Tuesday, 26 August 2008

China's strategic thinking: A gold medal for mental gymnastics

Top:  Posing in front of a street-length screen, placed by the Beijing City Administration to screen off the under-construction area behind it.

Below:  The Forbidden City in Beijing, photographed from the side of Bei Hai Park.

(Photos courtesy Ajai Shukla)

by Ajai Shukla
Beijing, China
Business Standard, 26th Aug 08

Those who believe that the Olympics are Emerging China’s message to the world have missed the wood for the trees. The Olympics are indeed a message, but more to the Chinese people. The message is: you have trusted us to rule you… and behold! We are repaying your trust; hold your head up before the world.

All ye, who wait for the revolution in China --- in the most part, followers of The Economist and the Wall Street Journal --- when an empowered and demanding citizenry will rise against their repressive rulers… take heed! The wait is going to be longer than you thought.

To the discerning visitor to China, far more striking than China’s impressive infrastructure and growing urban prosperity is the astonishing acquiescence of the Aam Chini in his relationship with Zhongnanhai, the home of the Chinese Communist Party and the Government of China.

Democracy, say a growing number of Chinese, especially the young, is not all that it is cracked up to be. Jean Liu, a young woman from Chengdu who now works as a journalist in Beijing, was all Chinese politeness when I brought up the D-word. “Isn’t it dangerous”, she asked, “to allow just any person to talk to the people? Hitler was such a good speaker, that he swept away the Germans with his oratory. And we know what that led to.”

It’s a common argument in China’s chat rooms. I pointed out that Hitler had struck a chord not with his oratory, but with his message of German pride, which resonated with a people humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles. But Ms Liu was having none of it. Like hundreds of millions of other Chinese, she has bought into Beijing’s argument that democracy has hamstrung the growth of countries like India. They remain mired in poverty, while China surges ahead.

Beijing’s enormous propaganda machine powers out the message everyday: “Your lives are getting better; China is emerging fast from its century of humiliation. (China’s invasion and domination by the West since 1840 underpins Beijing’s message.) Democracy will allow some Hitler-style charlatan to take you back into anarchy. Economic growth rests on social and political order.”

And the Chinese people, remembering the chaos before Deng Xiaoping’s reforms and the pro-democracy agitation at the Tianenmen Square in 1989, react to the promise of stability like good Confucians. The government, they agree, must know what it’s doing. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the answer for us. Beijing rations out --- very deliberately and very cautiously --- economic, political and social freedoms. The official media plays Oliver Twist, asking for more only after the government decides to give it anyway.

The only real protests take place at the levels of provincial government, Beijing’s nod to democracy. It’s been called many things by different dictators: grassroots democracy, basic democracies. But nobody’s yet called it legitimate democracy.

Beijing’s caution is born of a compromise between two perspectives, which have competed in China for centuries. On the one hand is the Southern viewpoint, an internationalist perspective based upon free trade, which was born in the ports and commercial hubs around Shanghai, Canton, Macau and Guangdong. In contrast, the cautious, security-centric Northern viewpoint --- symbolised by the Great Wall of China --- was forged in centuries of invasions from the north by Mongols and Manchus; in this perspective, foreigners are a threat more than an opportunity.

The Northern viewpoint gradually won out, starting from the watershed moment in 1435 when the Ming emperor ordered an end to shipbuilding and naval activity in China. Around 1477, the emperor burnt the records of the seven voyages of China’s greatest mariner, the eunuch Zheng He, who had established Chinese authority as far as Java, Malacca and the coast of Africa.

Today, China walks the finest of lines between the Northern and the Southern viewpoints. Economic activity is Beijing’s lifeline to authority and global influence. On the other hand, it can never be allowed to get out of hand and endanger the established order.

India must watch carefully another contradiction between two conflicting views on international relations, which coexist simultaneously in Beijing. On the one hand, China remains strongly committed to the Westphalian system of state sovereignty, especially after the Tianenmen Square massacre, when the sovereignty was cited as the principle to ward off a global outcry. In fact, Beijing has touted state sovereignty ever since its traumatic encounters with western and Japanese imperialism in the 19th century, as well as after independence through its Five Principles of Peaceful Cooperation. In these, China has used the principle of state sovereignty as a defensive weapon; a shield against foreign interference as well as a sword to strike down domestic opposition.

