Experts Speak

  • Visit of Bangladesh PM – Expectations
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Coming up next month in April is the all important visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh to India.

  • Pakistan – Defiant Frankenstein
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    By admitting that the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack was carried out by Pakistan based terror group but that the Pakistani government had no role in it, former Pakistan National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani has managed to hit headlines while keeping himself safe.

  • Special Forces – Efforts to bridge equipment voids
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media is agog with news headlines “Army on Shopping Spree, Commandos to Get Deadlier,” reporting that after the successful ‘surgical strikes’...

  • Military modernisation kaput – And the curse of committees
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has slammed the government on March 9 through its report tabled in Parliament on Demands for Grants...

  • QCG and the six plus one
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising the US, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan aimed to bring the Taliban on board to join...

  • Of Grenade Lobbing Robots – and more
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As the battle for Mosul continues, the ISIS fights on with new technology. Tiny surveillance drones are employed to observe and report movement and positions...

  • Indigenous LCH – good strides
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India’s indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), was a star attraction at the Aero India 2017...

  • Pakistan’s Change of Heart – recurring utopia
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When news came that Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistani army chief had told his officers that they should read how the Indian democracy had succeeded, media at home went gaga as usual, with many utopians forecasting ‘change of heart’ in Pakistan, little realizing that Bajwa is from the same crop as Zia, Musharraf and Co.

  • FGFA redesigned?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Happenings at the Aero India 2017 signified the next chapter in the Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) saga. Whether it will now move faster than the snail’s pace is yet to be seen.

  • Remov AFSPA – periodic punchline
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There are frequent calls in insurgency affected areas for removal or dilution of the Armed Forces Special Power Act. Such calls are periodic in J&K and Manipur. It is also a election issue in Manipur this year, particularly by the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) floated by Chanu Sharmila...

  • India–China strategic dialogue – Hollowness persists
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On February 22, India and China held their ‘upgraded’ strategic dialogue at Beijing. Just before the dialogue, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held talks...

  • Indo-US Defence Ties – retain the high
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    There was some speculation as to how the Indo-US defence relationship would pan out under the new US President, as relationships do undergo change...

  • Policy on Unmanned Vehicles – setting course is good
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    DRDO Director General Dr S Christopher’s statement on February 11, 2017 that DRDO plans to soon come out with policy document on unmanned vehicles...

  • Tri-Service Commands – must get them right
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    After a lapse of over a year, news is media is again talking of Tri-Service Commands and other measures like appointing a single-point military adviser...

  • Longer reach Pinaka tested
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In January 2015, Mark-II version of Pinaka rocket system was successfully tested to its full range where it was able to destroy its targets 60km away.

  • Big Stride in Ballistic Missile Defence
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    February, 11, 2017 was a great day for the DRDO and the nation. At precisely 0745 hours, DRDO successfully test-fired a interceptor missile off Odisha coast and achieved a significant milestone for developing a two-layered BMD system...

  • Critical shortages – Where is the money?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media reports headlining urgent arms deals of Rs 20,000 crores have been signed to keep the Armed Forces “ready” create an impression that all is going to be hunky dory in a jiffy is misnomer.

  • Make in India: Quo Vadis?
    By Air Marshal B.K. Pandey (Retd)

    Only with a major overhaul of the bureaucratic establishment and the government machinery as a whole, will the highly mechanised lion representing the spirit...

  • Defence Budget 2017-2018
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence has been allocated Rs 2,74,114 crore ($40.31 billion) for fiscal year 2017-2018. This does not include the pensions bill which itself is close to Rs 85,000 crore per annum.

  • The China factor in Kashmir
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    That China is the central actor behind the problems in J&K is still not fully acknowledged by our policy makers. Not that it is a new development but the understanding remained coloured with the advice of our intelligence agencies who refused to get out of the time wrap.

  • Carbines – Small arms faux passé
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to media reports, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has decided to purchase 44,000 close quarter battle (CQB) carbines via direct route and cancel the tender process.

  • Why India should never join CPEC
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Khaled Ahmed, consulting editor, ‘Newsweek’ Pakistan, in his recent article titled ‘Corridor of Uncertainty’ writes that Pakistan’s General Riaz inviting India...

  • Improving night fighting capability
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, MoD has approved purchases for improving the night warfare capabilities of the Army at a cost of US$3.2 billion. This is good news but going by past experience of excruciatingly long procedures, how many years elapse before this equipment actually gets fielded is anybody’s guess.

  • SAAW – Targeting enemy airfields
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On December 24, 2016 India successfully tested an indigenous Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from an Indian Air Force aircraft.

  • RoboSen is good – But we have miles to go
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    DRDO has just unveiled RoboSen (short for ‘Robot Sentry’). Its employability is for guarding a house, office or industrial unit. It can move around the premises, take photographs of all suspicious objects and movement, enabling law enforcement agencies to act, as and when required.

  • India joins ICBM 5000+ league
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India successfully undertook the fourth and final test firing of the Agni-V today (December 26) from Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha. This is a wholly indigenously developed ICBM, which by itself is a gigantic achievement.

  • Heart of Asia – Pak proxies named
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In his inaugural address at the Sixth Ministerial ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference at Amritsar, represented by some 30 countries and international and regional organizations and co-chaired by Finance Minister of India...

  • Visit of Israeli President – cementing ties
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The eight-day visit to India in November by President Reuven Rivlin of Israel further cemented India-Israel bilateral relations.

  • Coming - Armed drones
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Pakistan tested its indigenous ‘Burraq’ UCAV last year and according to the Dawn quoting industry insiders, in 2015 China had offered to sell Pakistan its CH-3...