Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Zhukovsky, Russia: Russia's fifth generation fighter will be about three times as cheap as its foreign analog, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
He observed the test flight of a prototype fighter and later talked to the pilot, Sergei Bogdan.
"It will be a machine superior to our main competitor, the F-22, in maneuverability, armament and range," Putin said.
"Also in morale," the pilot added.
"Above all else," Putin said smiling.
Bogdan said it was the fighter's 16th test flight and more would follow shortly.
The prime minister said 30 billion rubles (around $1 billion) had already been spent on the project and another 30 billion would be required to complete it, after which the engine, weaponry and other components would be upgraded.
He said, factoring in modernization and upgrades, the fighter will have a service life of 30-35 years.
Russia's only known fifth-generation project is Sukhoi's PAK FA and the current prototype is the T-50. It is designed to compete with the U.S. F-22 Raptor, so far the world's only fifth-generation fighter, and the F-35 Lightning II.
Russia has been developing its newest fighter since the 1990s. The country's top military officials earlier said the stealth fighter jet with a range of up to 5,500 km would enter service with the Air Force in 2015.
The PAK FA is to be armed with next-generation air-to-air, air-to-surface, and air-to-ship missiles, and has two 30-mm cannons.


Russia's Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter has been placed on a short list of a South Korean tender for the delivery of advanced fighter jets, a Russian arms industry think-tank said on Monday.
Korea is seeking to buy 60 fighters with advanced stealth capability from a foreign aircraft maker in the biggest arms-procurement deal ever for the country with an estimated budget of $7.86 billion under a program code-named FX-III.
Russia's Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade cited South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) as saying that Sukhoi's fighter would compete with the F-15SE Silent Eagle from Boeing, the F-35 Lightning II from Lockheed Martin and the Eurofighter Typhoon from the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS).
The winner of the tender is expected to be announced in 2012, but the actual deliveries may start four years later.
The Sukhoi T-50 fighter is being developed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia's Far East.
The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in January 2010 and has so far carried out over 40 tests. Two more prototypes are at the various stages of testing. The Russian Air Force said it had plans to acquire over 60 T-50 fighters after 2015.
Although T-50 specifications remain classified, reports indicate that the design incorporates the latest fighter jet developments, including advanced stealth capability, supersonic cruising speed, and highly integrated control systems.
The T-50 offered to Seoul is most likely an export version of the aircraft being developed by Sukhoi and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) under a $6-billion joint project.
Experts believe, though, that Sukhoi and EADS have little chance of winning the tender as Korea's alliance with the United States will be a decisive factor in the race.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Vishakhapatnam. The Indian Navy has commissioned its 5th indigenously-built large Landing Ship Tank (LST), strengthening its amphibious capability. 

Chief of Naval Staff Sureesh Mehta who commissioned the 5,655 tonne ship at a ceremony at the Naval Jetty here, disclosed that 32 warships and six submarines were under construction at various shipyards in the country, and a few more abroad.

He pointed out however that the present rate of induction of three or four ships a year was not sufficient to maintain the desired force level, which would probably keep reducing till 2012 since the number of ships being decommissioned would be much more than those being inducted.
One reason was that very few orders were placed with the country’s shipyards during what he called the “Lost Decade” from 1985 to 1995.
Lost Decade is the expression defence analysts use due to the blockage of most acquisitions for the armed forces and intelligence organizations following the allegations of corruption in the Bofors gun deal. The armed forces suffered the worst after 1989 when the V P Singh government took over as Prime Minister and imposed virtually a blanket ban on arms acquisitions.
Admiral Mehta said that a large number of ships and submarines were now planned to be built in Indian shipyards, particularly by the end of XII plan ending 2017.
Built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkota, Airawat is the 132nd ship commissioned by the Indian Navy. Besides playing a useful role in any naval operations during any conflict, the vessel would be highly useful in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance on the Indian coast or those of the neighbouring countries as had happened in 2004 tsunami.

Airawat can be converted into a fuel tanker or even a hospital ship.
Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief of Eastern Naval Command Nirmal Verma described the commissioning of INS Airavat as a milestone in the Navy’s quest for indigenization and a strong amphibious force.
GRSE Chairman and Managing Director K C Sekhar detailed the advantages of the ship, adding that GRSE had earlier delivered INS Shardul and INS Kesari in 2006 and 2008.
INS Airawat can carry 10 Main Battle tanks, 11 combat trucks and 500 troops. The ship is a potent assault vessel, and is armed with two indigenous WM 18A Rocket Launchers, CRN 91 Anti-Aircraft Guns auto-controlled by Optronic Sights, shoulder launched IGLA Surface to-Air Missiles, advanced sensors and a missile protection suite.

It has a crew of about 170 officers and men, and two onboard helicopters, either Seaking or the indigenous Dhruv.

The vessel is full air-conditioned and has comfortable modular type accommodation. It can stay in the seas for 45 days without replenishment.


NEW DELHI - With Indian shipyards too busy to meet demand for new military vessels, the Indian Navy is negotiating with South Korea to build warships there.
To begin with, a frigate and an escort vessel for the Indian Navy could be built in South Korea, Indian Defence Ministry sources said.

Adm. Sureesh Mehta, chief of the Indian Navy, will discuss the matter with South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee and other officials during an Aug. 19-24 tour that takes him to Japan and South Korea, Navy sources said.
The Indian Navy plans to buy more warships to replace the large number of obsolescent ones due to be scrapped in the next five years. But India's shipbuilding capacity is saturated.
Mehta will visit South Korean submarines and the naval academy. In Japan, he will meet Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and Vice Defense Minister Kohei Masud. Mehta will also visit the Yokohama shipyard and the front-line ships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

padmanabhaswamy temple treasure may worth 7 lakh crores

  Two more vaults will be opened today in Sri Padmanabhswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. A Supreme Court appointed seven member team is taking stock of the treasure trove that surfaced in cellar chambers of the temple, a week ago. The estimated value of the treasure found at the temple is estimated to be over Rs 1 lakh crore so far.

The Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, one of the oldest in Kerala, may soon turn out to be one of the India's richest temples. There are apprehensions about the safety of the priceless wealth found inside the temple chambers. The Centre is expected to provide security forces to guard the temple premises following the discovery. The chambers are believed to contain priceless gold and silver ornaments. The chambers had been kept shut for the last 130 years but were finally opened on June 27 following a Supreme Court order. One of the chambers, that was remained shut for nearly a century revealed precious jewels, stones, ornaments a
The opening of the first four chambers showed that three of them housed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones worth hundreds of crores of rupees. It also had gold chains, diamond-studded bracelets, a crown and a golden bow. The temple, built in 18th century by King Marthanda Varma of the Travancore royal lineage, is run by a trust under control of the royal house and Lord Padmanabha is the family deity of Travancore Royal house. The apex court had issued orders on a private petition, which sought measures for greater transparency and accountability in management of the temple. The Supreme Court appointed committee consists of two former Kerala High Court judges. The actual worth of the treasure will only be revealed in a report to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


ALLAHABAD: To thwart the nefarious designs ofterrorists, Indian Railways in association with other ministries has made an elaborate plan named as 'crisis management plan'.

As a part of this plan, three committees have been formed which would monitor the situation if there is a terror threat to passengers or railway property.

The three committees are - national crisis management committee (NCMC), crisis management group (CMG) and zonal management group - which would be operational at their respective levels.

However, the contours of the precise crisis management plan have been kept confidential.

When asked to elaborate, Ranjit Sinha, director general of Railway Protection Force refused to comment on the issue.

The NCMC is the apex body comprising senior officials of the government of India to deliberate on the problems at national-level cases of terrorism and security related crisis.

In this connection, Sandeep Jain , director ( safety), railway board, has written a letter to all zonal railways.

The CMG is the executive authority responsible for dealing with the crises and shall work under the broad guidelines and directives issued by the NCMC.

It shall be in constant touch with the NCMC and concerned zonal management group.

In addition to the concerned officers of the railway ministry, nodal officers from the concerned ministries would be contacted if help is needed from other ministries for effectively dealing with various crises.

The ministry of defence would be contacted for air support and/or for expert help like divers, boats etc.

The third zonal management group (ZMG) would be established at the zonal railway headquarters and would comprise of additional general manager, principal chief engineer/chief engineer (coordination), chief security commissioner, chief personnel officer, chief operation manager etc.

The railways will take necessary steps/actions for crisis concerning its properties, and ministry of home affairs will step into the lead role.

In cases of large-scale sabotage or explosions on railway property, requiring assistance from ministry of home affairs, cabinet secretariat and the state governments, the director general of the Railway Protection Force will coordinate on behalf of the railways as a convener of CMG during the crises.

Role of other ministries and departments

The ministry of home affairs is the nodal agency to deal with crisis situations. The Indian Railways, at operational level, will render help and assistance and will facilitate to deal with crisis on railway system.

Intelligence agencies will keep informing the railway administration and the local police about the likely terrorist attacks/sabotage on the railway system. Local police will co-ordinate and liaison with railway authorities in warning of any imminent danger.

Civil administration will alert government and private hospitals and rescue resources to reach the site to take care of the victims. Trauma centres, if any, in the region would be alerted to receive the victims for their expeditious treatment

== Local civil administration will organise surveillance of the terrorism prone area after the event to preclude another happening.

== The ministry of defence will mobilise defence personnel to take over the crisis situation as per the need.

However, Ranjit Sinha, director general of Railway Protection Force refused to comment on the issue.

Monday, July 4, 2011


The Indian Air Force recently announced that it will purchase 65 indigenously-designed attack helicopters in a deal worth $1.4 billion, according to a report in Defense News.

The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), are produced by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). According to the report the 5.5-ton aircraft can be loaded with a variety of advanced weapons, including air-to-air missiles, anti-radiation missiles, cluster bombs, and laser-guided munitions.

The LCH has also been designed to operate at high altitudes - as high as 18,000 feet - so that it may be utilized in operations in the country's north and in Kashmir, DN reported.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


The Brahmos cruise missile programme was perhaps the most hush-hush of India's missile projects. The long-range missile programme Surya is heard of at least through official denials. The reusable missile launcher-cum-hyperplane Avatar, the most ambitious of all projects, is openly talked about. Questions are asked at least in aerospace circles about the 'forgotten' Durga and Kali, though replies are rarely given. Agni-III is a matter of logical conjecture and extension of Agni-II.

(The defence minister had claimed last November "India has the capability to design and develop an ICBM having a range of more than 5,000 km. However, in consonance with the threat perception, no ICBM development project has been undertaken.")

But Brahmos is altogether a new name, though there has been talk about a cruise missile programme for some time. The success of Lakshya and Nishant is said to have given the Aeronautical Development Establishment the expertise to work on the cruise missile. However, till recently ADE authorities were claiming that they were engaged only in 'concept studies', and far from developing or even planning a cruise missile.

The 280 km-range missile, presently configured as an anti-ship weapon, is one of the few supersonic cruise missiles in the world. Ballistic missiles fly in a ballistic trajectory, much like a bullet. Their longer-range versions have to go up into the heavens and face problems when they re-enter the atmosphere. The enemy can also trace their launchers by calculating the ballistic trajectory and destroy them.

A cruise missile, on the other hand, is like an unmanned plane, flying at low altitude. Before launch it is fed information about the terrain over which it has to fly and the missile flies either by comparing the fed-in data with the camera pictures it takes or by constantly identifying its location with the help of global positioning systems.

Over sea, a cruise missile has a definite advantage over a ballistic one. The enemy ship out at sea can hide behind the earth's curvature against a ballistic missile, which flies straight. On the contrary, a cruise missile can fly long ranges parallel to the surface and, if needed, a few meters above it. Brahmos's supersonic speed gives the enemy very little reaction time. The Indo-Russian Brahmos is learnt to be the starting point of an ambitious cruise missile programme. Studies have been going on for the last three years at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) on the cost-effectiveness of a hypersonic missile (which fly at five or more times the speed of sound). Parallel studies in the US and Europe have concluded that the future belongs to hypersonic missiles. The US is already developing the F-16 into a hypersonic fighter.