On the other hand, there is the traditional Chinese view of international relations, a pre-1840 Great Power worldview, which still survives in Beijing. In that view, the power and influence of a country radiates outwards in concentric circles from its capital, gradually diminishing as it proceeds further. This view naturally envisions Chinese domination over (at least tacitly) subservient regional states and neighbours, which --- like North Korea and Pakistan --- accept “guidance” from Beijing. Such regional hierarchies may be confirmed by force, such as during the “punitive” wars in 1962 with India and, in 1979, with Vietnam.

The world watched with admiration as Chinese gymnasts dominated the Olympic gold medal tally in Beijing. Had there been medals for mental gymnastics, China’s count might have been higher.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Armed forces to fund DRDO projects

Army not happy with the decision of it having to fund 10 per cent of the cost.

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 16th Aug 08

The Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) highest body, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), has handed a significant victory to the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in its long-running quest to get the defence services to fund research and development (R&D) into high-technology military projects. As a result, the services could soon begin contributing 10 per cent of the cost of developing indigenous military systems.

So far, the DRDO has funded such projects — which include successes like the Dhruv helicopter, the Agni ballistic missile and the Arjun tank — entirely from its budget.

“The DAC has agreed in principle that such projects should be funded in a 70-20-10 per cent ratio: 70 per cent by the DRDO, 20 per cent by the industry partner that will manufacture the developed product; and 10 per cent by whichever of the three services the product is being developed for,” senior MoD officials told Business Standard.

That 10 per cent liability for the military will amount to no more than Rs 300 crore a year, which is a small fraction of the Rs 30,000 crore spent annually on foreign arms. But the DRDO hopes that this relatively small amount will transform what it calls an unduly critical approach of the military towards home-grown military products. A 10 per cent ownership, the DRDO believes, will transform the military from a detached and demanding buyer into a stakeholder, which regards the projects as its own.

The military is unhappy with this decision. Sources in the tri-service Integrated Defence Staff say the army argued forcefully against the proposal, when it was discussed in the MoD.

The DRDO chief, M Natarajan, admitted recently the behind-the-scenes battles that preceded this decision. But he underplayed the benefits to the DRDO, telling a gathering of the defence manufacturers that the private sector and defence PSUs would be equal beneficiaries.

Natarajan said, “The DRDO has certainly demanded this, but it is equally applicable to the private sector and the public sector undertakings.”

The defence minister said that while he appreciates the DRDO’s concerns, he would also like to take on board the views of the services. “So the proposal was considered carefully and finally the DAC has given its approval. I think this is a very significant development,” the minister said.

But the new funding pattern has not been included in the new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP-2008), which will come into effect from September 1. The DPP-2008 gives the DRDO responsibility to develop “strategic, complex and security sensitive systems”, which include ballistic missiles and electronic warfare systems that are not normally up for sale. These will continue to be funded entirely by the DRDO.

The new 70-20-10 per cent funding pattern applies to what the DPP-2008 categorises as “High Technology Complex Systems”, which include advanced systems like tanks, fighters and helicopters, which could be bought internationally, but which the MoD wants the domestic industry to develop. The DPP-2008, however, excludes the DRDO from this category, reserving it for “RuRs/Indian industry/DPSUs/OFB/Consortia”.

A similar provision existed in the DPP-2006 but over the last two years only the DRDO has developed “High Technology Complex Systems”, such as the Dhruv helicopter, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), and Arjun tank. Not a single project has been taken up by any private company or DPSU. In addition, under the “Strategic, Complex and Security Sensitive Systems” category, the DRDO has developed several variants of the Agni missile and electronic warfare systems like the Samyukta.

Senior army sources say they intend to fight the DAC decision on joint funding. The military has already pointed out that the DPP-2008 does not mention the DRDO as eligible to develop “High Technology Complex Systems”. The DRDO admits that the new decision could face delays in implementation if the military decides to stonewall it, citing the DPP-2008.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

More pictures from Georgia of T-72 (and one T-90?) post-hit damage

I've read a lot of comments that seem to suggest that the Arjun would survive most hits from an enemy tank... or even from a missile. The sad truth is that --- in the ninety-year-old contest between tank and anti-tank --- armour-piercing technology is currently ahead of armour technology. The only protection that is effective today is active armour.

