Experts Speak

  • September 20, 2017
    Modi's Myanmar visit – And the Rohingya issue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Myanmar on September 5 for a two–day visit on his way back from the 9th BRICS Summit at Xiamen in China.

  • September 20, 2017
    Border infrastructure – Execution is the key
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Doklam standoff has brought into focus once again the poor infrastructure that India has. As on date, only 27 roads' (963-km) of the 73 strategic roads approved for construction (totaling (4,643-km) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over 15 years ago have been completed.

  • September 20, 2017
    Parrying ToT – US Defence firms spoof Make in India
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    It is well known that US firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are bidding to enter the 'Make in India' initiative for supplying combat jets and military equipment to India.

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Japanese Strategic Partnership boosted
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Indo-Japanese relations have always been special. Even during the recent Doklam standoff, it was Japan's envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu who said there should be no attempt to change the status quo on the ground by force; categorizing the crisis...

  • September 20, 2017
    Wonder Gun ATAGS – And charge of importomania
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The DRDO-indigenous private industry Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) has arrived on the scene with a bang. The ATAGS is a 155mm, 52-calibre gun-howitzer being developed on two parallel tracks – one prototype in partnership with Tata Power (Strategic Engineering Division) and another with Bharat Forge.

  • September 20, 2017
    Indo-Russian defence ties – Waning is misnomer
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Even as the armies of India and US are engaged in joint military two-week exercise 'Yudh Abhyas 2017' to hone their skills in counter insurgency and counter terror operations under a joint brigade headquarters at a military base in Washington...

  • September 13, 2017
    No Nonsense Approach of the New Defence Minister
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    So while the enthusiasm of the Defence Minister to interact with the Service Chiefs is most welcome and is praiseworthy, we recommend that she should pay more attention to the Department of Defence Production, the Ordnance Factory Board...

  • September 12, 2017
    Various challenges facing the new Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Sitharaman holding independent charge of Ministry of Commerce & Industry did have an overview of the pathetic state of equipping of the military; the chapter on defence on official website of Ministry of Commerce & Industry in 2014...

  • September 4, 2017
    Lady at the Helm of Affairs
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The challenges before the new Minister of Defence are formidable. Given her track record, the Indian armed forces are full of hope for better days ahead!

  • September 4, 2017
    Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman as Raksha Mantri
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    Appointment of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday, September 03, 2017 as the Defence Minister of India was welcomed as a refreshing news.

  • September 4, 2017
    New Defence Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman has been appointed as the next Defence Minister. She is not the first lady holding this appointment since Indira Gandhi also held this portfolio, same as Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh Today. But she certainly is the first 'full-time' lady Defence Minister of India.

  • September 4, 2017
    Airport Security – plug the gaps
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 20 August, 2017, flight operations at Delhi airport were halted for around two hour with closure of the runways when an international airline pilot spotted a drone-like object in the area.

  • September 4, 2017
    President Trump's Af-Pak Policy
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan's has been playing the double game successfully all these years despite US and NATO military commanders in Afghanistan pointing out what the ground situation was; implying terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan must be destroyed.

  • September 4, 2017
    Visit of Nepalese PM amidst Doklam standoff
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's four-day visit to India commencing August 23 was his first foreign visit since assuming office in June 2017.

  • September 4, 2017
    Selective Military Reforms – Why not holistic?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Based on recommendations of the government-appointed Lt Gen D B Shekatkar Committee "Enhancing Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces", government has approved 65 of the 188 Committee recommendations mainly pertain to Army that included redeploying 57,000 personnel.

  • September 4, 2017
    Ignoring the Foot Soldier – Chronic malady
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to media reports, the Army is slated to get the advanced medium-range-surface to air missile (MRSAM) capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, fighter jets...

  • September 4, 2017
    Doklam Pullback – Advantage Modi
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There is no doubt that the simultaneous pullback from the Doklam standoff by the Indian Military and the PLA is advantage Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Asia Times aptly summed up what India resolutely conveyed to China, "What's certainly clear is that India has no appetite for being pushed around by its increasingly hegemonic neighbor (China)".

