Experts Speak

  • 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.

  • Issue 3 - 2017
    Theatre Commands - Long Overdue
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    The functioning of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) has, to date, revealed serious weaknesses in its ability to provide single point military advice to the government, and resolve substantive inter-Service doctrinal, planning, policy and operational issues adequately.

  • 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
    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
    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. The attackers opened indiscriminate fire killing one officer and wounding five.

  • 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 who carry out cross-border attacks.

  • 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 Agencies and Special Operations Division (SOD) will soon become a reality.

  • 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...

  • 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. If the Israeli paper 'Marker' wrote on June 28 "Wake up: the most important PM of the world is coming", Modi's visit...

  • 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. The private industry that had been waiting with baited breath, responded immediately.

  • 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. Shaped in radicalized seminaries and madrassas of Pakistan, he is tasked for terrorism from Afghanistan to Myanmar. His mother organization HUJI ran branches in Kashmir and Myanmar, so Ayaman Zawahri feels he can deliver.

  • 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 satellites...

  • 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. The demarche, a formal statement, was served through the Chinese embassy in Delhi on June 20 since Bhutan and China do not have diplomatic relations.

  • 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 3-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.

  • 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 "Development of Hyper Velocity...

  • June 23, 2017
    Trial of another Assault Rifle – and the missing carbine
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (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...

  • June 23, 2017
    QCG - flogging the dead horse?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd.)

    The Pakistani media is upbeat with the news that Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to continue with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) established for talks with the Taliban in order to bring them into the reconciliation process. Obviously, Pakistan wanted to show some sort of diplomatic 'victory' after Chinese President Xi Jinping snubbed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by not granting him te customary meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan...

  • June 8, 2017
    Indian Army in Limelight
    By Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)

    The Indian Army continues to be an institution that is loved and respected by the nation and its people. Let us not drag this fine institution in to politics and controversy.

  • June 8, 2017
    PM Modi's 4-nation tour
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on his four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France on May 29, it was reported that his main focus would be bilateral cooperation on economic (in backdrop of India having passed GST Bill and record FDI inflows of $43.5 billion during 2016-17), defence, science and technology, and nuclear fronts, parleys on EU-India Free Trade Agreement, and fight against terror.

  • June 8, 2017
    Army Division to Afghanistan – hoax or perception building?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Word by word Identical reports from Washington, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are talking about India planning to send 15,000 troops to Afghanistan – as is a press release has been issued by someone.

  • June 8, 2017
    Pakistan's info war
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    Why Pakistan's information war succeeds in India is not only because of exploitation of communications and social media and is using the religious card in Kashmir Valley, but it also has a cross-section of pro-Pakistan lobby in India. After some Hurriyat leaders openly admitted to have taken money from Pakistan to stoke unrest in Kashmir Valley, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 26 places across Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana, recovering letterheads of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), laptops, mobile phones...

  • June 8, 2017
    DGQA – Knotted within and insensitive to troops
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    As per media reports over 16,000 GPS units purchased for the Army are lying idle in the Central Ordnance Depot at Agra, reportedly on grounds of 'quality concerns'. This has been the state for over one year despite Rs 28 crores spent on their purchase, since the Army cannot use them until a final quality assurance is given.

  • June 8, 2017
    Another giant leap with GSLV Mk III
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    When India fired the high thrust cryogenic engine CE-20 launching GSLV Mk-III in its first experimental flight from Sriharikota on june 5, it was a monumental leap drawing the curtain on what the US sanctions prevented ISRO from doing in 2003, even as the US seeks strong ties with India in wake of all round Chinese aggression.

  • May 30, 2017
    Strategic Partnership Model – Game changer?
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    On May 20, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley finalized the broad contours of the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy.

  • May 30, 2017
    New Defence Procurement Organization
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    According to recent media reports, government is mulling setting up a new autonomous organization, 'Defence Procurement Organization' (DPO), to be created within the MoD to deal exclusively with procurement for the Armed Forces as recommended by a committee headed by Dr Pritam Singh, former Director of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.

  • May 30, 2017
    Ransomware – Beware!
    By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)

    WannaCry or WannaCry 2.0 the ransomware that struck globally some 150 countries last month affected some 200,000 PCs worldwide. India was the third hardest hit county with close to 50,000 PCs affected.