ping, Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, co-chaired the dialogue. The two sides exchanged views to seek broader economic cooperation and promote coordination on macro-economic policy. They also resolved to strengthen cooperation in areas such as investment, infrastructure, high-technology, energy-saving and energy resources. The first meeting of the China-India Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in Beijing on September 26, 2011 and co-chaired by Zhang and Ahluwalia.

On August 26, 2012 Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit to hold the 9th round of talks with his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma under the framework of Joint Economic Group (JEG).
CBMs Inked Thus Far

Maintenance of Peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China Border on September 7, 1993.


In the first place, the Agreement affirmed the view that the China-India boundary question shall be resolved through peaceful and friendly consultations and that neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means. Yet another important highlight was that it stipulated that “pending an ultimate solution of the boundary question between the two countries, the two sides shall strictly observe the LAC between the two sides and that no activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control. In case of personnel of one side crossing the LAC, upon being confirmed by the other side, they shall immediately pull back to their own side of the LAC. It further provided that whenever necessary, the two sides shall jointly check and determine the segments of the LAC when they have different views as to its alignment.
Secondly, the agreement stipulated that each side will keep its military forces in the area along the LAC to a minimum level compatible with friendly and good neighbourly relations between the two countries. It further reiterated that the two sides had agreed to reduce their military forces along the LAC in conformity with the requirement of the principle of mutual and equal security, with force-level ceilings to be mutually agreed, and that the reduction of military forces shall be carried out in stages in mutually agreed geographical locations sector-wise within the areas along the LAC.
Thirdly, as regards military exercises, the Agreement mentioned that each side shall give the other prior notification of the military exercises of specified levels near the LAC permitted under the Agreement.
Fourthly, in case of contingency or other problems arising in the areas of LAC, the two sides shall deal with them through meetings and friendly consultations between border personnel of the two countries.
Fifthly, the two sides also agreed to take adequate measures to ensure that air intrusions across the LAC do not take place and that the two sides shall undertake mutual consultations in case such intrusions occur.

Confidence-Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the China-India Border Areas on November 29, 1996


This Agreement was inked on November 29, 1996 during the visit of the then Chinese President Jiang Zemin to India. This Agreement while reiterating and reaffirming the intent and spirit of the 1993, state agreement, inter-alias, as CBMs, envisaged the following:
1) The major categories of armament to be reduced or limited include battle tanks, infantry combat vehicles, guns (including howitzers) with 75mm or bigger calibre, mortars with 120mm or bigger calibre, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and any other weapon system.
2) The two sides shall exchange data on the military forces and armaments to be reduced or limited and decide on ceilings on military forces and armaments to be kept by each side within agreed geographic zones along the LAC.

3) In order to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LAC and to prevent any tension in the border areas due to misreading by either side of the other side’s intentions, Article IV of the Agreement provides the following:

1. Both sides shall avoid holding large-scale military exercises involving more than one Division (approximately 15,000 troops) in close proximity of the LAC. However, if such exercises are to be conducted, the strategic direction of the main force involved shall not be towards the other side.

2. If either side conducts a major military exercise involving more than one Brigade Group (approximately 5,000 troops) in close proximity of the LAC, it shall give the other side prior notification with regard to type, level, planned duration and area of exercise as well as the number and type of units or formations participating in the exercise.

3. The date of completion of the exercise and de-induction of troops from the area of exercise shall be intimated to the other side within five days of completion or de -induction.

4. Each side shall be entitled to obtain timely clarification from the side undertaking the exercise in respect of date specified in Paragraph 2 of the present Article.

With a view to preventing air intrusions across the LAC and facilitating overflights and landings by military aircraft, Article V provides that:

(1) Both sides shall take adequate measures to ensure that air intrusions across the LAC do not take place. However, if an intrusion does take place, it should cease as soon as it has been detected and the incident shall be promptly investigated by the side operating the aircraft. The results of the investigation shall be immediately communicated, through diplomatic channels or at border personnel meetings, to the other side.

(2) Subject to paragraphs 3 and 5 of this Article, combat aircraft (to include fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, military trainer, armed helicopter and other armed aircraft) shall not fly within 10km of the LAC.

(3) If either side is required to undertake flights of combat aircraft within 10km from the LAC, it shall give the following information in advance to the other side, through diplomatic channels:

a) Type and number of combat aircraft;

b) Height of the proposed flight (in metres);

c) Proposed duration of flights (normally not to exceed ten days);

d) Proposed timing of flights; and

e) Area of operations, defined in latitude and longitude.