Studies in India, not only at NAL but DRDL (the DRDO's missile lab), IIT Mumbai and ADE, are learnt to be running parallel to and not behind the Euro-American ventures. The hyperplane Avatar, the most ambitious of all, is already reaching the end of the conceptual stage and entering the planning stage. The kerosene-fuelled scramjet-powered vehicle is claimed to be much cheaper than the design concepts worked in the US, Germany, the UK and Japan.

The idea is to develop a vehicle that can take off from conventional airfields, collect air in the atmosphere on the way up, liquefy it, separate oxygen and store it on board for subsequent flight beyond the atmosphere. In fact, Air Commodore R. Gopalaswami, former chairman and managing director of Bharat Dynamics, India's missile factory, had once claimed that it could be developed even into a commercial transporter. Incidentally, it was Gopalaswami who suggested the name Avatar.

Avatar is primarily intended as a reusable missile launcher, one that can launch missiles, land back and is loaded again for more missions. The vehicle will be designed to permit at least a hundred re-entries into the atmosphere. The vehicle could also act as a satellite launcher at a hundredth of the present cost of launching satellites. A miniature Avatar, which is also being conceived, would be hardly bigger than a MiG-25 or an F-16.

Meanwhile, there is also talk of developing Nishant into a cruise missile. The present vehicle, an unmanned battlefield surveillance vehicle that can carry a payload of 45 kilos, completing test phase at ADE, is powered by a German Alvisar-801 engine. Nishant's cruise missile potential had been pointed out three years ago by Air Marshal Bharat Kumar in a United Services Institution (USI) research paper: "Nishant holds a lot of promise and provides us a take-off vehicle for potential UCAVs (uninhabited combat aerial vehicles) applications as well as (a) cruise missile programme."

With the limited production of the 200-km Agni-II having already begun, the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme is almost at the end of its fiery run. Indeed, a few of the short-range tactical missiles like Nag, Trishul, Akash, the naval Prithvi (otherwise called Dhanush) and Astra are yet to be fully developed or tested, but it is only a matter of time before they are. Space-based laser weapons are another frontier technology that the military brass is thinking of. Recently the chiefs of staff committee ordered a feasibility study on them.(Incidentally, the Air Force is already demanding that India set up an aerospace command.) The DRDO, however, had anticipated this and already begun research.

One system that has been talked of in a USI paper by Dr V. Siddhartha, officer on special duty in the secretariat of the scientific adviser to the defence minister, is Durga or directionally unrestricted ray-gun array. Though no details on this are available, it is said to be an Indian version of the US's Star Wars project in which in-coming missiles can be shot down, or burnt down, by laser guns based in space. Still less known is Kali or kinetic attack loitering interceptor, a more advanced version of Durga.

However, all video-game gadgetry presupposes matching advances in space technology, both in launch vehicles and military reconnaissance satellites. Without capable launch vehicles, none of these can be lifted into space. With the recent success of the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, the ISRO has acquired heavy-lift capability. Work has already begun on a hypersonic launch vehicle, which would be the forerunner to Avatar.

The more recent of the IRS series satellites are said to have limited military reconnaissance capability. The recent military exercises in the Rajasthan desert did make extensive use of IRS pictures, but military demands higher resolution pictures. According to Dr Siddhartha's paper, Satish Dhawan [former ISRO chairman] had talked in 1996 of a national early warning and response system (NEWARS), a space-sensor and communications-based integrated space-ground system meant exclusively for peaceful purposes. Siddhartha superposed on Dhawan's techno-scenario diagram a series of operational military reconnaissance satellites named Sanjaya.

Cruise missiles may be the currency of power today. But the currency of future would be Avatar, Durga and Kali.


The National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadaskwasla, will shut electricity supply during Earth Hour (8.30 to 9.30 pm.) on March 26. Over 2,100 cadets and 25,000 residents of the NDA will gather in front of Sudan Block, lighting candles. The initiative is expected to save around 1,500 units of energy in one hour
“It is inspiring to see how a simple step as switching off lights for an hour can make a difference. These future military leaders will definitely play a significant role for the cause of a greener earth once they are on the field. The campaign has received unprecedented support in the previous years and we intend to make it stronger every year,” said NDA commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh.
On the day, the NDA power supply will be centrally switched off. The cadets will be told to assemble in front of Sudan Block along with the officers and family members who are residents of the academy. “We have planned a candle light event which would instill the spirit of protecting the earth in the minds of our cadets who are the future leaders of the Indian Armed Forces. Tomorrow, it is these cadets who will become the heads of various units and then, the message would be percolated further,” said NDA spokesperson Flight Lieutenent Sreeprakash.
The academy has around one lakh CFL bulbs besides street lights and security lights . “Given the security aspect of the academy, the security would be stepped up and the guards would be more vigilent during the hour to ensure smooth event,” added he.
India will be observing the Earth Hour along with over 126 nations, for the third consecutive year this time. During Earth Hour 2010, more than five million people in India switched off lights. Popular landmarks like the India Gate, Gateway of India, The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai and others had switched off light for an hour last year. The Earth Hour is a global event organised by WWF and is held on the last Saturday of March annually.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


India has signed its biggest defence deal with the US to procure ten C-17 heavy-lift aircraft for USD 4.1 billion under which American defence major Boeing will set up test facilities for hi-tech aeronautics engines for the DRDO.

The project to procure the ten strategic heavy-lift aircraft was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security last week through the Foreign Military Sales route.

"India yesterday signed the letter for offer and acceptance with the US for 10 C-17s and associated equipment at a cost of USD 4.1 billion and the aircraft delivery would be done in 2013 and 2014," Defence Ministry officials said here.

