Experts Speak

  • January 16, 2019
    Talking to Taliban – and more
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue at New Delhi on January 9, 2019, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat backed talks with the Taliban if they were ready for lasting peace in Afghanistan, saying, "There should be talks with Taliban so long as they don't come up with pre-conditions, so long as they are looking at lasting peace in Afghanistan and bring about stability in that country....

  • January 16, 2019
    Visit of Bhutan's Prime Minister
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Lotay Tshering of Bhutan, accompanied by Tandi Dorji, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Loknath Sharma, Minister for Economic Affairs and senior officials from the Royal Government of Bhutan, visited India from December 27 to December 29, 2018 on invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • January 16, 2019
    Chinooks and Apaches are Coming
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The first batch of US-built heavy-lift Chinook helicopters and Apache attack helicopters will commence arriving India in March 2019, just ahead of the general elections. Both these will be game changers for the military's capability.

  • January 16, 2019
    Space Diplomacy with Neighbours
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    While the launch of Chandrayan-2 scheduled on January 3 was postponed a second time for unexplained reasons, media headlines of January 4 announced India setting up five ground stations and over 500 terminals in neighbouring countries; one each in Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

  • January 16, 2019
    Fortifying Andaman & Nicobar
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    News reports of January 6, 2019 reveal that Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) will get a new airbase in the Indian Naval Air Station, INS 'Kohasa' near Diglipur (largest town of North Andaman Island with population of 744202 (2001 census) located 298 km north of Port Blair), which is slated to be inaugurated by the C-in-C ANC on January 24.

  • January 16, 2019
    More military assistance to Afghanistan
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Adviser of Afghanistan, visited India on the invitation of his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval from 3 to 5 January 2019.

  • January 3, 2019
    Revering Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the Tricolour in Andaman's Netaji Memorial in Port Blair on December 30, 2018 to commemorate the first flag hoisting by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on December 30, 1943. On October 21, 1943, Bose had announced the formation of the country's first independent government which was called the Azad Hind government.

  • January 3, 2019
    Beyond the Bogibeel Bridge
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 25 December 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 4.98 km-long Bogibeel Bridge, the longest rail-cum-road bridge on Brahmaputra River. Foundation stone for this bridge was laid 21 years earlier by the then Prime Minister in 1997 though work started only five years later in 2002.

  • January 3, 2019
    After BMS and F-INSAS, dedicated OFC stalled
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In 2018, the Army was forced to foreclose the Battlefield Management System (BMS) project due to budgetary constraints. BMS delayed mostly because of the governmental defence-industry was pursued for 13 years, and in which considerable amount of money was invested by the private industry in recent years.

  • January 3, 2019
    Agni-IV and Agni-V – closer to fielding
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On December 10, 2018, India successful tested Agni-V one more time, this being the seventh test since its development began past decade and third in 2018. The last test was conducted in June 2018.

  • January 3, 2019
    GSAT-11 – boosts Bharat Net Project
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India's heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 was launched successfully on December 5, 2018 from the Spaceport in French Guiana along with South Korea's GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellite, onboard Ariane VA 246 launch vehicle.

  • December 19, 2018
    Visit of President Ibrahim Solih
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Maldives President Ibrahim Solih’s three-day state visit to India commencing December 17 was his first foreign visit after becoming President. He was accompanied by the first lady and a high-level delegation including Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, National Planning and Infrastructure...

  • December 19, 2018
    Drone Swarms Threat – much catching up required
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which is a statutory body of Government of India, disclosed through a communication on November 9, 2018 that the Indian Air Force (IAF) had announced a Rs 100 crore Swarm Drone Competition.

  • December 19, 2018
    ISRO Space Museums and Space Applications
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Speaking to the media on November 26, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan stated ISRO recently discussed a proposal with the Kerala government to set up a space museum in Thiruvananthapuram, to which the state government responded positively and even allotted land for the purpose.

  • December 19, 2018
    Defence Minister’s US Visit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a maiden 5 day visit to the US that concluded on December 8, 2018. Her visit was concurrent to the ongoing 12 day Indo-US military exercise between the IAF and the USAF in Kalaikunda...

  • December 19, 2018
    Border Infrastructure – decades behind
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    India will go ahead with construction of much required strategic roads and permanent integrated buildings along the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim as part of a critical infrastructure project worth Rs 250 billion, read media reports of 19 November 2018.