 (4) Unarmed transport aircraft, survey aircraft and helicopters shall be permitted to fly up to the LAC.

(5) No military aircraft of either side shall fly across the LAC, except by prior permission. Military aircraft of either side may fly across the LAC or overfly the other side’s airspace or land on the other side only after obtaining the latter’s prior permission after providing the latter with detailed information on the flight in accordance with the international practices in this regard. Notwithstanding the above stipulation, each side has the sovereign right to specify additional conditions, including at short notice, for flights or landings of military aircraft of the other side on its side of the LAC or through its airspace.

(6) In order to ensure flight safety in emergency situations, the authorities designated by the two sides may contact each other by the quickest means of communications available.

Similarly, with a view to preventing dangerous military activities along the LAC, Article VI stipulates that:

(1) Neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosive within 2km from the LAC. This prohibition shall not apply to routine firing activities in small arms firing ranges.

(2) If there is a need to conduct blast operations within 2km of the LAC as part of developmental activities, the other side shall be informed through diplomatic channels or by convening a border personnel meeting, preferably five days in advance.

(3) While conducting exercises with live ammunition in areas close to the LAC, precaution shall be taken to ensure that a bullet or a missile does not accidentally fall on the other side across the LAC line and cause harm to the personnel or property of the other side.

(4) If the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the LAC of for any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation. Both sides shall also enter into immediate consultations through diplomatic and/or other available channels to review the situation and prevent any escalation of tension.

Article VII of the Agreement envisages the following:

a. To maintain and expand the regime of scheduled and flag meetings between their border representatives at designated places along the LAC;

b. To maintain and expand telecommunications links between the border meeting points at designated places along the LAC; and

c. To establish step-by-step medium and high-level contacts between the border authorities of the two sides.

Article VIII of the Agreement provides the following guidelines:

1. Should the personnel of one side cross the LAC and enter the other side because of unavoidable circumstances like natural disasters, the other side shall extend all possible assistance to them and inform their side, as soon as possible regarding the forced or inadvertent entry across the LAC. The modalities of return of the concerned personnel to their own side shall be settled through mutual consultations.

2. The two sides shall provide each other, at the earliest possible, with information pertaining to natural disasters and epidemic diseases in contiguous border areas which might affect the other side. The exchange of information shall take place either through diplomatic channels or at border personnel meetings.

Article X mentions following provisions:

1. Recognising that the full implementation of some of the provisions of the present Agreement will depend on the two sides arriving at a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC in the China-India border areas, the two sides agree to speed up the process clarification and confirmation of the LAC. As an initial step in this process, they are clarifying the alignment of the LAC in those segments where they have different perceptions. They also agree to exchange maps indicating their respective perceptions of the entire alignment of the LAC as soon as possible.

2. Pending the completion of the process of clarification and confirmation of the LAC, the two sides shall work out modalities for implementing CBMs envisaged under his Agreement on an interim basis, without prejudice to their respective positions on the alignment of the LAC as well as on the boundary question.

Thus, it can be seen from various provisions of different agreements and accords signed between China and India that every conceivable aspect of military contingency has been thoughtfully anticipated and ways and means to deftly handle them without precipitating the matter have been envisaged.
Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question on June 23, 2003

16 rounds of talks have been conducted thus far between the political representatives of both countries.

China and India agreed to establish a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, according to a joint statement signed by visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Monday on April 11, 2005. During the Chinese Premier’s April 8 to 12 visit the two sides agreed that China-India relations have now acquired a ‘global and strategic character’.

Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question on April 11, 2005

Article III of this Protocol envisages the following provisions:

a. In the event of an alleged air intrusion of its controlled airspace by the military aircraft of the other side, either side may seek a Flag Meeting within 48 hours of the alleged air intrusion in order to seek a clarification. The investigation shall be completed by the other side and its results communicated through a Flag Meeting within a period of four weeks.

b. If a military aircraft of either side is required to fly across the LAC or to overfly the airspace of the other side, prior permission shall be sought from the other side according to procedures and formats to be mutually agreed upon.

c. If a military or civilian aircraft of either side is required to fly across the LAC or to land on the other side of the LAC in an emergency situation, the two sides will ensure flight safety in such a situation by adhering to procedures to be mutually agreed upon.