Commenting on the development, Boeing's India head Dinesh Keskar said, "With its strategic capabilities, the C-17 fulfills India's needs for military and humanitarian airlift.


The Indian Navy is disappointed with Russia's last- minute cancellation of joint naval drills in the Pacific Ocean in April, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma said.

The Indian Navy task force consisting of three destroyers - INS Delhi, INS Ranvir, and INS Ranvijay, corvette INS Kirch, and tanker INS Jyoti called at Pacific Fleet's main base in Vladivostok on April 18-23.

Russia reported the arrival of Indian warships as a friendly visit, but the Indian side claims the program of the visit originally included joint drills, which were cancelled by the Russians at the last moment.

"Vladivostok is nearly 5,000 miles away from India. So for us to plan a deployment of ships all the way there takes a lot of planning and costs lots of money to deploy ships at such distances," Verma said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti."So to that extent, there was an element of disappointment where exercises were not held at the final stages," he added.

According to the Indian admiral, the Russian authorities explained that the cancellation was made in view of the incidents that had taken place in Japan at the time: the double natural disaster and the following nuclear crisis.

However, a source at the New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses said the cancellation was a "bad sign" in the bilateral relations and both sides should take "corrective steps."


The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the navy is facing huge shortfalls in its fleet strength and massive cost over-runs, as against its planned fleet levels and cost structure

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the navy is facing huge shortfalls in its fleet strength and massive cost over-runs, as against its planned fleet levels and cost structure.

In a report on the indegenous construction of Indian naval warships released on Tuesday, the CAG said that by 2012, the navy may retain only 61% of its envisaged force levels for frigates; the figure for destroyers and corvettes stands at 44% and 20% respectively.

“Till date only one frigate of Project 17 has been commissined as against the expected nine ships by August 2010,” the report said. “Even after a decade, shipyard efficiency has not improved. The delays are primarily due to delay in finalization of the structural drawings, timely availability of steel, and inadequate infrastructure of the Defence Public Sector Unit (DPSU) shipyards.”

The CAG has further chided the government on cost escalation due to “poor cost estimation,” “The costs presented to the cabinet committee on security (CCS) were simplistic, ad-hoc and based on incorrectly estimated build period. The planned weapon and equipment package were also prelimnary and at best indicative,” the report said.

The CAG has noted that the cumulative approved costs of two key projects-Project 17 and Project 15A- have more than trebled from Rs. 5830 crores to Rs. 19763 crores. “A professional mechanism does not exist to provide reliable and accurate data regarding costs, to the decision making authority,” the report noted.

The report further notes that the “lack of readiness” of the shipyards and “exhaustive modifications” of various sorts, have delayed ship construction. “Certain equipments/systems have been approved for use in the ships despite their non-compliance with technical requirements formulated,” the report noted.

Friday, July 1, 2011


The Indian Navy aiming to increase the security in the coastal areas around the country has decided to purchase 80 high speed interceptor boats from a Sri Lanka-based ship manufacturer at a cost of 67 million dollars.

The contract to purchase 80 Fast Interception Craft (FIC) from Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd is in its final stages and the deal is expected to be finalized soon, a PTI report said today.

Dubai based multinational company, Solas Marine Services Group established the Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd under Sri Lanka Board of Investment. The company is located along the Hamilton Canal at Wattala, near Colombo.

According to Indian naval officials the boats with speeds between 45-50 miles per hour are planned to be used for coastal security duties and to engage any suspicious craft or activities in the coastal areas.

The Indian Navy expects to induct the 80 FIC in the next three years, the report said.


In a bid to boost its coastal security, India is importing 80 fast interceptor boats at a cost of Rs.300 crore for its navy to plug gaps in patrol and interception operations that were identified following the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The boats will be used by the newly-raised 1,000-man Sagar Prahari Bal, a senior navy officer said here Thursday.

The government has shortlisted Sri Lankan shipyard Solas Marine for placing the order for the 80 boats. A deal in this regard will be signed soon, the officer said.

The navy had last year ordered 15 boats from French firm Chantiere Navale Couach for

Rs.65 crore, of which four boats were inducted into the navy at Mumabi earlier this week, the officer said.

The 80 boats will come in batches of 15 and deliveries will be completed by 2012. The induction of the boats will take place over 36 months from the day the contract is signed, the officer added.

The fast interceptor boats have a maximum speed of 50 nautical miles per hour and would be used by the navy to intercept suspicious boats along the coast for inspection and verification. They will also be used for preventing crimes such as poaching and smuggling, apart from in counter-terror operations.

India is also getting 300 fast attack craft for its navy, coast guard and marine police to strengthen their capabilities, a decision taken in the backdrop of the 26/11 terror attack.


The Indian Navy aiming to increase the security in the coastal areas around the country has decided to purchase 80 high speed interceptor boats from a Sri Lanka-based ship manufacturer at a cost of 67 million dollars.

The contract to purchase 80 Fast Interception Craft (FIC) from Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd is in its final stages and the deal is expected to be finalized soon, a PTI report said today.

Dubai based multinational company, Solas Marine Services Group established the Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt) Ltd under Sri Lanka Board of Investment. The company is located along the Hamilton Canal at Wattala, near Colombo.

According to Indian naval officials the boats with speeds between 45-50 miles per hour are planned to be used for coastal security duties and to engage any suspicious craft or activities in the coastal areas.

The Indian Navy expects to induct the 80 FIC in the next three years, the report said.


  Thiruvananthapuram: The process of making an inventory of the priceless articles locked up in underground cellars of the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here has revealed gold ornaments, vessels, jewels and precious stones worth thousands of crores of rupees. An estimate says the the treasure revealed Thursday was worth Rs 20,000 crore.

The treasure was found at a cellar marked 'A' in the sprawling temple complex in the city, showed that it contained gold chains, golden beads, a large number of silver and brass platters, ornaments, a stone-studded crown and glittering gold coated parasols and may other objects of great intrinsic and antique value, sources said.

