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Getting in step: India country briefing

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Apr 24, 2007
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Getting in step: India country briefing
Rahul Bedi Correspondent - New Delhi

While Indian forces are benefiting from new equipment, the lack of a national security policy uniting the sevices is holding back full progress. Rahul Bedi reports

From an introspective, sub-continental tactical force, preoccupied with neighbouring nuclear rivals Pakistan and China, the Indian armed forces are attempting to evolve into a comprehensive, strategic power with an expanded regional role.

Backing the country's evolving economic profile, India's military has launched a diplomatic thrust overseas in addition to developing force-projection capabilities to secure growing national interests extending from the Strait of Hormuz to the Strait of Malacca, the northern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and to Central Asia.

"India is anxious to convey to the world that it is not only an emerging economic but also a robust and proliferating military power on the march," said retired brigadier Arun Sahgal, an analyst with the United Service Institute in New Delhi.

Over the last four years, India has committed USD12 billion to acquiring materiel. Most of this is imported - a dependency expected to exponentially increase as the services strive to replace predominantly Soviet and Russian military hardware.

Defence purchases are projected to double to more than USD30 billion in the 11th Finance Plan period ending in 2012, climbing to around USD80 billion by 2022 to facilitate military modernisation. Such large purchases will also benefit domestic defence industry through joint production and technology transfers via mandatory offsets estimated between USD10 billion and USD30 billion, or a third of the value of all weapon-related imports.

An increasing military priority remains securing India's oil and gas imports, which are expected to double by 2012 to fuel its flourishing economic growth: the world's second highest after China. Since these are increasingly being sourced from locations other than the Middle East, such as North Africa, the Sakhalin Islands off Russia's east coast and Venezuela, service doctrines, operational military plans and equipping policies have been revised to cater to these changing geostrategic imperatives.

Accordingly, India has begun inducting power-projection platforms, such as aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, long-range combat aircraft with mid-air refuelling capability and landing platform dock ships for expeditionary warfare and humanitarian missions and is also developing an intercontinental ballistic missile with a strike range in excess of 5,000 km - all with the collective aim of influencing events far from home.

The military's primary aim, however, of deploying a technology-enabled and networked force that stays abreast of the revolution in military affairs is dictated in the medium term by threats emanating from Pakistan and over the longer tenure by the need to counter China. The knife-edge tension with Pakistan has receded somewhat since 2004 following extended bilateral peace talks over several outstanding territorial, military, nuclear and cross-border terrorism issues.

Pakistan's ongoing political turmoil and mushrooming jihadist insurgency, which has necessitated its army's redeployment away from the Indian border to its western periphery, has also relieved pressure on Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ostensibly successful China visit in January, meanwhile, has done little to alleviate concern among India's military and security community over the unresolved 4,075 km frontier between the neighbours and rival claims to large swathes of each other's territory. "If India's soft policies on China continue, Beijing can conveniently treat Delhi as a tactical piece in its larger design of deflecting concerns about its rise as a formidable power," said former Indian foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal. "We need to make our strategic programmes more robust."

Economic competition and Delhi's growing strategic, nuclear and military ties with the US also contribute to the underlying tension.

Infrastructural development by China along India's border and Beijing's burgeoning military ties with all of India's South Asian neighbours - Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and even the Maldives - has, in turn, exacerbated Delhi's insecurity.

Accordingly, India's military has initiated measures to meet the Chinese threat by deploying 36 Su-30MKI multirole fighter aircraft to Tezpur in the northeast in response to the People's Liberation Army Air Force's seven airbases in Tibet and southern China.

The army is planning a mountain strike corps backed by enhanced command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) capabilities to cover the Tibet region while the Indian Navy (IN) carried out multilateral exercises with the Australian, Japanese, Singaporean and US navies in September 2007 near the Chinese-dominated Strait of Malacca, triggering concern in Beijing.

After decades of neglect and diffidence the quasi-military Border Roads Organisation has begun building 72 roads, three airstrips and bridges along the Chinese border. Military officers said the proposed transportation network would enable India to 'swiftly' induct its forces into the region and sustain them logistically in the event of any "untoward trouble or emergency". Military planners, however, concur that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) need to resolve "attitudinal, organisational and infrastructural" issues in order to develop force capability, particularly in the absence of a clearly delineated national security strategy.