Article V provides the following:

a. Both sides shall hold two additional border meetings each year at Spanggur Gap in the Western Sector, Nathu La Pass in the Sikkim Sector and Bum La in the Eastern Sector, respectively, in celebration of the National Day or Army Day of either side. Specific arrangements shall be decided through consultation between the border forces of the two sides.

b. Both sides are in principle to expand the mechanism of border meeting points to include Kibithu-Damai in the Eastern Sector and Lipulekh Pass/Qiang La in the Middle Sector. The precise locations of these border meetings points will be decided through mutual consultations.

c. Both sides shall conduct exchanges between the relevant Military Regions of China and Army Commands of India. Specific arrangements shall be decided upon through mutual consultations between the relevant agencies under the Ministries of Defence of the two sides.

d. Both sides shall strengthen exchanges between institutions of training of the two armed forces, and conduct exchanges between institutions of sports and culture of the two armed forces. Specific arrangements shall be decided upon through mutual consultations between the relevant agencies under the Ministries of Defence of the two sides.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Defence

Signed on May 29, 2006 in Beijing by China’s then Minister for National Defence Gen Cao Gangchuan and India’s Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, this MoU envisages the establishment of a mechanism to ensure frequent and regular exchanges between leaders and officials of the Defence Ministries and the armed forces of the two countries, in addition to developing an annual calendar for holding regular joint military exercises and training programmes (conducted by India’s National Defence College and China’s National Defence University under an exchange programme). In the past few years, the two countries had conducted joint naval manoeuvres, but the interaction between the ground forces had been limited to border meetings and mountaineering expeditions, and there had been no interaction between the air forces of the countries prior to this. The MoU signed between the two countries, thus, aimed at addressing these imperatives. Pranab Mukherjee also visited the Lanzhou MR, which controls the largest physical area of China’s seven military regions. Mukherjee’s visit to the headquarters of the Lanzhou MR was a significant step in the process of building bilateral trust and confidence on the part of China. These gains were further consolidated during the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in November 2006. In the Joint Declaration signed between the two countries on November 21, it was mentioned that ‘the exchange of visits in the field of defence has resulted in the building of mutual trust and enhancement of mutual understanding between the defence establishments of the two countries. Both sides shall fully implement the provisions of the MoU for exchanges and cooperation in the field of defence signed on May 29, 2006, which provides a sound foundation and institutional framework for further development of defence cooperation. Certain concrete steps were taken as a follow-up of the CBMs. For example, India’s armed forces and the PLA held a warm meeting at a new border point—Kibithu in the Anjwa district of Arunachal Pradesh—on November 18, 2006 on the eve of President Hu Jintao’s visit to India. The two sides discussed modalities for the conduct of troops along the LAC. Border meetings between personnel of the armed forces of the two countries have traditionally been held at Chushul in Ladakh, Nathu La in Sikkim, and Bum La in the Kamang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India on June 25, 2006

During Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to China from January 13 to 15 2008, the two sides, for the first time, formulated their own drafts on a possible framework agreement involving territorial concessions as a way towards eventual resolution of the boundary dispute. While this may be interpreted as a forward movement, the positions themselves appear to indicate little change. Delhi insisted that the final settlement of the boundary issue could not involve transfer of settled populations, while Beijing proposed the division of populated areas into larger and smaller segments based on population size and then considering some displacement.

Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs on January 18, 2012

A brainchild of the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, its first meeting was held in Beijing on March 5 and 6, 2012. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia), MEA, while the Chinese delegation was led by Deng Zhonghua, Director General, Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Second meeting was held at New Delhi on November 29 and 30, 2012. The Indian delegation was led by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) MEA and the Chinese delegation was led by Ms Wang Xiaodu, Special Representative, Department of Boundary and Oceanic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On March 22, 2013 China had proposed a border defence cooperation agreement to avoid any misunderstanding or flare-up along the LAC, but India is not rushing into it as she wants to study the proposal thoroughly. At the meeting, the visiting PLA Army delegation led by its Deputy CGS Lt Gen Qi Jianguo had proposed an agreement under which troops of the two countries will not tail each other if noticed during patrolling along the LAC. The proposal also has a clause which suggests that troops of either side will not fire at each other under any condition. However, the Indian side said that India wants to study the proposal thoroughly and do due diligence before taking any decision. This was the second meeting between Lt Gen Qi, who is in-charge for Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence in the PLA Army, and India Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma in the last three months after they met at the ADD in January 2013. The Chinese side had discussed these proposals informally during the ADD also, but India had then asked it to submit these points in a formal manner at a later stage.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Highlights Of SMM-PPP Seminar On Naval Military-Industrial Indigenisition

SMM India, a subsidiary of SMM Hamburg—the organiser of international maritime trade fairs—organised its third high-level seminar-cum-expo in Mumbai earlier this month, whose theme was: Promotion of Indigenisation Through Tie-ups Between the Customer, Foreign OEMs and Indian Companies. The 3rd SMM India seminar-cum-expo also formed part of India’s 50th National Maritime Day Celebrations. Several interesting insights were provided by various industrial players as well as retired senior-level Indian Navy (IN) officials during the varied seminar sessions.

