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Neelam Mathews

Neelam Mathews
Articles
Regional Face-Off 

As two Asian giants jostle for regional power and influence, India, traditionally the silent one, is now working to diffuse tensions with its largest trading partner, China.

Temporary Plateau For Indian Defense Spending 

The Indian defense budget for fiscal 2012 (April 2012-March 2013), adjusted for the 12.9% decline in the value of the rupee to the dollar last year, is less than 2011 in real terms. Plans are to allocate $36 billion, or 2.6% of GDP, to defense this year. In 2011, the budget was $35.2 billion, or 2.03% of GDP.

Digital Direction 

Militaries are redoubling efforts to improve the realism of training, while reducing the potential for injury or death to trainees, and cutting costs. An important way of doing this is by using commercial gaming technology in advanced multiplayer (MP) mission-simulation systems. The result is simulators with high data fidelity that give personnel—whether recruits or seasoned operators—exposure to realistic battle scenarios.

The axiom that soldiers should train as they fight and fight as they train is becoming as true in virtual reality as in real life.

Shoring Up Defense 

India's defense establishment has ambitious plans for modernization of the armed forces, procurement of advanced weapons and systems, and establishment of a world-class defense manufacturing base. It must, however, cope with rules that can stymie procurement, deal with complaints over offsets and issues of technology transfer that occasionally impede foreign investment, and walk the fine line between guarding its own intellectual property and developing a viable export business. Involved in many decisions related to these issues is Minister of State for Defense M.

Protection Surge 

India's homeland security challenges can be summed up by a recent oil spill. Surveillance of the Mumbai coast proved lacking when oil from a sinking cargo ship fouled the waters and remained undetected by authorities for a week.

The incident shows that much remains to be done when it comes to surveillance—and thus security—despite the fact that Mumbai was the scene of a 2008 terror attack that killed 164, and in July suffered three bombings that killed 17.

London On Alert 

There is less than a year before the curtain rises on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London (July 27-Aug. 12), which, with the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games (Aug. 29-Sept. 9) also in London, will require Britain's biggest peacetime security operation.

OEMs Wary Of Offsets In India

India has short-listed Dassault's Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) bid, which is expected to result in procurement of 126 fighters worth $12 billion. A huge battle over industrial terms is now expected as vendors submit their revised offset proposals later this year.

India Now Wants Hundreds Of UAVs

India is increasing procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), a critical need in light of the insurgency it is fighting in the northeast, the ongoing threat of terrorism, tension along the Pakistan border, and its emerging role as a regional naval power and subsequent need for persistent maritime surveillance. The military wants to acquire at least 1,500 unmanned systems in the next 3-4 years, ranging from man-portable drones to high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) vehicles.

Siemens PLM Steps Up Activities In India 

NEW DELHI — Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Div., is accelerating its research and development (R&D) programs in India.

“Our R&D staff in Pune has more than doubled,” says Raj Khoshoo, vice president for strategic planning at Siemens PLM. “We now have 1,000 people working there. We are also increasing the spread from maintenance projects to product development.”

European Companies Peddle ETS Products To India 

As the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) deadline for airline compliance in 2012 approaches, U.K. companies are offering India products and services related to the trading of emission reduction credits and investing in greenhouse gas abatement projects.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, all flights arriving at or departing from airports within the EU will be subject to the ETS. This means that by 2020 the CO2 emissions of those flights are to be reduced by at least 20% of their 1990 levels.

European Companies Peddle ETS Products To India 

As the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) deadline for airline compliance in 2012 approaches, U.K. companies are offering India products and services related to the trading of emission reduction credits and investing in greenhouse gas abatement projects.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, all flights arriving at or departing from airports within the EU will be subject to the ETS. This means that by 2020 the CO2 emissions of those flights are to be reduced by at least 20% of their 1990 levels.

Philippine Airlines To Start Services To Delhi 

As the Indian economy picks up, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is starting six weekly flights to Delhi, beginning March 28, Aviation Week has learned. Of the six flights, three will operate via Bangkok and three directly to Delhi.

This comes in the heels of PAL’s announcement that it will stop four weekly flights to and from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 2 after incurring losses on the sector. PAL stopped flying to India more than five decades ago as part of then-President Ramon Magsaysay’s rural development focus.

Philippine Airlines To Start Services To Delhi 

As the Indian economy picks up, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is starting six weekly flights to Delhi, beginning March 28, Aviation Week has learned. Of the six flights, three will operate via Bangkok and three directly to Delhi.

This comes in the heels of PAL’s announcement that it will stop four weekly flights to and from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 2 after incurring losses on the sector. PAL stopped flying to India more than five decades ago as part of then-President Ramon Magsaysay’s rural development focus.

SpiceJet Readies To Receive Q400s, Eyes South Asia Flights

India’s budget carrier SpiceJet by August will receive five of 15 Bombardier Q400s ordered last year. Its Q400 services will start in July.

The carrier will soon announce a base for the turboprops, says CEO Neil Raymond Mills, but he declined to give the location.

An airline official told Aviation Week it was likely the base would be in Delhi or Hyderabad because parking at these airports is less congested than at other facilities.

MMRCA Shortlist To Be Announced Early April

NEW DELHI — The shortlist for the six contenders for India’s Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program is to be announced in the first week of April.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik had declared at Aero India on Feb. 10 that he was optimistic that price negotiations would start within a few weeks and a deal could be signed by September, “provided dissatisfied vendors do not put a spoke in the wheel and delay proceedings.”

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