  • August 24, 2017
    Additional Rafale jets for the IAF
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    Given the state the IAF is in today, there is urgent need to induct modern fourth-generation combat aircraft in the numbers required and as soon as possible.

  • August 22, 2017
    The Doklam Standoff
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    In all cases of boundary disputes between two countries, the sticking points evolve on the basis of historical records and differing perceptions of the boundary lines because of the inaccuracies of the old surveys and/or the mental conditionings of the people...

  • August 21, 2017
    Army to optimise robots
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, MoD has approved a proposal put up by the Army to "build indigenous robots" that are designed to deliver ammunition at targeted locations.

  • August 21, 2017
    Army's BSS – Still hiccupping
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Battlefield surveillance relates to the ability to obtain real or near-real time all weather picture of battle space. This encompasses human intelligence (HUMINT), technology related imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signal or communication intelligence (SIGINT) together with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

  • August 21, 2017
    Apaches for Army Aviation – Long overdue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In September 2015, India had signed a deal for procuring 22 Apache helicopters from the US at the cost of Rs 13,952 crore for the IAF. Following this, the Army had sought government approval for acquiring 11 Apache helicopters as as "a follow-on contract".

  • August 21, 2017
    The Tank Biathlon fiasco – Need for introspection
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Naturally there was great euphoria when during the run up to the semifinal for the recent Tank Biathlon held at the 2017 International Army Games at the Alabino Range training ground outside Moscow, where the Indian team performed exceedingly...

  • August 21, 2017
    The Doklam spill
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Never had one heard of any military in the world stooping so low as to indulge in stone-pelting.

  • August 21, 2017
    Indo-US Defence Cooperation – Geostrategic elevation
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US Departments of Defence (DoD) and State Department, in a recent joint report to their Congress, said, "We see a growing convergence with India on our strategic outlook for the region, and we view India as an increasingly important regional security partner within and beyond the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."

  • August 11, 2017
    Confronting the Dragon
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The need of the hour is for the Indian armed forces to be prepared to meet with the challenges of a two-front war in the worst case scenario.

  • August 10, 2017
    Enhancement of Defence Budget 2017-18
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd.)

    A few days ago there was a report in the media regarding non-availability of certain categories of ammunition which was causing great concern among the Services...

  • August 10, 2017
    Rejuvenation – A Crying Need for India's Submarine Fleet
    By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd.)

    There is an emerging view that despite the approved programmes for rejuvenation, India is unlikely to have a credible submarine fleet by 2030 to match the emerging prowess of China in this segment of maritime power.

  • August 10, 2017
    Pakistan – in US terror spotlight
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The US has listed Pakistan among the nations providing "safe havens" to terrorists, saying terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM continued to operate, train, organize and fundraise inside the country.

  • August 10, 2017
    China conquers Hambantota
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Sri Lanka's Hambantota port has been officially transferred to China for 99 years by the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

  • August 10, 2017
    Switching military uniforms to Khadi would be retrograde
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to a media reports, the Khadi Villages Industries Commission (KVIC) had requested the Armed Forces to consider using Khadi uniforms for security personnel, and the Ministry of Defence has sent specifications of military uniforms to the KVIC.

  • August 10, 2017
    Additional defence allocation of Rs 20,000 crore will only bridge partial criticalities
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, the MoD has sought an "urgent" additional allotment of Rs 20,000 crore for combat readiness of Armed Forces.

  • August 10, 2017
    First indigenous unmanned tank
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In 2006, it was announced that India will be pursuing technologies for developing a robotic army.

  • August 10, 2017
    UAV swarming – Needs focus
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Coinciding with China's military parade to mark the 90th birthday of the Peoples Liberation Army, China's first batch of unmanned aerial vehicles conducted live fire drills.

  • July 31, 2017
    Beyond the 18th Vijay Diwas
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The 18th Vjay Diwas will be celebrated with the usual aplomb on July 26; wreath laying, homage and tributes to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in evicting the treacherous enemy.