Perhaps the most far-reaching revelation to have emerged from the seminar concerned propulsion systems for the IN’s future principal surface combatants. The IN has finally zeroed in on integrated full-electric propulsion (IFEP) systems, starting with the six projected LPHs to be procured (two directly from a yet-to-be-selected foreign OEM, two to be licence-built by a MoD-owned shipyard and two to be licence-built by a private-sector shipyard). These LPHs, along with all other major warships to be acquired in future (including the 65,000-tonne CATOBAR IAC-2 but excluding the four Project 15B DDGs and seven Project 17A FFGs) will have IFEP systems. Present-day warships worldwide utilise a combined-diesel-and-diesel (CODAD), combined-diesel-and-gas (CODAG), combined-gas-and-gas (COGAG) or combined-diesel-Electric-and-gas (CODLAG) propulsion configurations. At cruising speeds a CODLAG system employs diesel generators to supply electricity to the electric motors that drive the propeller shafts. When high speeds are required, gas turbines engage the shafts via cross-connecting mechanical transmissions (gearboxes). In an IFEP system-equipped warship, on the other hand, there is no mechanical connection between the prime mover and shaft. Instead, both the gas turbines and diesels are configured as electricity generators. While the diesels provide the vessel’s base load electrical supply, including low-speed propulsion, the turbines are switched in for peak power. The benefits of IFEP include: flexibility in locating machinery (only the propulsion motor needs to be coupled mechanically to the shaft-line); fuel efficiency (when the warship is operated at part load); low noise and vibration; built-in redundancy (electrical machines may have more than one set of windings, fed from different sources, so power is still available if one set fails); reliability (a mean-time-between-failures of more than 100,000 hours); reduced maintenance costs (due, for instance, to the absence of gearboxes); and the scope for increased automation and reduced crew complement.

The IN’s six LPHs will employ fixed-pitch propellers. Controllable-pitch propellers and their associated complex hydraulics are not required since the motor, and thus the shaft, can be electrically reversed. However, the IN is against the procurement of podded propulsion systems—a point that could well go against the Mistral BPD-class LPH that DCNS of France is offering for the IN. It is thus widely expected that the IN will zero in on an IFEP system developed by UK-based but GE-led Converteam industrial consortium for not just the six LPHs, but also for the projected IAC-2 CATOBAR aircraft carrier.

Data On Indian Shipyards
Data On Indigenous & Foreign Contents Of S-2/S-3/S-4 SSBN Production Programme
Data On Indian Industry Involvement In
Scorpene SSK Construction
France-based NEREIDES, represented in India by Flash Forge, continues to be the sole supplier of all VLF reception systems (above) on board the IN’s Type 877EKM Kilo-class SSKs, Class 209/Type 1500 SSKs and in future the Scorpene SSKs.

Project 71/IAC-1/INS Vikrant
For the 39,000-tonne IAC-1 aircraft carrier, the IN has selected the Mk 7 hydraulic damping arresting system from the US Navy, while US-based Wire Rope Industries Inc will supply the arrester cables. Another US-based company, Engineered Arresting Systems Corp, will supply the arrester barriers. In contrast, INS Vikramaditya’s hydraulic damping arresting system was designed by Marine Engineering Research Institute and made by Proletarsky Zavod. Other hardware to go on board IAC-1 include twin side-mounted aircraft elevators and their chain-drives from UK-based MacTaggart Scott, while Wire Rope Industries will supply the ammunition hoisting elevators. The CBRN detection sensors will be supplied by US-based Bruker Daltonics, which has for the past decade supplied almost all the CBRN detection sensors for all three of India’s armed services (while the remaining have come from French OEMs).

For the projected IAC-2, the IN will most certainly opt for a US-origin IFEP system, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS), as well as the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system. 
Indian Industrial Involvement In Naval MRO & Naval Armament R & D Activities
More illustrations & narratives to soon follow.