In fact, this is the staple argument used by all those who argue today for a 40-ton tank. The argument goes... there is no point slapping on all that heavy armour plate. It's going to get defeated anyway.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

T-72 vulnerability again illustrated in Georgia

My friend, Prasun Sengupta, has kindly sent these two photos --- two of destroyed Georgian T-72BV MBTs and the other of a destroyed Iraqi T-72M --- both all of which illustrate the vulnerability of the hull-mounted auto-loader in the Soviet/Russian MBT designs! Even when equipped with ERA tiles, the T-72M's structure is still highly vulnerable to ammunition blow-up, resulting in the turret separating from the hull. The T-90S has the same basic ammunition stowage pattern as the T-72, so it is unlikely to fare any better.

Prasun Sengupta writes: "It is probably the Indian Army’s worst-kept secret since 1979, but political imperatives have prevented it from being discussed in the open till now. The bulk of the Armoured Corps’ existing inventory of main battle tanks (MBT) — comprising 35 Regiments of T-72M/M1s (totalling 1,572 units) and six Regiments of T-90S (totaling 310 units) — all of which were acquired from Russia’s Nizhny Tagil-based Uralvagonzavod JSC — suffer from fundamental design vulnerabilities. When the former USSR gave its first detailed briefings to Army HQ in the late 1970s, the Armoured Corps had then expressed grave reservations about the T-72’s design philosophy, centred around hit avoidance. What alarmed Army HQ most was the prospect of a detonation of a mine or improved explosive device (IED) beneath the hull, which in turn would result in a secondary detonation or a catastrophic ignition of the T-72’s ammunition reserve (this being stored in a carousel autoloader on the turret’s floor), resulting in the turret being blown off. In the end, Cold War-based geo-strategic considerations and financial constraints prevailed, resulting in the large-scale induction of the T-72 since 1982. The Corps did not have to wait that long to realise its worst fears and in October 1987 a powerful IED detonated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam beneath a T-72M en route to the Jaffna fortress resulted in the MBT’s ammo (stored in the carousel autoloader) igniting and blowing off the turret at least 15 feet high!

History repeated itself 39 months later, this time in the Middle East when Iraqi T-72s were destroyed with ease through a combination of advanced technologies such as thermal imagers and digital hunter-killer tank fire-control systems (TFCS) and kinetic-energy ammunition like the fin-stabilised armour-piercing discarding sabot (FSAPDS). In fact, Operation Desert Storm in 1991 convincingly proved two critical points:

That the traditional Soviet/Russian approach of keeping its MBTs small and low so as to profile the smallest possible target, putting more emphasis on not being hit rather than on survivable most hits, was obsolete. Until the Gulf War, it was possible to regard the Soviet and Western solutions as different approaches to the same problem, each being justifiable and logical in the light of the different requirements and operational doctrines (as well as technological levels and financial possibilities) of the countries involved. By the early 1990s, however, one was faced with the quite surprising conclusion that the Soviet/Russian MBT designers and planners were wrong all along—and dramatically so.

Basically, the overall Soviet/Russian approach to MBT design was found to be flawed on two major counts: namely, the gamble on not being hit rather than on surviving hits, and the refusal to perceive survivability of the crew as a quite distinct issue from survivability of the MBT, with the former having priority over the latter.

The combination of these two shortcomings produced design solutions such as the T-72’s and T-90’s carousel autoloader and ammunition reserve being accommodated on the turret floor. While this indeed allows for a very compact configuration and ensures that the ammunition is less likely to take a direct hit—it also entails a very high risk of ignition or sympathetic detonation should the fighting compartment be penetrated, in which case there goes the MBT and the crew with it. 

This should be compared with the ammunition reserve of a hit-survivable MBT (like the Arjun Mk1) being accommodated in the turret bustle, with blow-off panels plus an armoured bulkhead separating it from the fighting compartment. Though the likelihood of the ammo reserve being hit is indeed much higher, the MBT (or at least the crew!) would survive even a catastrophic detonation. Small wonder, therefore, that when Army HQ first began drafting its General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR) for the DRDO-developed Arjun MBT in May 1974 and redrafted it successively in 1980, 1985 and 1996, it rightly always insisted upon the indigenous MBT being able to survive hits from FSAPDS rounds, instead of trying to avoid being hit.