The magnificent temple, built in 18th century by King of erstwhile Travancore princely state Marthanda Varma, is run by a trust under the control of the royal family. The Supreme Court recently appointed a seven-member panel, comprising two former judges of Kerala High Court as observers, to draw up a list of valuable articles stashed away in the cellars, said to have been remaining locked up for long.

The observers had made it clear that their job was not to assess the value of the articles in money terms but to draw up an inventory and submit it to the apex court. However, temple sources, present during the exercise, indicated that the precious objects listed in the first days alone would run into at least Rs 20,000 crores in the present market rates.

The cellars were ordered to be opened by the apex court to prepare an inventory while considering a private petition.


Kerala has stumbled upon a treasure trove in the underground chambers of the centuries-old Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple here, where a Supreme Court appointed panel prepared the inventory of the priceless heap of precious metals.

The value of articles stocked in the vaults of the temple, managed by the royal family of the erstwhile Travancore princely state, would run into thousands of crores of rupees. Unofficial sources associated with the ongoing examination of the temple cellars pegged the jackpot at Rs 50,000 crore.

According to noted historian Dr M G S Narayanan, Padmanabhaswamy is one of the Vaishnava temples in the country and dates back to 9th Century. Hence, the vaults would be containing several centuries old precious objects.

The temple has six vaults and two of them had not been opened for the past one-and-a-half century. A major chunk of the estimated treasure belonged to the cellar, coded as A. The inventory of another chamber B is not over. The inventory thus far included gold coins, thousands of gold chains, precious stones including emerald, gems, diamonds, crowns and royal ornaments. Besides, coins and objects of antique and historical value have been unearthed from the temple.

The wealth at the temple has opened a debate over government control over the property. Prominent Hindu organisation Nair Service Society said the treasure found at the temple should remain with the temple.

Atheist leader U Kalanadan said the property was stashed in the temple cellars by the erstwhile kings. Hence, it could not be claimed as Hindu property. The government should take over the temple wealth for public use, he said.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to beef up the security at the temple. Modern security system would be put in place for the temple and the police have completed a security audit in this regard, said DGP Jacob Punnose.


The Sree Padma-nabha Swamy temple here is likely to become India’s richest temple, surpassing Tirumala in Tirupati, And-hra Pradesh, with a Supre-me Court-appointed expert panel estimating that 70 per cent of the gold jewellery and diamonds retrieved fro-m its secret cellar A would amount to `50,000 crores.

Lord Vishnu is worshipped in a reclining posture in this temple. Tirumala’s Lord Balaji has gold and diamond jewellery reportedly valued at over `52,000 crores. After the panel completes an inventory of the articles found in cellar A, and opens cellar B, the value of precious articles in Padman-abha Swamy temple is exp-ected to touch astronomical heights.


At Hanoi our Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave assurance that India will continue to assist Vietnam in the modernization of its armed forces, particularly the Navy and Air Force.

While discussing similar issues with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in Hanoi, Pranab Da said “India is also prepared to strengthen intelligence cooperation with Vietnam.” He had a meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister on may 4th. Pranab dada was confident that strategic partnership between the two countries is strong because it is based on implicit mutual trust, a convergence of interests including in the field of defence and security and similar approaches on global and regional issues. “As two dynamic and fast growing economies of Asia, our effort is to add greater content, through concrete programmes and projects, to our strategic partnership, he added.

Back in 1994, both the countries signed a Protocol on Defence cooperation. Over the years Indo-Vietnamese Defence cooperation has grown steadily through visits by military delegations, ship visits from India and training of Vietnamese Defence personnel in India. Both countries have held a series of India Vietnam Security Dialogue.

On Dec18,2007 Gen Phung Quang Thanh in his remarks (to the Defence Minister , AK Antony) put forward various proposals including training of Vietnamese Defence Personnel, enhancing the exchanges of delegations, expanding training cooperation and cooperation between the defence industries of the two countries. He also suggested increase in the frequency of goodwill visits by naval ships, application of information technology in defence and e- technology and technical support to Vietnamese navy. The Vietnamese Defence Minister expressed gratitude to India for providing training to armed forces officers in various areas and said ‘they are bringing back valuable knowledge and skills to their work areas’. So far, a total of 49 officers have attended various Army and Navy Courses and 64 officers have attended English language courses.

We must remember that these are the same Vietnamese who took on the mighty Americans and chased them out. Though the Americans tried every dirty tactics in the book yet their campaign ended in disaster and ignominy. Before that they had defeated the French and the Chinese found it impossible to control them. even after their victory over the Americans the Vietnamese knew that one day they will have to do business with the Americans thus they tried their best to move from the past but never giving up their honour or dignity.
Surely India can learn a few lessons from this small country in the field of resolve and will to fight no matter what the cost.


In the backdrop of the Russian Navy backing out of a joint exercise with the Indian Navy at the last minute, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma will travel to Moscow next month for discussions with the country's top military leadership.

The Navy chief will meet the top military leadership of Russia and discuss ongoing military projects such as the retrofit of Admiral Gorshkov and construction of the three Talwar class frigates there, officials said here.

The two sides are also likely to discuss the last-minute decision by Russian Navy not to hold an exercise with Indian Navy ships, which had gone there for a joint drill, they said.

The navy chief had expressed an "element of disappointment" after the exercises were not held at the final stages.

The navy chief is also likely to discuss the delivery schedule of the Akula Class Nerpa nuclear submarines and the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

Under a confidential pact, India is leasing an Akula Class submarine from Russia, which is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

At present, defence secretary Pradeep Kumar along with defence production secretary Rajkumar Singh are in Russia to discuss the bilateral defence ties.

Officials said there will be a number of visits by senior Indian officials to Russia before the summit-level meeting between the heads of states in December.


Russia's MiG aircraft maker delivered a new batch of fifty MiG-29K/KUB carrier-based fighters to the Indian navy in May, the company said."A flight training simulator and other technical equipment has also been delivered," MiG said in a statement on Monday.

The two countries signed a contract stipulating the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs to India in January 2004. The contract is part of a $1.5-billion deal to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, currently being retrofitted in Russia for the Indian Navy.

