Rafale 2.0: State, Contractors & Tax Payers

Frontline fourth-generation modern fighter Rafale, manufactured by the French major Dassault Aviation, was chosen as the winner in the global tender for 126 MMRCA for the Indian Air Force before the Modi government took over in 2014. The deal was shelved and subsequently replaced by the announcement of a new contract for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale at a cost of about INR 60,000 crore, the process for which has already been underway since 2015 and the contract signed in September 2016.

DEBA R MOHANTY

HSLV: Redefining the Future for Satellite Technology

With the evolution of space technology, various space-faring nations and some private agencies have readied their plans to colonize the outer space. Currently, a few are working towards sending people to the Moon and Mars in order to understand the nuances behind colonizing the planets in the near future. All these grandiose proposals will actually depend upon how swiftly and successfully people will develop the heavy satellite launch vehicles in order to deliver heavier payloads in the range of different orbits and even into the deep space.

ROHAN MALHOTRA

Dassault Rafale: Prioritising Transparency in Defence Deals

Defence deals or any commercial deals of aircraft acquisitions are mostly under the shroud of mystery globally. Hence, the so-called scandal surrounding the purchase of the Dassault Rafale should be taken with a pinch of salt. At the same time, it also needs to be kept in mind, that if such scandals have some iota of truth, then they have a capacity to become a death nail for the rulers.

AJEY LELE

Sir Creek Resolution and Neemrana Dialogue

In April 2018, after a long hiatus, the Neemrana Dialogue was resumed. It is the longest running Track-II initiative between India and Pakistan and the first engagement between the two sides under this initiative was held nearly three decades ago in 1991-92. At the military level, the first ever high-level contact group from Pakistan headed by Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz visited India, and the Indian military attaché in Islamabad and his team was invited to attend the Pakistan Day military parade.

VIJAY SAKHUJA

Artificial Intelligence and Maritime Domain Awareness

At last, human conscience has taken precedence over commercial interests. This was lately seen in a bold move by the multinational giant Google. Goggle has decided to shelve Project Maven, a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) program for development of drones, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to help analyze huge amounts of captured surveillance footage.

VIJAY SAKHUJA

The Problem Of OMZs: Indian Ocean Is Fast Loosing Oxygen!

Among the many problems confronting the oceans and seas such as climate change, global warming and sea level rise, a major issue of concern is the rapidly decreasing levels of oxygen present in the waters. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has cautioned that oxygen levels in the oceans, from the surface to the greatest depths, are worsening. This is due to indiscriminate discharge of pollutants, sewage, and industrial waste into the seas.

VIJAY SAKHUJA

Pakistan’s Quest for Air Superiority Falters

The US Congress has recently taken a decision that inadvertently worked in favour of India. In an intrepid foreign policy decision, the Congress came down heavily on the offer made by Obama adminstration to Pakistan for sale of the state-of-art, all weather, and multi-role fighter defence equipment and refused to utilise American taxpayers’ money to fund the eight fighter jets to Pakistan.

CHAARVI MODI

SPECIAL REPORT - Indian Defence Budget 2016-17: A Curtain Raiser

  • Defence budget cannot be stretched beyond a point, which means Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has a tough choice for resources deployment.
  • Reducing revenue expenses and more spending for capital purchases pose the biggest challenge for Indian MoD
  • National defence budget is all about ‘revenue’ side of armed forces and their ‘capital’ requirements. But, is India spending adequately on defence R&D?
  • National Defence Budget must be reasonably used to get maximum value for the state and its preparedness.
DEBA R. MOHANTY
February 2016