Thus, when the Arjun Mk1 MBT enters service, the Indian Army will have the unique distinction worldwide of being the only one to have two types of MBTs: the T-72s and T-90s on one hand that are designed to avoid, but not survive hits from FSAPDS rounds; and the Arjun Mk1 featuring a design optimised for hit survivability."

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Western doctrine, Russian arms

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 12th Aug 08

India’s new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2008), unveiled by Defence Minister AK Antony on 1st August, is remarkable only for its lack of movement beyond an equally insipid predecessor, DPP-2006. Typically, Mr Antony pronounced the new policy a perfectly timed triumph, which would go a long way towards removing the exercise of all judgement from decisions related towards defence. Mr Antony genuinely believes that national security decision-making can be reduced to a series of checklists, which can be followed blindly to avoid controversy and debate.

True, DPP-2008 makes changes in the offset policy, notably the permission for offset banking, which will be welcomed by foreign vendors. But the really far-reaching changes that were hoped for, to vitalise India’s indigenous defence capability, simply did not happen.

DPP-2008, like its predecessor, lays down procedures for the capital procurement of defence equipment (Rs 48,000 crores in 2008-09) under three broad heads. The “Buy” procedure, on which most attention is focused, lays down rules for off-the-shelf purchases of defence items from foreign arms vendors. A variation of this, the “Buy and Make” procedure, stipulates rules for buying equipment as well as the blueprints for manufacturing it in India. The third heading, called the “Make” procedure, lays down how India’s domestic defence production establishments --- the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO), eight defence PSUs, 40 ordnance factories, some 12 major private industrial houses and 500-odd SMEs --- will produce arms and equipment for India’s defence. The new policy glosses over this section.

It is not difficult to see why. Media reports centre almost exclusively on big-ticket purchases of fighters, submarines and aircraft carriers from foreign vendors. Political mud slinging centres on kickbacks supposedly paid by foreign vendors. And almost every significant foreign purchase gets scrutinised by the CVC. Unsurprisingly, the MoD too focuses entirely on sailing through this “Buy” minefield without blowing a hole in its side.

This unwarranted focus on “Buy” procedures is superficially reinforced by an axiom of defence economics which is: the cheapest way to obtain defence equipment is to buy it off the shelf, a slightly more expensive way is to buy the technology and build it, while the most expensive and risky method is to go in for development.

But this is true only from the shallowest perspective. The real cost of military equipment adds up in far deeper and long-lived ways than the price paid at the time of purchase.

Perhaps the most crippling cost of buying, rather than developing, arms is the doctrinal cost. Every major military power first considers its own reality --- its geography, its likely enemies and their capabilities, its allies, and the capabilities of its own soldiers --- and then frames a doctrine for how it will fight. This is even more important for a country like India, which has multiple geographies, several potential enemies, no local allies, a relatively poorly educated peasant-based soldiery, a high tolerance for casualties, and a very short time window in which to impose a military solution. India’s military equipment must be tailored to those realities.

But it is not. Instead of a well-considered analysis of India’s geography, India’s strategic environment and India’s psyche, the foundation of our planning rests on an unviable hybrid. Our defence doctrine is born of western experience; we are equipped with Russian bloc equipment. Neither of them suits our circumstances.

Take our doctrine first. India’s defensive formations in the plains from southern J&K to northern Rajasthan are based on a discredited World War II Maginot Line-type concept of linear defence based on ditch-cum-bunds (DCBs) constructed along the border. Our desert defences use the western concept of strong points, interlinked with minefields. The plan for our strike corps to take the battle into Pakistan is supposedly the brainchild of General K Sundarji; in fact its intellectual genesis is the 1982 concept of AirLand Battle, spelled out in the US Army’s Field Manual FM 100-5.

To implement this alien doctrine, India has an equally alien military machine. Much of our heavy equipment (tanks, combat aircraft, battleships) comes from Russia. These were carefully designed for a specific operation: a quick sweep across Western Europe, with superiority in numbers making up for a relative inferiority in equipment quality. Russian tanks, guns and radars are designed to function in that battlefield; cold weather, little dust, no need for extensive repair and operating with immense superiority of force. None of these conditions apply to India.