India's first four MiG-29Ks and MiG-29KUBs officially entered service in February 2010. In March 2010, Russia and India signed a $1.5-billion contract on the supplies of 29 additional MiG-29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi. The start of the supplies is scheduled for 2012.

The contracts for the jets also stipulate pilot training and aircraft maintenance, including the delivery of flight simulators and interactive ground and sea-based training systems.

The Indian Navy has named its MiG-29K squadron the "Black Panthers." The fighters will be based at an airfield in the state of Goa on India's west coast until the Admiral Gorshkov joins the Navy under the name of INS Vikramaditya in early 2013.

The Vikramaditya is expected to carry up to 24 MiG-29K/KUB fighters. The future indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant being built by India may also carry these aircraft.


Two Indian naval ships INS Delhi and INS Kirch are on a visit to Ho Chi Minh City from May 10 – 13. Indian Rear Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy has also arrived in the Vietnamese city.

On May 11, the Indian delegation met with the Deputy Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Le Minh Tri. The visiting crew also called on the Command of the Military Zone no 7 and the Vietnam People’s Navy. They are expected to see Cu Chi underground tunnels and other historical and cultural places in the city.

The guests are also scheduled to have friendly interactions and games with students from the Vietnam’s Navy Technical School.

An Indian flotilla comprising of INS Delhi, INS Jyoti, INS Ranvijay and two R-class destroyers are visiting Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Russia and Singapore. As reported yesterday, INS Ranvijay is on a port call at the Sepanggar Bay Naval Base in Malaysia. The ships participated in Malabar series of war games along with US. Japan pulled out of the war games in view of the devastating earthquake-tsunami and nuclear radiation leaks.


Lamenting the lack of high-level visits from India under the UPA government, senior officials at the Israeli foreign ministry told US diplomats that it was "better under the Bhartiya Janata Party government", according to a classified US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

Despite burgeoning defence and trade ties, "Israel is concerned about the lack of high-level visits and other exchanges with India. The last visit by an Indian Foreign Minister was in 2000, with a November 2007 visit called off at the last minute," deputy Director general for Asia and Pacific at Israel's foreign ministry Ruth Kahanoff told US diplomats.

"Kahanoff believes that India is restrained in the relationship (with Israel) by its large Muslim population, their concern about relations with the Arab world, and lingering elements of the Non-Aligned Movement/Nehru ideology," the US embassy cable revealed by WikiLeaks said.

Giora Bacher, Director at Israel's foreign ministry Asia and Pacific Desk, also attending the meeting, added that the "visits were actually better under the Bharatiya Janata Party government".

Kahanov also pointed out to US political counsellor Marc Sievers and others present during the December 2007 meeting that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India in 2003, but no Indian Prime Minister has ever come to Israel.

He also complained about Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari giving a speech attacking Israel, which she saw "as a sign that India is still trying to find its place in the world".

Bacher told US officials that her country's current relationship with India is dominated by defence cooperation and other trade.

The Israeli official noted that initially 95 per cent of the bilateral trade between the two countries was in diamonds, but it is now down to 70 per cent, and there is significant investment in real estate and businesses on both sides as both the countries' economy continue to liberalise.

Kahanoff also stressed on the opening of a branch of the State Bank of India in Israel to support its investors.


Vietnam has confirmed that it is buying 6 kilo class attack submarines from Russia to protect its maritime resources better and chase away any encroacher.Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Defense, also confirmed the Kilo submarine deal and added that Vietnam was also buying "Su-30 fighters and surface-to-air missiles."

The incidence which has raised the hackles of Vietnamese armed forced happened in May when one of its offshore oil and gas exploration ship was attacked and harassed by an increasing expansionist Chinese navy.

The Vietnamese ship, the Binh Minh 02, detected the Chinese patrol boats approaching on radar at about 5 a.m on Thursday, the official Vietnam News Agency reported. About an hour later, the three Chinese boats intentionally ran through the area where the Vietnamese ship was working, snapping cables the ship was using, then left the scene after about three hours, it said.

China’s Foreign Ministry blamed Vietnam for the incident
“China’s stance on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. We oppose oil and gas operations conducted by Vietnam, which have undermined China’s interests and jurisdictional rights in the South China Sea and violated the consensus both countries have reached on the issue,” ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
“What relevant Chinese departments did was completely normal marine law-enforcement and surveillance activities in China’s jurisdictional sea area,” she said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website (
“China has been committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. We are willing to work together with relevant parties to seek a solution to related disputes,” Jiang added.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry protested against the incident by passing a diplomatic note to representatives of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi on Thursday.The incident caused outrage in Vietnam, resulting in public protests at the Chinese embassy and hacker attacks on Chinese government websites.

China's military has been expanding its capabilities and influence in the South China Sea with a new submarine base on Hainan Island, and preparations are underway to begin sea trials of its first aircraft carrier.

China and Vietnam have been engaged in conflict or small skirmishes in the South China Sea since the 1970s. In 1974 China in a blatant violation of international laws took the Paracel Islands by military force from South Vietnam, but Vietnam refuses to recognize Chine occupation and claims that territory as its own. China has found new way of harassing and humiliating Vietnam by arresting its fishermen for no reason. Chinese navy infiltrate into the Vietnamese water and pick up fishermen just to show its might.

In 1988 China and Vietnam fought over the Johnson South Reef in the South China Sea. China sank two Vietnamese naval vessels and opened fired on Vietnamese troops occupying the reef. More than 30 unarmed sailors and 3 transport ship was sunk by the imperialistic Chinese Navy

The South China Sea covers an area of more than 648,000 sq miles (1.7 million sq km), containing more than 200 mostly uninhabitable small islands, rocks and reefs.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.The incident this week took place in an area called Block 148 about 120 km (80 miles) off the south-central coast of Vietnam from the beach town of Nha Trang, the Vietnamese news agency said.


A navy fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct a training drill in west Pacific international waters in mid- to late June, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Chinese Defense Ministry.They know it well that they are entering into the American sphere of influence.

