India on way to become global military power: Experts

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by RPK, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    India on way to become global military power: Experts

    Moving itself from an era of "non-aligned" to "poly-alignment" India has emerged as a regional military power and is inching towards becoming a global one, a US military think-tank has said.

    The paper "India's Strategic Defence Transformation: Expanding Global Relationship" by Brian Hedrick of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of US Army Department of Defence, was released on Thursday, takes a global view of India's rise as a regional and future global military power.

    "India's defence establishment is undergoing an unprecedented transformation as it modernises its military, seeks strategic partnerships with the United States and other nations, and expands its influence in the Indian Ocean and beyond," writes Douglas Lovelace, Director SSI.

    "This transformation includes a shift from an emphasis on the former Soviet Union as the primary supplier of defence articles to a western base of supply and an increasing emphasis on bilateral exercises and training with many of the global powers," he said.

    Military Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia at the State Department, Hedrick, who has served earlier in the US missions in India and Bangladesh, said that India's interests have changed over the past decade or more, taking it from a path of nonalignment and non-commitment to having specific strategic interests on a path of "poly-alignment".

    "Since 2000, India has increased the number of countries with which it has defence-specific agreements from seven to 26 by the end of 2008.

    Bilateral and multilateral exercises are also an increasing feature of India's expanding defence relations as it seeks to find new technologies to transform its military from Cold War era weapons to 21st century capabilities through such opportunities.

    Through this new policy, one of the goals of New Delhi is to become a regional power across the Indian Ocean basin and secure agreements from partners in this region that support this goal, while building up expeditionary capabilities in its navy and air force, it says.

    "At the same time, it continues to modernize its army to deal with potential threats from its immediate neighbours and internal insurgency groups, and to fulfil its goal of being a global leader in UN peacekeeping," the paper says.

    India is also developing "strategic partnerships" with countries perceived as leaders of a global, multipolar order and seeking modern military capabilities from many of those countries.

    This includes modern weapon systems as well as the technology and licensed production associated with those weapon systems, it said.

    New Delhi wants to secure or maintain ties with smaller countries globally, many of which are members of the NAM, that can provide support in international fora as well as provide potential markets for its own emerging defence industry, said Hedrick, a graduate of the Indian Defense Services Staff College and the US Army Command and General Staff College.

    Hedrick said many of the recent changes in India's global defence relationships represent a vast departure from past policy and practices.

    Given that the Congress Party and its United Progressive Alliance coalition received a strong electoral mandate on its re-election in May 2009, these changes are likely to continue and perhaps will see bold moves to further develop and deepen strategic relationships around the world, he noted.

    The report says there is new opportunity for tens of billions of US dollars in defence-related sales to India.

    "Because many of the US defence technologies have important applications in domestic counterterrorism, these sales also expand opportunities well beyond the two defence establishments into law enforcement and border control issues," it said.

    However, the report cautioned that as an extension of its NAM policy, India will continue to view its relationship with the United States through the lens of multilateralism, preference for a multipolar global power structure, and the impact on its bilateral relations with other countries.

    "India will continue to forge new defence relationships around the world, increasingly with a view to exporting defence material from its own developing industry.

    However, it will likely begin to shift its energy towards deepening many of the relationships it has established to date," it said.

    Also India will increasingly assert itself as a regional power in the Indian Ocean.

    "Occasionally India's interests may diverge with US (such as Indian support to Mauritius' claim to Diego Garcia105), creating potential irritants in the relationship," it said.

    Further, India will likely emphasise balance in its defence relations, especially with the larger powers of the United States, Russia, the EU, UK, and Israel.

    This balance will often be reflected in defence procurement decisions, as these are enduring symbols of the bilateral relationship.