Untangling this dangerous knot must start with designing our own equipment. No international vendor will do this for India. The first step must be the laying down of targets for indigenous design and production. It is nobody’s case that the services be forced into accepting equipment that does not meet standards. But, over the last half century, the military has become used to buying products off the shelf, while judging indigenous products far more stringently. 

All this requires a different kind of discipline; the discipline of development. The military must clearly frame its equipment needs to suit our actual operational environment. It must fund R&D at least partly from its ample budget and specify a minimum order quantity that will allow the developer, whether in the public sector or private, to recover his costs. And finally, when a product is delivered, it must be evaluated with a sense of ownership and the confidence that the developer will provide continuous improvements to suit the actual conditions in which the equipment is deployed. 

Monday, 4 August 2008

India’s new Defence Procurement Policy defines, for the first time, a list of 'defence products' (list at bottom)

[photo: courtesy Ajai Shukla: The DRDO's Bharani Low Level Light Weight (LLLW) radar, which covers gaps in an integrated air defence ground radar network. The radar, which has a range of 40 km against low level intruders, is vehicle portable]

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 4th Aug 08

In 2001, private Indian manufacturers were first allowed into the defence sector, subject to licences. Since then, private industries, as well as the government’s licensing authority, have faced a conundrum: nowhere did the government lay out what constituted “defence equipment”.

In many cases, there is no ambiguity. Warships, fighters, tanks and machine guns are clearly defence equipment. The confusion lies where an item has both military and civilian usage. Explosives like gelatine are extensively used in road building and construction; radio sets are used by the police, by private security guards, and even by civilian corporations; software, with its flexible applications, is even more difficult to categorise as either “civilian” or “military”.

The Defence Procurement Policy of 2008 (DPP-2008), unveiled yesterday by Defence Minister AK Antony, tries for the first time ever to lay down a list of defence products. A single page annexure (Annexure VI to Appendix D of DPP-2008) specifies 13 generic categories that will be treated as defence products for offset purposes.

This list reflects the work of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) committee, headed by former Additional Secretary of Defence, Mr PK Rastogi. But there is no attempt at comprehensively defining defence products. The list confines itself to broad categories such as “vessels of war, special naval systems, equipment and accessories”, and “high velocity kinetic energetic weapons systems and related equipment”.

While India has moved incrementally towards greater transparency in sensitive items, defence has remained opaque. In 2004, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had published the Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET) List. This includes sensitive items relating to nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare; special materials; stealth technologies; and aeronautics and rocket materials.

But the SCOMET List remained silent on “defence products”. The list contains seven categories (e.g. Category 0: Nuclear materials, Category 1: Toxic chemicals, etc), each of them spelling out in minute detail the items that would fall within it. But Category 6, earmarked for defence products, remained blank all these years, listed as “Reserved”. Now DPP-2008’s list of defence products will fill that space. 

Most other countries, however, define their defence products far more explicitly. The USA defines a comprehensive “Munitions List” under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In contrast to India’s generic mention of “energetic materials, explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics”, the detailed US list individually names all the explosives it considers of military grade; it further specifies all other explosives “with a detonation velocity exceeding 8,700 metres/second at maximum density or detonation pressure exceeding 340 kilobars”.

Senior MoD officials say India’s new list of defence products is guided by the Wassenaar Agreement, a 40-country agreement (of which India is not a part) that seeks to bring about greater transparency in the international transfer of military and dual-use goods.

India had earlier been nudged towards greater transparency in the nuclear field. In July 2005, India had comprehensively updated Category 0 of the SCOMET List --- which spells out nuclear materials --- after passing the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities Act), 2005. This was one of the pre-conditions laid down by Washington in order to take forward negotiations on the US-India nuclear deal.

List of Defence Products 

• Small arms, mortars, cannons, guns, howitzers, anti tank weapons and their ammunition including fuze. 

• Bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, other explosive devices and charges, related equipment and accessories specially designed for military use, equipment specially designed for handling, control, operation, jamming and detection. 

• Energetic materials, explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics. 

• Tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles, vehicles with ballistic protection designed for military applications, armoured or protective equipment. 

• Vessels of war, special naval system, equipment and accessories. 

• Aircraft, unmanned airborne vehicles, aero engines and air craft equipment, related equipment specially designed or modified for military use, parachutes and related 

• Electronics and communication equipment specially designed for military use such as electronic counter measure and counter counter measure equipment surveillance and monitoring, data processing and signaling, guidance and navigation equipment, imaging equipment and night vision devices, sensors. 

• Specialized equipment for military training or for simulating military scenarios, specially designed simulators for use of armaments and trainers. 

• Forgings, castings and other unfinished products which are specially designed for products for military applications and troop comfort equipment. 

• Miscellaneous equipment and materials designed for military applications, specially designed environmental test facilities and equipment for the certification, qualification, testing or production of the above products. 

• Software specially designed or modified for the development, production or use of above items. This includes software specially designed for modeling, simulation or evaluation of military weapon systems, modeling or simulating military operation scenarios and Command, Communications, Control, Computer and Intelligence (C 4 I) applications. 

• High velocity kinetic energy weapon systems and related equipment. 

• Direct energy weapon systems, related or countermeasure equipment, super conductive equipment and specially designed components and accessories.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Ministry of Defence releases new defence procurement procedure, DPP-2008

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 2nd Aug 08

Defence Minister, AK Antony, today released the new policy that will govern defence procurements over the next two years. The Defence Procurement Policy of 2008, or DPP-2008 for short, supersedes the earlier DPP-2006; the new policy will take effect from 1st Sept this year.

The most important changes in DPP-2008 relate to the new offset policy, which will immediately impact offset proposals for India’s Rs 47,000 crores purchase of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). Over the next five years, offsets will arise from defence purchases worth an estimated Rs 300,000 crores. Any defence contract worth more than Rs 300 crores requires vendors to spend 30% of the contract value on Indian defence goods or services.

The new offset policy accepts a key request of foreign vendors, permitting them to bank offsets towards a future contract liability. The banked offsets can be utilised against any tender that is issued within two years of the date when the offsets were banked. If a foreign vendor joins an offset-related partnership with a private Indian company, the Indian partner will not need a defence-manufacturing license from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The new policy also waives offset liabilities on any procurement under the fast-track procedure, which is employed when Indian needs defence goods in an emergency.

Another major step in the DPP-2008 is a two-year “roll-on acquisition plan”, in which procurement projects do not lapse at the end of a financial year; instead, they are included in the next year’s Annual Acquisition Plan. The earlier procedure involved going through the entire procedure of proposals and sanctions for procurements that lapsed.

Another important decision in the DPP-2008 grants procurement powers to the military for purchases up to Rs 50 crores; and the Defence Secretary can sanction up to Rs 75 crores worth of purchases. Earlier, purchases of under Rs 40 crores needed to go to the Defence Procurement Board (DPB); if the purchase was above Rs 40 crore, it needed to go to the Defence Acquisition Council. This not only created delays in smaller purchases (which make up a significant part of the overall defence procurement) but also tied down those important committees in making decisions that have now been deemed within the financial powers of the military.

The Indian military is feared by vendors for the rigorous trials --- in all kinds of operating conditions, in deserts, plains and extremes of altitudes --- which it conducts on any equipment that it proposes to buy. Now DPP-2008 lays down that Requests for Proposals (RfP) must lay down clearly the methodology for user trials by the military. The trial process will also be far more transparent; not only will vendors be given daily briefings on the performance of their equipment, that communication will be confirmed in writing.

There is disappointment amongst Indian companies, however, that the DPP-2008 does not simplify the “Make” procedure, which was envisaged as a way of bringing in Indian companies into the manufacture of complex defence systems. So far, not a single Indian company has manufactured a single defence item under this procedure, but the new DPP does not modify the “Make” procedure to make it more attractive to Indian companies.

The New DPP-2008:

WHAT’S THERE                            WHAT’S NOT

Offset banking                            Indirect offsets
Offset waiver on fast-track            Technology as offsets
Two-year roll-on plan                   Timelines for purchases
More transparent trials                  Improved “Make” procedure
Licensing waived for industry          RuR announcements