Evolve, Expand and Excel: Prime Minister Modi’s Message to the Armed Forces

On 6 March 2021, the last day of the two-day Combined Commanders’ Conference (hereafter, CCC), the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the distinguished military gathering at Kevadia, Gujarat, in no uncertain terms that Indian armed forces need to be flexible and adaptive, accumulate combined strength, further Indian national interests and be the locomotive for promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing by using indigenous weapons in order to increase the country’s stature as a global power in an era of the fast-paced technological environment and fluid global security scenario. 

DEBA R MOHANTY

Beyond Exhibitionism: Aero India 2021 & Arms Dynamics

The thirteenth edition of Aero India 2021, the biennial event organized by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India in collaboration with industry associations and government entities, was held in early February at the Yelanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru. Due to the continuing pandemic scenario, the event witnessed limited participation, most deliberations through virtual platforms, fewer flight displays and still fewer exhibition stalls.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Beyond Symbolism: Tejas' Induction Denotes Multiple Messages

On 13 January 2021, Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the highest decision making body on military and security affairs headed by the Prime Minister, approved procurement of 73 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the cost of INR 45,696 Crore along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth INR 1,202 crore. With this order, IAF will have a total of 123 LCA Tejas in its inventory (IAF had ordered 40 LCAs earlier), equivalent to seven squadrons in future.

DEBA R MOHANTY

"Before celebrating the import embargo on military items, worth checking the results of the defence offsets"

August 14, 2020

On  August 9, 2020, under the ambitious Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, the defence ministry (MoD) announced the imposition of an import embargo on 101 military products with a declared intent on boosting national military-industrial capacity. This much-publicised announcement has been cheered by all stakeholders of the Indian defence sector, especially the private manufacturers.

"Corporatization of Ordnance Factories Board: Its time should have long come"

July 24, 2020

Interesting non-pandemic developments do occur during difficult Covid times. Such developments can span from miseries of individuals and institutions to states and the globe. While the states do confront such challenges, as part of regular considerations in aspects of governance, most appropriately on pandemic management, they may also face challenges of addressing issues that they may not have liked in these times, although such problems are an inherent part of national governance.

Indian Aerospace Industrial Might: Excellence or Muddle Through?

Indian aerospace industrial capabilities have thus far been dominated by a giant conglomerate – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – that have evolved through decades.  HAL’s predecessor Walchand Hirachand Industries Limited was a privately owned aircraft manufacturing entity engaged primarily in repair and overhauling of British and Allied air assets, before being taken over by the government in the 1940s.

DEBA R MOHANTY

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

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

Transition and Transformation in Indian Defence

Great leap forward for Indian defence necessitates resolute action from the apex.
 
A decade proves to be a short time for reforms in military affairs while a week is a long time in politics. However, surprise elements in Indian politics (the latest reshuffle in cabinet) notwithstanding, India appears to challenge conventional notions about military reforms, at least in initiating realms, if not in implementation and results thereafter. Results may vary but intents transcend regimes.
 

Deba Mohanty