The press release said that the training is in line with relevant international laws and is not targeted at any specific country, in response to reports saying that Chinese navy ships previously passed through waters between Japan's islands of Okinawa and Miyako.

"This will be a regular drill according to the annual plan (of the PLA)," said the press release

Classic Chinese strategy to take everything inch by inch instead of a whole yard. It gives the adversary a false sense of security until it is too late.


For Indian Army personnel deployed in high altitude areas, DRDO has built hi-tech shelters that would provide protection to the soldiers against extreme climatic conditions of the Himalayan region.

"The Integrated Thermally Regulated Shelters were dedicated by DRDO chief V K Saraswat to the 14 Corps at a function in Leh yesterday," DRDO officials said here.

These shelters were received by the Corps Commander Lt Gen Ravi Dastane in the presence of W Selvamurthy, a distinguished scientist and senior Army officers.

"These shelters designed and developed by DRDO, are equipped with integrated temperature regulators, biodigestors and air monitoring systems and have been designed to withstand seismic activities upto a level of zone 5, wind velocities upto 55 metre per second and sub-zero temperature upto minus 35 degree Celsius," they said.

Speaking on the occasion, Saraswat stressed on large scale utilisation of solar and other non-conventional energy resources to meet the energy requirements at high altitudes.


The elite 21st strike corp of the Indian Army will hold its military exercise along the Indo-Pak border this winter. It will involve 20,000 troops and 200 tanks in this war game. Beside the military the Indian Air Force will also form the part of this exercise. This is done to increase and fine tune the interoperability of the two services.

“The 21 Strike Corps under the Southern Command will hold its routine exercise in the western deserts in Pokharan in November-December time-frame," army officials told reporters here

Though it is being shown as routine operations by Indian Army but it must be seen in the context of the latest summer exercises. First it was huge exercise called Vijayee bhawa then it was Pine Prahar by the Jalandhar based 11 Vajra corp of the Indian Army.

Therefore it can be deduced that Indian Army is working toward perfecting some kind of strategy.The most famous one is the cold start-doctrine to which will give India the option of striking deep inside Pakistan within a week or less. The second aspect of these exercises are the armies desire to become network centric force where every unit and field commanders are not only in contact with each other but can share data and information. Indian Armed forces are now relying heavily on UAV and AWACS to organize in a better way. Last exercise saw DRDO testing its capabilities in data-link , satellite imagery and down-links etc

This particular exercise will be held most probably in the month of November-December 2011.During the exercise, the Army troops will also practice joint operations, with the Indian Air Force fighters and transport aircraft also taking part in the wargames to showcase their fire power. “The exercise will involve precision munition and advance surveillance systems to achieve a greater degree of network centric capability,” they said.


Defence Minister A K Antony Tuesday discounted the possibility of Kargil-type operations in Arunachal Pradesh as apprehended by a minister of the state, saying the situation on the border was under constant monitoring and capabilities were being upgraded.

"Just as the other side (China) is increasing their capabilities in our part, our Army and Air Force are steadily increasing their capabilities. So we are confident of protecting our interest in any territory. At the moment the border is peaceful," he told reporters.

"We are closely monitoring the border situation. Our Armed Forces, especially Army, are constantly upgrading their capabilities in the eastern sector," he added.

Arunachal Pradesh's Minister for Finance and Planning Kalikho Pul, during his meeting with Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had reportedly cautioned the government against a Kargil-like situation in the state.

During his meeting with Ahluwalia on June 13, Pul reportedly also discussed the infrastructure development projects carried out by the Chinese in areas bordering Arunachal Pradesh.

On deployment of Army battalions in Chattisgarh, Antony said, "Army is training in many states in most difficult terrain because they want to have a feel of all the terrains like deserts, mountains and plains. They are now establishing a new training unit there."

He further said, "The land is alloted only for training. We will not cut a single tree, we will not harass anybody there. We are not against anybody, it is not an enemy territory."


Strengthening its capabilities to carry out special operations, the Indian Army is raising a new special forces battalion which will be deployed in the north-eastern sector.

A new battalion of the Parachute Regiment -- 11 Para (SF) -- is being raised and will be first deployed in the north-eastern sector, Army sources said here.

This will be eighth special forces battalion of the Parachute Regiment and will be deployed in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in that region, they said.

The Parachute Regiment has 10 battalions under it and seven of them have been trained as special forces, which are supposed to carry out counter-terrorist operations during peacetime and sabotage enemy installations beyond enemy lines during wars.

The special forces battalions include the 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 21 para units, which are deployed in different sectors of the country and have also been given responsibility to handle any 26/11 type attacks if that occurs near their area of deployment.

The Army wants to increase the number of special forces troops to more than 10 battalions with around 700 men in each.

These battalions have been provided with modern equipment such as Tavor 21 assault rifles.


Two months after being shortlisted, French firm Dassault and consortium of European companies Eurofighter have submitted their revised offset bids for the multi-billion dollar 126 combat aircraft deal, the process for which is expected to be completed by the year end. On April 27, India has shortlisted the two European companies for procuring 126 Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) deal for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in which six companies were participating.

“The offsets offer which were completed until April 14 this year, have been asked to be revised until June 17 that is today," German Ambassador Thomas Mattusek told reporters in New Delhi. Officials in Dassault also said they have already submitted the revised bids with the ministry. Under the offsets clause in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), foreign vendors bagging deals worth over Rs 300 crore have to reinvest at least 30 per cent of the contract amount into Indian defence, civilian aerospace or the homeland security sectors.

In the M-MRCA competition, companies have to invest 50 per cent of the worth of the deal into the Indian defence sector only. "The shortlist and commercial biddings are expected to be opened in the next few weeks so that the whole project is expected to be finalised by the end of this year," the German Ambassador said. Germany along with United Kingdom, Spain and Italy is one of the four partner nations in the Eurofighter consortium and is the lead country for the Indian campaign.