  • December 19, 2018
    Prahar, Pralay and Sant
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On September 20, India successfully test-fired ‘Prahar’ short-range ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from Chandipur, Odisha. Prahar is a solid fuel road-mobile short-range missile fitted with inertial navigation system.

  • November 29, 2018
    Kartarpur Corridor – and the challenges ahead
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Vice President Venkiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Corridor on the Indian side on November 26 and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Pakistani side on November 28.

  • November 29, 2018
    The Quad and the IONS
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The third round of the quadrilateral security dialogue termed 'Quad', between India, US, Japan and Australia, was held on 15 November 2018 at Singapore on sidelines of the 13th East Asia Summit.

  • November 29, 2018
    Stonewalling Defence-Industry Privatization
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports, four lakh defence employees working in 41 ordnance factories, naval docks, army and air force workshops and other productions units are readying themselves for a three-day protest between 23 and 25 January 2019.

  • November 19, 2018
    PM Narendra Modi visits Maldives
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his brief maiden visit to Maldives on November 17 to attend the swearing in Ceremony of new Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on invitation of the latter. 46 nations were represented at Solih's swearing in ceremony.

  • November 19, 2018
    Pakistan – More Terror Uncapped
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Before the Pakistani military installed Imran Khan as the Prime Minister, reasons why he had earned the title of 'Taliban Khan' were well known; links with terrorist organisations, known terrorists supporting him in elections, him funding the Haqqani seminary known as 'Oxford of Global Jihad', and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) building a 15-acre complex on outskirts of Bahawalpur to train thousands of young children for Jihad.

  • November 19, 2018
    Military Drones - private industry is Way Forward
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per news reports, a private Gurgaon-based company, 'Vortex UAS', has been working on providing military drones, including weaponised versions, for the Indian Army, the Navy and the National Security Guard (NSG).

  • November 19, 2018
    New Artillery Guns Inducted
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 9 November 2018, the Defence Minister dedicated the M777 A2 Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) and K9 Vajra-Tracked Self Propelled Guns and 6x6 Field Artillery Tractors to the service of the Nation during a dedication ceremony held at Devlali Field Firing Ranges.

  • November 19, 2018
    ISI gives J&K terrorists Sniper Rifles
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Media report quoting IB source indicate J&K terrorists use sniper rifles being used by terrorists are stolen by Taliban from US-NATO forces in Afghanistan passed on to Pakistan's ISI, and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has formed sniper teams whichmove in buddy pairs.

  • October 30, 2018
    13th India-Japan Annual Summit
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan on 28-29 October 2018 for the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit for wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest under the framework of the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

  • October 30, 2018
    Coming – Apache Attack Helicopters
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    In 1985 when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited the US, he was accompanied by Army Chief General K. Sundarji. This was the time when planning was full swing for establishment of the Army Aviation Corps (AAC), which finally was founded two years later – in 1987.

  • October 30, 2018
    Army of Integrated Battle Groups
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The restructuring of Army was approved recently at the Army Commanders Conference (October 9-15) albeit media reports that two Army Commanders had their reservations.

  • October 30, 2018
    Smart Border Fence
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 24 May 2018, took stock of the progress of construction of border fencing, roads and outposts along India's borders with neighbouring countries in a high-level meeting and directed all concerned officials to maintain constant vigil and security on the borders.

  • October 30, 2018
    India-China Joint Project on Afghanistan
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The MEA brief issued on April 28, 2018, with respect to the Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 27-28 at Wuhan, China described among other issues, agreement for proper management of the bilateral relationship conducive for the development and prosperity of the region, creating conditions for the Asian Century.

  • October 17, 2018
    Visit of Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who had visited India in July 2016 before he was elected Secretary General, made his maiden visit to India from October 1 to October 4.

  • October 17, 2018
    Prahar and Pragati
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On 20 September 2018, India successfully test-fired surface-to-surface short-range tactical ballistic missile ‘Prahar’ from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast paving the way for its induction.

  • October 17, 2018
    Don’t Take Maoists Lightly
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On October 7, 2018, Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that Naxalism will be eliminated in about three years. Addressing a function at a CRPF camp to mark 26th anniversary celebrations of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), he said, “The day is not far, may be in a time period of 1-2 or 3 years, that Left-wing extremism will be eliminated...”.