India has no White Paper enunciating government policy on the services' overall role and tasks or on developing optimum military capability. The defence minister's five-year operational directive is invariably outdated - the last one was issued in 2002 after a 15-year hiatus and a new one is overdue. In addition, all five-year defence plans have been accorded retrospective clearance, imposing 'ad hoc-ism' on the military's development process, particularly with regard to acquisitions and overall re-organisation. Inter-service jointness also remains a mirage.

"The generalist MoD has no stakes in developing India's military capability in consonance with national security requirements. It places the entire onus on the services who are invariably squabbling over higher allocations," a three-star officer told Jane's, declining to be named. The ministry's bureaucracy, the source added, has limited understanding of military matters, vacillates in decision making and provides little or no direction or institutional support to grow ably.

Analysts agree that the prevailing ad hoc model of single-service operational readiness needs replacing with one in which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) takes the onus of defining the contours of future national military capability in concert with national security interests. These extend from nuclear conflict to insurgencies.

"At best, the MoD remains a disinterested overseer and book-keeper with total financial powers but no responsibility. It's just the reverse situation with the respective service headquarters," said former major general Sheru Thapliyal. "We are stuck with an archaic system of higher defence management, which often rotates the chairman of the chiefs-of-staff-committee at absurdly rapid intervals," former Indian Navy chief admiral Arun Prakash said. This is one more reminder to the government to install a chief of defence staff (CDS), he stated. Successive administrations had postponed appointing a CDS and instead formed the Integrated Defence Staff in 2001 with proscribed powers that have failed to augment force capabilities.

These shortcomings have not only had an adverse affect on equipment purchases and force modernisation but have also perpetuated acquisition delays - between Fiscal Years 2002 and 2007 (FY02-07) the MoD surrendered INR183 billion of its capital allocation, unspent - and wasteful expenditure.

"Instead of collectively building capability, the services are engaged in building expensive arsenals, often with overlapping functionality achieved at great cost," said former brigadier Vinod Anand from the Centre for Strategic Studies, United Service Institute of India in Delhi.

India's watchdog Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has demanded a "re-engineering" of the MoD's complex, secretive and profligate equipment procurement procedures, finding them ill-planned, badly executed and riven by "low fulfilment", delays and wastefulness. In four reports on the defence services put forward in parliament in 2007, the CAG declared that a lack of co-ordination between the three services had also led to failures in "obtaining best value for money, reducing tendering costs and minimising processing time".

Land forces
The competence of India's 1.1 million-strong army stands compromised by equipment deficiencies, stalled modernisation programmes, officer shortages and corruption scandals. Military planners said these factors were impinging on the army's aim of becoming network-enabled by 2009 and network-centric a year later in order to vindicate its revised 'Cold Start' doctrine.

Borrowing heavily from China's 'active defence and anti-access doctrines', the Indian Army's operational canon envisages upgrading mobilisation to undertake pre-emptive and rapid offensive action against nuclear rival Pakistan to significantly degrade its combat potential.

By employing a networked force backed by heliborne special forces, upgraded infantry units, augmented artillery and armour formations, the Indian Army endeavours via this doctrine to 'neutralise' Pakistan's advantage of interior lines of communication.

This plan suffered a major setback in November 2007 after the MoD, citing discrepancies in the evaluation procedure, cancelled the Army Aviation Corps' (AAC's) long overdue requirement of acquiring 197 light observation helicopters (LOHs) at the last minute. The AAC desperately needs new LOHs to replace its ageing fleet of 1970s-vintage Chetak and Cheetah observation helicopters.

The army's artillery renovation programme too is a decade behind schedule. In January it floated a global tender for 140 ultralight 155 mm/39-cal howitzers and is in the process of issuing another two for different variants as part of its much-postponed attempt at standardising the army's artillery inventory.