Small piece of news which might irritate the evil red Chinese dragon is that Vietnam has given India the permission to drop anchor at Nha Trang port during naval exercises and goodwill visit.

Why is this so important? Because uptill now most foreign countries including India was only allowed into Halong Bay near Hanoi.While Nha Trang port is only few kilometers away from mainland China and bang in the middle of South China Sea. This will give India an opportunity to create a permanent presence in that area which is essentially Chinese backyard.

We all know that Vietnam is embroiled into a bloody war with China over some of the islands and the actual demarcation in South China Sea. This move by India will be surely seen as aggressive posturing by the Chinese, who have used the same tactics against India by propping up Pakistan.

India, too, is set to offer naval facilities for training and capacity-building to Vietnam. The Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Navy, Vice-Admi-ral and deputy minister Nguyen Van Hien, is scheduled to visit New Delhi, Mumbai and Visakhapat-nam during his visit starting Monday to witness Indian naval capabilities.

“India could also offer its experience in ship-building to Vietnam, which currently has a small Navy,” said a government source.


India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a laser-based weapon that will impair vision temporarily to control unruly crowds such as Kashmir’s stone-throwing mobs. The non-lethal military gadget would be supplied to para-military forces in Jammu and Kashmir within three months, a senior DRDO official said.

When turned on, the gadget, called laser dazzler, sends out radiation to immobilise individuals or crowds without causing permanent injury. The green rays can throw a wave of agony nearly 250 metres away.

AK Maini, who heads the DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Centre, told HT hand-held laser dazzlers with a range of 50 metres would be supplied to paramilitary forces by October for feedback on performance.

He said a vehicle-mounted weapon system for engaging mobs at nearly 250 metres would be ready by the end of next year. What makes the laser effective is that it doesn’t have to be aimed and shot, it moves like a large circle with a spread of almost 20 metres. It will allow security forces to disperse crowds without inflicting life-threatening injury. Maini said the system was different from Western gadgets that employed millimetre wave technology to repel crowds by targeting different parts of the body.

He explained, “It’s not a stun gun. The laser dazzler targets only the eyes. It could be the perfect solution to de-escalate aggression such as the kind caused by Kashmir’s stone-throwing mobs.”

The DRDO is also working on a laser-based ordnance disposal system to detonate explosives from a safe standoff distance. Also in the pipeline are vehicle and airborne laser systems to engage hostile targets such as aircraft and missiles. These technologies may take up to two years to mature. (From hindustantimes)

Move aside Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, India's DRDO is trying to develop its own set of Star Wars-like weapons. From laser dazzlers to control rioting crowds to high-powered lasers to destroy incoming missiles, DRDO is working on a slew of directed energy weapons (DEWs).

"Lasers are weapons of the future. We can, for instance, use laser beams to shoot down an enemy missile in its boost or terminal phase,'' said DRDO's Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) director Anil Kumar Maini, talking to TOI on Monday.

Incidentally, DRDO chief V K Saraswat himself has identified DEWs, along with space security, cyber-security and hypersonic vehicles, as focus areas in the years ahead. "LASTEC has the mandate to develop DEWs for armed forces,'' said DRDO's chief controller (electronics & computer sciences) R Sreehari Rao.

While conventional weapons use kinetic or chemical energy of missiles or other projectiles to destroy targets, DEWs decimate them by bombarding with subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves at the speed of sound. Apart from the speed-of-light delivery, laser DEWs cause minimal collateral damage.

DRDO, of course, often promises much more than it can deliver. But even the defence ministry's recent "technology perspective and capability roadmap'' identifies DEWs and ASAT (anti-satellite) weapons as thrust areas over the next 15 years, as was first reported by TOI.

The aim is to develop laser-based weapons, deployed on airborne as well as seaborne platforms, which can intercept missiles soon after they are launched towards India in the boost phase itself. These will be part of the fledgling ballistic missile defence system being currently developed by DRDO.

The US, incidentally, is already conducting tests of high-powered laser weapons on a modified 747 jumbo jet, the ALTB (airborne laser testbed), which direct lethal amounts of directed energy to destroy ballistic missiles during their boost phase.

It will, of course, take India several years to even conduct such tests. For now, LASTEC is developing "a 25-kilowatt'' laser system to hit a missile during its terminal phase at a distance of 5-7 km. "All you need is to heat the missile skin to 200-300 degree and the warhead inside will detonate,'' said Maini.

LASTEC is also working on a vehicle-mounted "gas dynamic laser-based DEW system'', under project Aditya, which should be ready in three years. "But Aditya is just a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology. Ultimately, we have to develop solid-state lasers,'' said Maini. (From Times of India)

According to some military experts, the overall level of India's laser weapons is still at the early stage. The laser-based weapon "laser dazzler" emerged in the 1980s, which were used to spot snipers and impair their vision. China also displayed its T-99 tanks with a laser-based system in its 50th anniversary military parade in 1999, which is said to be capable of impairing tank aimers' vision over one thousand meters away and causing possible damage to tanks' aiming system.

Military experts also point out US and former Soviet Union conducted experiments of the laser anti-ballistic missile technology during the Cold-War era.The current laser anti-ballistic technology of US ranks the leading position in the world. Meanwhile, US and Russia have shifted their focus to solid-state directed energy weapons with higher effectiveness, smaller size and lighter weight.


SINGAPORE: India's Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar called on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean at the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Kumar, who is on a visit to Singapore from March 21 to 23, also co-chaired the 7th India-Singapore Defence Policy Dialogue with Permanent Secretary (Defence) Chiang Chie Foo.

Mindef said the annual Defence Policy Dialogue, established under the India-Singapore Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in October 2003, serves as a forum for both countries to oversee and advance bilateral defence relationship.

Defence officials also discussed areas of cooperation and strategic developments of mutual interest.

As part of his visit, Mr Kumar also visited the Information Fusion Centre at the Changi Command and Control Centre, and Headquarters Armour at Sungei Gedong.

Mindef stressed that Mr Kumar's visit underscored the warm defence relationship between Singapore and India.