    "Most bilateral and multilateral military exercises will not be affected with considerations of balance, with the exception of larger, more visible exercises," it said
     
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  3. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Of course India is on its way to becoming a Global Power. With three ACs, 280 Su-30MKI, 120+ AESA MMRCA, 1,300+ T-90S, a couple thousand modernised T-72s, SSBNs and PAK FGFA around the corner, there will be no military force in Asia that will rival it. India will have more high-ticket modern equipment than Russia --- I'm almost jealous. :)
     
  4. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is a borrowed glory, if India really wishes to be world power, nation needs to become "Knowledge Superpower", a country where innovations are a rule than exception.
     
  5. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    One glaring problem in the above list is that except for the AC's none of the other items are indigenous , histroy shows us that no nation has been able to achieve and maintain a great power status without a well developed and advanced military industrial & research appratus.India has all the prerequisites to being a global power. it has the people,the money and the resources. what is lacking is the will to use these all in a co-ordinated and viable fashion.There is a need to inculcate a culture of corporate responsibility in the MoD,DRDO and the OFB in order to truly make india shine as a military power.
     
  6. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    There is only way we can accelerate indigenous military capabiliites. Divest all the State owned military enterprises into one monolithic corporate giant. List this company on the stock market, free it from the shackles of bureaucracy, make it a professionally managed company and let the Govt have a controlling stake.

    The best thing for us is that our economy is slated to grow, our defence spending is expected to grow and we have friendly relations with almost all the countries. This will enable us to leverage our big ticket acquisitions to gain technology, blaze through the learning curve and now being corporatised accelerate indigenous capabilities.

    PS: It was shocking to learn that for some our biggest purchases, 10-12 "less than legal-eagle's" loaned by Ministy of Law frame agreements. The western defence firms hire the best in the field. And then we have the stupid policy of inviting a number of firms in interest of competition, even when giving a repeat order ? C'mon we have the bofors behind us, give up such *****ic rules.
     
  7. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Even the ACs are getting propulsion and consultations from the Italians. There is nothing wrong with getting a little outside help to achieve your goals.

    Well I'm not going to argue with that, but just remember even USA and Russia contracts outside for equipment and components they can't produce competively. India is making the very strides you speak of, just alot slower than Indians would like. You don't become a global power overnight. Have a little patience, you will get there. Just look at what you have accomplished.
     
  8. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    That what latest defence policy says it will allow Indian private players to contribute more

    India's new defence policy to open $100 bln market | Top News | Reuters

    I think it is a good move by GOI to cut short time & cost overrun
     
  9. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

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    It will still be lethargic if its monolithic and has no peer competition. Just because on organization is not controlled by the government, doesn't mean it will be successful.

    India needs to do it in pieces, just like its doing now. Give private corporations manageable chunks, so they can design and compete in small arms/component manufacturing/vehicle manufacturing, and then let them slowly mature into giant corporations competing for fighter crafts (air/space), tanks/helis, missiles etc. That will create a true military industrial complex.

    There will always be the need for state sponsored labs/manufacturers because massive projects like designing AC's, military spacecrafts etc (in the future) will be out of reach of private corporations budgets though.

    Putting everything in public sector with government controlling it will be no different than today.

    Another caveat is that private sector will lost interest rapidly if the army behaves the way its been doing up until now. If they realize that all their R&D efforts end up in the waste bin because the armed forces renege on their promise of supporting indigenous design, they will start withdrawing from such projects, making it a mockery of our nation.

    Reining in the corrupt elements in the armed forces who dole out contracts to fill their pockets is another key area, India needs to focus on, if it wants to build its own military industrial complex.
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    1. There is no peer competition right now either. However private players have already started defence divisions.
    2. Investors will demand roi. This will spurn hunt for talent, and a culture of research. Also promote a culture of excellence in the armed forces.
    3. Of course it doesn't mean it will be successful but doesn't mean it will not become the best defence firm in the world.
    4. For the next decade we will still have to rely on foreign imports but this will be done in partnerships with local firms like this one. This will help us climb the learning curve.
    5. We can't afford to have domestic competition in high ticket purchases a la US. We need to get it first time right and for that we can use foreign and domestic help.

    If we are a country like Nepal we go slow. We are at an inflexion point, our economy is a trillion dollar, our army million stron. We go all guns blazing and decimate the established order, we can't afford to go slow and let the established order recover and recuperate.