Under the Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, the army plans on importing and building a mix of around 3,600 towed, wheeled and tracked howitzers, most of them 155 mm/52-cal systems, for around 180 of its 220 artillery regiments at around USD3 billion-USD5 billion. These will replace the six different calibre guns the army currently deploys to achieve enhanced battlefield effectiveness.

The army's 410 FH-77B 155 mm/39-cal Bofors guns, acquired in 1987, have become obsolete with many cannibalised to keep the rest operational.

Two years ago the army conducted an exceptional fourth round of trials of the towed BAE Systems Bofors FH-77B05 L52 and Soltam Systems TIG-2002 towed guns to revalidate their performance before opening price negotiations and completing the acquisition process. Political calculations resulted in the entire procedure being hastily abandoned in 2007.

The army's main battle tank (MBT) acquisition, development and modernisation to equip 59 armoured regiments is also in a state of "flux, afflicted by indecision, bureaucratic delays and inefficiencies", a senior armoured corps officer said, declining to be named.

The army currently operates two types of Russian-origin MBT: the Ajeya T-72M1, built locally under licence by the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi, south India; and the Bhishma T-90S series, of which 310 were imported in 2001 for around USD700 million (124 in completed form and the remainder assembled locally).

Around 11 regiments still operate retrofitted T-55 MBTs, but these were in the process of being replaced either by T-90Ss - of which the army has ordered an additional 347 - or upgraded T-72M1s equipped with full and partial solution fire-control systems (FCSs) to give them the night-fighting capability they currently lack.

Contracts for the latter retrofit stand delayed by at least three years, as does the process of transferring technology to build another 1,000 T-90Ss at the HVF. This prompted the army to sign another contract in 2006 for 347 additional T-90Ss to ensure adequate force levels.

"Transfer of technology is a complex process due to different perceptions on either side on what exactly this involves. There have been delays but, in the long run, the transfer will take place and indigenous production of the tank will commence," army chief General Deepak Kapoor clarified recently but declined to provide a schedule. Many military planners, however, are questioning the additional T-90S import as a large number of the earlier inductions continue to face 'recurring' technical snags with their Catherine thermal-imaging (TI) cameras supplied by Thales of France.

Temperatures in excess of 60?C to 65?C inside the tanks in the searing heat of the western Rajasthan desert where the MBTs periodically exercise and where many will eventually be operationally deployed had rendered between 80 and 90 of their FCSs - or a third of the imported fleet - 'unserviceable' since 2003.

Also under construction at HVF are 124 units of the locally designed but unproven Arjun MBTs, sanctioned in 1974 with the aim of engendering self-sufficiency but still not operationally accepted by the army.

"What we have today [Arjun] is mid-level technology. What we need is a tank of international quality," Gen Kapoor said in November 2007 after 14 Arjuns handed over to the army for user trials were returned to the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment with a list of defects, which the latter claimed had been rectified.

Alongside this, the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is continuing at significant expense and by deploying scarce manpower to develop the 48-tonne Tank EX (for Experimental): an amalgam of Arjun's turret with a locally built T-72M1 chassis.

The army's ambitious Future Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) programme to upgrade its 465 infantry and 'dedicated' paramilitary battalions by 2020 is also deferred.

F-INSAS features include equipping personnel with weight-integrated ballistic helmets with head-up displays, 'smart' vests with sensors to monitor vital body signs and lighter combat fatigues and boots.

Lieutenant General Devraj Singh, the recently retired Infantry Director General, said the revamp would also include miniaturised communication systems capable of providing real-time information, video links with the ability to differentiate between 'friend and foe' and improved firepower like laser-guided modular weapons.

Meanwhile, the army is handicapped by a shortage of 11,238 officers and the rising incidence of suicides and 'fragging' in which disgruntled soldiers shoot dead either their seniors and colleagues or both, sometimes also killing themselves.

Further denting the once-favoured army's declining image as a career option is the alarming rise in the number of officers leaving the service due to frustrating service conditions along with those charged with corruption.

"The prolonged exposure of army personnel to trends and the general societal malaise, especially in conflict situations, does threaten to affect our personnel, more than ever before," Gen Kapoor said, adding that military ethics and the code of honour were being invoked to counter 'deviant behaviour' in the force. He also recently proposed compulsory military service as one way for the army to overcome its officer shortage.

