Ballistic missile Prithvi II test fired successfully

India on 25AUG12 successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a military base in Odisha, an official said.

The surface-to-surface missile with a range of 350km was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district.

“The test was a 100 percent success,” M.V.K.V. Prasad, director of the test range, told IANS.

Prithvi is India’s first indigenously built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles being developed under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

The missile, with a flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500kg warhead.

Prithvi, which has features to deceive anti-ballistic missiles, uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and reaches its target within a few metres of accuracy.

IT 25AUG12

Breakthrough oil find for ONGC offshore western India

ONGC (NSE:ONGC, BSE:500312) reports a major new oil discovery offshore western India.

The company found the new reserves during development drilling on the D1 field, which it now believes may be the third largest field in the Western Offshore basin after Mumbai High and Heera.

Previously, D1 was known to have initial oil in-place of about 600 MMbbl. The latest result suggests more than 1 Bbbl. D1 is primarily an oil-producing field, about 200 km (124 mi) west of Mumbai, in a water depth of 85-90 m (279-295 ft). It extends over four blocks, D1-4, D1-12, D1-14, and D1-2/5.

The first well in D1-4 was drilled in 1976. However, the low gas-to-oil ratio and limited understanding of the reservoir at the time slowed the pace of exploration and appraisal.

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Sudarshan Shakti 2011

Sudarshan Shakti was devised with the aim to test new doctrinal shifts within the Indian armed forces to see how well the services could integrate and utilize resources leveraging modern warfighting technologies. (Around 60,000 troops, 120 artillery guns, and 300 tanks were reported to be participating in the Nov-Dec 2011 exercise along aircraft such as the Su-30MKI, Jaguars, Mig-27, Mig-21 and AWACS)

The exercise is the result of the Transformation Study produced by a team of generals led by COAS (2010-12) Gen. V.K. Singh whose main effort was focused on fighting two and a half fronts — i.e. potential conflicts with Pakistan and China as well as India’s internal COIN in the east. More specifically, the army wants to be organized in a way that it can operate with assets on two fronts independently. (This is one reason why the army has been after further air assets in budget wars with the air force.)

This exercise represents the first major strategic shift since the Gen K. Sundarji created a strategy in the 1980s to respond to a Pakistani strike based around an Army divided into defensive and strike corps. (However, as many commentators have pointed out, the Sundarji doctrine didn’t exactly work out during 2001’s Operation Parakram, hence the development of India’s so-called Cold Start doctrine)

With the Cold Start doctrine and India’s Transformation Study, the army hopes to create greater offensive capabilities but now with the use of new technology for greater integration and faster mobilization.

India and Mongolia begin joint army exercise Nomadic Elephant

The Indian and Mongolian Armies have started a joint training exercise, code-named Nomadic Elephant at Belgaum in Karnataka, India.

Nomadic Elephant, scheduled to continue for ten days, aims to improve the armies’ skills and interoperability while conducting counter-insurgency operations, and further enhance synergy between the two nations.

Unidentified army officials were quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that around 44 specially selected troops of the Indian army’s Jat Regiment would take part in the infantry exercise, alongside the Mongolian contingent consisting of 38 soldiers.

Several counter insurgencies and counter terrorism operations will be conducted to help the personnel enhance training infrastructure for UN peacekeeping missions in conflict areas.

According to the officials, special sessions will also be included in the eighth round of bilateral exercise to help modernise Mongolian defence establishment.

The first Nomadic Elephant exercise was held in 2004, and was conducted almost annually until 2008 in Mongolia.

In 2005, the exercises were performed at the Indian army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) at Vairnagte, which is based in Mizoram, India.

As well as the joint exercises, the two countries conduct frequent visits of senior military officials, and have also established a joint working group to plan details of defence cooperation, including staging regular joint military exercises.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army is also holding a separate, joint counter-terrorism combat exercise, dubbed INDRA, with its Russian counterpart at a training range in the Republic of Buryatia in south-east Russia.

AT 08AUG12

Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India

India’s caste system is often seen as an institution deeply rooted in traditional Indian culture. This carefully researched study, however, argues that the caste system was at least partly shaped by British colonial practices. Before the British arrived, Dirks writes, Indian society was highly fragmented into communal groupings that served as centers for social identity. In trying to make sense of these groupings, the Portuguese first suggested caste identities. The British expanded on that idea to promote order in Indian society. Thanks to them, the discipline required for census counts helped establish a clear hierarchy of caste categories. Although the Indians themselves have been ambivalent about caste categories for years, caste has now become a factor in India’s competitive politics. Upper castes, for example, riot over the “affirmative action” policies that they believe give unfair advantages to the “untouchables.” By playing up the importance of British colonial policies, Dirks criticizes the Western experts who have associated caste with traditional India. He may be correct, but the durability of caste identities in post-independence India suggests that the institution has something that gives it lasting value for most Indians.

http://www.amazon.com/Castes-Mind-Colonialism-Making-Modern/dp/0691088942

FA JUN 2002

India Takes Delivery of First 4 Engines for Its Boeing C-17s

On 10JUL12 American aeroengine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, reportedly delivered the first four F117 engines for the Indian Air Force to power its fleet of Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft.

In a $4.1-billion deal in mid-2011, India’s Ministry of Defence had signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the US government in a foreign military sale to acquire 10 C-17s. India will take delivery of its first C-17s in mid-2013.

“Pratt & Whitney is pleased to deliver the first four F117 engines for the Indian Air Force’s C-17 program,” said the firm’s Bev Deachin, vice president, Military Programs and Customer Support.

“We look forward to a continued partnership with India as we complete the remaining F117 engines to fulfill this contract.”

Four F117s provide exclusive power for the C-17 Globemaster III, the heavy airlifter.

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