  • July 31, 2017
    Terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims – What beyond?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The dastardly terrorist attack on the bus carrying 60 Amarnath pilgrims returning post visiting the cave on July 10 indicates more terror in the offing, requiring ramped up security and adherence to rules of movement.

  • July 31, 2017
    CPEC – China’s yokel of terror
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to Pakistani media, there was a major attack on Pakistan Navy at Jiwani in Gwadar on June 19 when four gunmen on two bikes ambushed a vehicle of navy officers when they were on a routine round.

  • July 31, 2017
    Malabar 2017 – Guilty conscience pricks China
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    During Malabar 2016 conducted in the Western Pacific, the Chinese media had gone ballistic alleging that the “Malabar naval exercise involving the Indian, US...

  • July 31, 2017
    Souring Iran-Pakistan relations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The decline in Iran-Pakistan relations is continuing, the major reason being the same as in India-Pakistan and Afghanistan-Pakistan relations; Pakistan sponsored terrorism. In May this year, Iran warned Pakistan that it would hit terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan if the Pakistani Government does not confront militants...

  • July 31, 2017
    Special Operations Division
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    At the recent two day Unified Commanders’ Conference held on 10-11 July, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra apprised the audience that the Defence Cyber & Space...

  • July 13, 2017
    Full Financial Powers to Vice-Chief of the Army Staff to Maintain Combat-Readiness
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    Considering the prevailing threats across the Line of Control (LoC) against Pakistan and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) against China...

  • July 7, 2017
    PM Modi’s historic visit to Israel
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel from July 4 to July 6 was historic being the first Prime Minister of India to visit Israel.

  • July 7, 2017
    Defined Strategic Partnership boosting Make in India – but much work remains
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defining the ‘Strategic Partnership’ (SP) took some 18 months after the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2016 was released.

  • July 7, 2017
    Why are Kashmiris killing Their Own?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    It was in August 2016 that Asim Umar, chief of Al Qaeda’s South Asia branch (AQIS) gave the call for Indian Muslims to rise and carry out lone wolf attacks in India particularly targeting IPS and IAS officers.

  • July 7, 2017
    Another ISRO Milestone — more to follow
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket's XL variant lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 9.29 AM on June 23, carrying earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighing 712 kg and 30 co-passenger...

  • July 7, 2017
    India-China Standoff — deliberate Chinese move
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On June 20, Bhutan served a demarche to China against the Chinese arbitrary action of constructing a road the Doklam Plateau, which is property of the King of Bhutan.

  • July 7, 2017
    Chahabar — and US-Iran tensions
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The trilateral engagement between India, Iran and Afghanistan during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016 was historic, expanding avenues of trade for India with Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia through the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC).

  • June 30, 2017
    A historic meeting
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The historic meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump is expected to propel the relationship between India and the US to greater heights.

  • June 29, 2017
    Modi-Trump meet — Amidst Modi’s three-nation tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump on June 26. Modi’s US trip starting June 25 was part of his three-nation tour commencing with Portugal.

  • Guardians for the Indian Navy
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    There is considerable optimism in India that the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump will usher in a new dawn in the relationship between India and the US.

  • A Landmark Agreement!
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    The agreement between Lockheed Martin and TASL reflects the confidence of the US aerospace industry in the growing capability of the Indian aerospace industry in the private sector.

  • June 23, 2017
    New Indigenous Bullet Proof Jacket for Forces
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In an article titled ‘Bullet Resistant Vests’ in April this year, it was reported in these columns that Amrita University, Coimbatore is offering highly advanced technology bullet proof jackets (BPJs) and the proposal titled...

  • June 23, 2017
    Trial of another Assault Rifle – and the missing carbine
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media had reported in July 2016 that the Army had junked DRDO’s 5.56mm Excalibur assault rifle. Resultantly, Army’s quest for a state-of-the-art assault rifles was extended – fresh equipping taking minimum seven-eight years as per informed sources.