Air force
The Indian Air Force's (IAF's) revised war doctrine envisages its transformation into an aerospace power capable of conducting full spectrum operations and extending its strategic reach from the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca.

Revolving around the primacy of airpower in shaping and customising the battlefield to enable the army and navy to execute their nominated tasks, the IAF doctrine aims to achieve this objective by operating advanced, long-range platforms with air-to-air refuelling capability.

Alongside this, the IAF plans envisage interlocking precision weaponry such as beyond-visual-range ordnance with integrated, secure communications and a dedicated command to facilitate its evolution from a tactical supporter of ground forces to an expeditionary force capable of deploying rapidly to out-of-area operations.

IAF Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Major's enthusiasm in speedily formulating a Space Command has acquired urgency for the IAF after China successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon in 2007.

With Israeli help, the IAF is also developing a mobile ground-based imagery receiving and processing terminal for use by ground combat forces and the navy to target a range of locally designed nuclear-capable missiles. Agreements are reportedly in place with Israel to lease capacity on its reconnaissance Ofeq-5 military satellites until India hones its own capabilities.

Further evidence of this continuing but unacknowledged collaboration emerged in January after India's Space Research Organisation successfully placed an Israel Aerospace Industries-designed TecSAR military satellite in polar orbit in a classified operation to which access, at Tel Aviv's request, was strictly limited.

TecSAR is expected to appreciably augment Israel's intelligence-gathering capabilities by providing 24-hour high-resolution synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imagery in all weather conditions at an affordable cost. Two additional TecSAR satellite launches are expected over the next year.

The IAF's plans for a country-wide deployment of integrated air command-and-control systems (IACCS) that comprise airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platforms, radars, fighter aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to replace the obsolete airspace management command and reporting centres are also being incrementally resuscitated.

However, over the next decade the IAF's pre-occupation will be in restoring its depleting assets. These will decrease from the existing 29 combat squadrons to around 26 after large numbers of MiG-21 variants, 16-18 MiG-23BN and around 100-110 MiG-27M fighter aircraft not being upgraded are retired.

The IAF has warned the government to implement "corrective measures" to acquire additional fighters or lose air superiority over neighbouring Pakistan. "Unless immediate steps are taken [to arrest the reduction in IAF's force levels] the nation will for the first time lose the conventional military edge over Pakistan," former air chief marshal S P Tyagi informed the MoD two years ago. He said the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was bolstering its assets with some 40 new and refurbished Lockheed Martin F-16s while China was supplying the PAF with J-10 and Joint Fighter-17 Thunder (JF-17) fighter aircraft. Tyagi warned that by 2011-12 this could increase the number of PAF combat squadrons from 19 to 26: close to the IAF's current strength.

The IAF, meanwhile, plans on meeting its operational responsibilities through the ongoing induction of around 230 Su-30MKI multirole fighter aircraft, which began in the late 1990s with Su-30 variants and continues, and 123 upgraded MiG-21 ground attack aircraft. The IAF has so far inducted around 60 Su-30MKI aircraft - another 140 are being built under licence by HAL - while the MoD recently cleared the USD1.6 billion acquisition of another 40 in flyaway condition to bolster the IAF's flagging fleet strength. HAL is expected to complete the Su-30MKI programme by 2013-14. In addition, the IAF is upgrading 52-55 Mirage 2000H strike aircraft, 66 MiG-29 fighters including seven MiG-29UB training aircraft, 40 MiG-27M fighters and 40 single-seat Jaguar fighters - all for around USD5 billion-USD6 billion.

The IAF has also ordered 20 of the under-development indigenously designed Tejas light combat aircraft (LCAs) for INR20 billion - with provision for an additional 20 units - but is sceptical about the type's capabilities.

Because the IAF insists on maintaining numerical superiority in fighter aircraft - believing that enhanced technological capability, available to all, can never compensate for numbers - it floated a INR420 billion tender in August 2007 for 126 multirole combat aircraft (MRCA). Rival contenders for the contract, which is eventually expected to increase to 200 aircraft, include Boeing's F/A-18E/F, Dassault's Rafale, Eurofighter's Typhoon, Lockheed Martin's F-16, Russian Aircraft Corporation's (RSK's) MiG-35 and Saab's JAS 39 Gripen.

However, senior IAF officers are playing down the MoD's optimism that the MRCA acquisition - 18 off the shelf and the remaining 108 to be built domestically under licence - will be completed by 2012-14. They do not expect the fighters to join squadron service before 2020, given the MoD's complex, bureaucratic and ever-changing procurement procedures, especially the issue of the MRCA's 50 per cent offset obligation - an increase over the usual 30 per cent. "The MRCA are likely to remain operational for over 40 years, rendering their selection more arduous and time consuming," a two-star IAF officer said.

The IAF's modernisation, like that of the army and Indian Navy (IN), is hampered by the arbitrary equipment price rises and delayed delivery schedules of Russian equipment, which accounts for more than 70 per cent of its hardware inventory.

Citing rising domestic inflation and the declining value of the US dollar, Russia escalated the cost of already-concluded defence agreements and wants to renegotiate completed deals.

Although the MoD declined to comment, military sources said India had "more or less" agreed to pay an additional USD3 million-USD4 million each for around 170 of 230 Su-30MKIs that remain to be delivered in kit or completed form to the IAF.

Meanwhile, the USD1.5 billion trilateral contract to mount the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-made Phalcon AEW&C radar on three Ilyushin Il-76A-50 heavy transport aircraft supplied by Uzbekistan to Russia for upgrade has also fallen victim to escalation and delays of over a year.

The first AEW&C platform is now rescheduled for commissioning into the IAF at its base in Bareilly, 250 km north of New Delhi, in September 2008 and the remaining two by the end of 2009. Officials said Russia was to have delivered the first retrofitted Il-76 to IAI in November 2006, followed by the remaining two by March 2008, to integrate the Phalcon system. However, Russia's inability to strengthen the Il-76 airframes and equip them with more powerful engines, despite Uzbekistan having delivered the aircraft on schedule, has delayed matters.

Navy
The IN's plans to augment force levels, enhance platform capability for power projection and deal with out-of-area contingencies stand jeopardised by delays and cost overruns imposed by Russian and indigenous shipyards in supplying hardware vital to its operational growth and deployment.

IN officers admit these delays - aggravated by bureaucracy-ridden procurement procedures - are "adversely impacting" the navy's aims of transforming itself into a flexible and fully networked force.

Despite these inherent handicaps, IN chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta perceives a force with "longer sea legs" by 2020 capable of influencing the outcome of land battles and performing a constabulary role in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), through which 90 per cent of India's trade by volume and 77 per cent by value transits. It will also focus on 'maritime domain awareness', sea control and 'commodity denial' to the enemy. Adm Mehta told Jane's that the IN's earlier arc of interest stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca now stands extended from the Sakhalin Islands off Russia's east coast to Venezuela.

The IN's immediate goal, Adm Mehta asserted, was to break with India's "continental construct mindset" by enforcing wider strategic and conventional deterrence and forging constructive alliances with the IOR and other extra-regional navies.

Countering China's naval expansion across the IOR, with its new generation of 6,000 ton-7,000 ton Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), also remains an IN priority.

To secure these goals by 2012-14, the navy plans to supplement its 136-vessel fleet, which includes 65 combatants, 40 coastal role ships and 26 auxiliaries, with at least 45 additional high-tech surface and subsurface platforms in addition to fixed- and rotary-wing aerial platforms.

Thee include two aircraft carriers and an equal number of SSNs, with the majority of platforms being domestically built in keeping with the navy's indigenisation priority.

The IN's allocation of INR168.31 billion (USD4.31 billion) for FY07-08, of which INR102.40 billion or 61 per cent was earmarked for capital expenditure for acquisition and force modernisation, is indicative of governmental budgetary support for this steady expansion.

In a surprise revelation, the IN announced, after years of denial, that it was taking delivery of a Russian Akula (Bars)-class Type 971 SSN in addition to inducting an indigenously designed and built SSN: the advanced technology vessel (ATV). "Together the two vessels would constitute the third leg of India's sea-based strategic deterrence," Adm Mehta stated in New Delhi in December 2007.

Military planners said the induction of the SSNs would bring India closer to securing its nuclear deterrence based on a second, retaliatory strike option built around a triad of strategic weapons delivered by aircraft and mobile, land-based launchers and sea-based platforms.

Official sources said the Akula Type 971 SSN nearing completion at Russia's Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipyard and likely to be named INS Chakra, would initially be leased by the IN around 2009 for 10 years for around USD700 million. This would make India the world's sixth nation, after the five nuclear-weapon states of China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, to operate a SSN.

The sale of SSNs is forbidden by international treaties, but leases are permitted provided the vessels are not armed with missiles with ranges of more than 300 km.

The IN, however, is believed to be working with the DRDO on equipping the SSN with indigenously designed long-range cruise missiles under a classified programme. Adm Mehta disclosed that the DRDO would in two years complete construction of the ATV, which he declared a 'technology demonstrator', with limited operational deployment possibilities.

Based on the Russian Type 670A Skat 'Charlie I' SSN, one of which the IN had leased for three years until 1991, the ATV has been under development since the late 1970s. It is expected to undergo sea trials in 2009 before joining service in 2010.

Carrier delays
"The navy's expansion plans, however, remain largely frustrated by Russia, on which it remains precariously dependent for crucial equipment," a three-star naval officer said. "Efforts to resolve the impasse over delays and price hikes through negotiation had not yet fructified," the source added, declining to be named.

This was in response to Moscow's demand for an additional USD1.2 billion over the USD974 million it agreed in January 2004 to complete retrofitting the INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) - the 44,750 ton Kiev-class aircraft carrier the navy is acquiring for the price of its refit. Its delivery has also been postponed by around four years to 2012-13.

Miscalculation by Russian technicians at the Sevmashpredpriyatiye shipyard in northern Russia, where the carrier is being readied, in underestimating the length of the ship's cabling that needed replacing and the withholding of carrier blueprints by Ukraine's Nikolayev South (Shipyard No 444), where the vessel was constructed, have hindered the refit programme.

INS Vikramaditya's postponement has in turn prompted costly and time-consuming plans to keep INS Viraat, the navy's 49-year old Centaur-class sole aircraft carrier (formerly HMS Hermes), in service for another four years - far beyond its long overdue retirement date of 2010-11. Alongside this, the 37,500-ton Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) under construction at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited, south India, has also been delayed.

Pushed back by at least two years to 2014 due to steel acquisition problems and technical 'glitches', the hold-up has effectively 'neutralised' the navy's longstanding goal of fielding a three-carrier battle group force: one for each coast, backed by a mix of multimission-capable destroyers, frigates and corvettes, with the third in reserve.

Meanwhile, the first batch of 16 MiG-29K combat aircraft - including four trainers - that will comprise INS Vikramaditya's air group is expected to start arriving later in 2008 at INS Hansa, the navy's fighter base at Goa on the west coast.

The MiG-29Ks will supplement the IN's fast depleting and ageing Sea Harrier Mk 51 fleet, of which merely 13 of the original 30 aircraft inducted from 1993 onwards remain following accidents. Seven pilots have died in the 13 crashes, three of which took place in 2007.

The IN, however, maintains that the ongoing upgrade of the surviving Harrier fleet led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore, south India, will reduce the risk of further accidents besides keeping the fighters operational until 2020.

The IN plans on augmenting its rotary-wing assets by replacing its ageing fleet of 16 Sea King Mk 42s and enlarging its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inventory to include rotary-wing UAVs as part of expanding maritime surveillance operations.

Similarly affected is the IN's July 2006 deal with Russia for three additional Talwar (Project 1135.6)-class guided missile frigates, which are hampered by postponed delivery schedules beyond the 2011-12 deadline and price escalation above the INR51.14 billion contracted price.

Additionally, several of the IN's 39 ships and submarines under construction indigenously are also plagued by delays and cost escalation.
 

KENT

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Although quite informative about Indian defence elements but quite seems to have come across earlier occassions as well
 

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