    1. Why can't all this happen with a listed firm ?
    2. As I have mentioned we can scarcely defence acquisitions a la US, where 2 companies invest billions in making a plane and only to see one win and the other lose.
    3. This will speed up cluster development. This company can again be divested into various divisions once it has done its duty.

    We can't afford delays no way.

    [qoute]There will always be the need for state sponsored labs/manufacturers
    because massive projects like designing AC's, military spacecrafts etc (in the future) will be out of reach of private corporations budgets though. Putting everything in public sector with government controlling it will be no different than today.[/QUOTE]

    Therefore, a govt owned professionally managed company operating in a competitive environment answerable to the investors. If all goes bad, govt. can again make it a PSU.
     
  11. blade

    blade Regular Member

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    Dear friends, It's been sometime that i wanted to discuss the success and failures of Indian defence indigenization process. Before we start evaluating the real situation we should try to understand the exact nature and evolution of military technology. Anyone who has the experience in cyber games such as Rise Of The Nations will know for sure
    how everything is interdependent in the of proper age developement, & only after the complete developement of the age the related defence techs would be available for research. see even to develope a gun there are several issues to be taken care of such as
    1. material science(such as composites to make it light, tough alloys for nozzle etc etc) 2. ballastic engineering 3. moulding metals to perfection 4. recoil absoring technoogies. 5. proper grooving of the nozzle 6. proper shaping of the gun for optimal performance & user comfort. 7. chemistry for powerful gun powder 8. bullet designing etc etc.. but wait this is not the end i can still go on and on about the other supplimentary equipments like
    9. laser pointer 10. night vision devices 11. thermal imagery devices 12. hand held GPS
    13. attachable portable nozzles the list will go on enough to make u feel sleepy. Forget about indian not even china is capable of developing a complete new generation hand held gun and related equipments. So you see if we ask bangladesh to make a gun system of this kind they will take another 25 years if not more to reach there.They will have to make a number of break throughs in every sphere of science and tech. They will need satelites for GPS. Need rockets to send them to space hahahah and what not ..jokes apart what i mean to say is more or less even for the most basic equipments of military a developing nation has to be dependent on developed nations at some point or the other. Military technology is a hybrid of all possible techs available with human & making optimal use of them directly or indirectly.
    Indian discomfort about her own indigenization is originating from fast and usable chinese & to some extent pakistani efforts.Our reporters keep telling us about the failures of india in making a tank in 20 years where as china right now building a number of tanks on her own. when Lca tejas is taking so long to fructify china has already inducted 3/4 different types of jets in its airforce. Among the developing nations Indian forces face a very unique level and kind of threat. She has two nuke neighbours. She has already fought several wars with them since her indipendence. So indian forces requiments have 2 types of demands 1. short term urgent needs to maintain the force and tech levels 2. Long term vision to become self reliant.
    Indian miliraty think tanks wanted to buy foreign equipemts on fast track to address the present needs and wanted DRDO & HAL to replace them with a better !!! indigenous equipment as early as possible. This generates stress in the system. What indians have been doing till now is nothing but galloping ages ( generations ) which in itself is a unique achievement. Show me a single nation which has attemped to build a fighter jet of 4.5 gen starting with a 3 rd gen air frame knowhow and 2.5+ gen avionics knowledge? We dont understand a simple fact that it was not about making another super sonic fighter of mach 2 speed and flying with a few dumb boms and missiles. Lca is much much more than that. So when we say tht the ToT is a complete waste untill now after this huge delay in Lca project we are basically proving our ignorance in the field. Chinese mastery in the art of copying is again another hyped story. Coping something and illigal smugling of sensitive techs are not the same things. For example Su 27 was sold to them with ToT. They started producing j 11 jets ( su 27 with chinese avionics & engine ) With chinese engine & avionics its far away from being as efficient as su 27. If india were to do such a copying disply they could have done it well enough with mig 27, jaguar, mig 21s but it was never our objective to produce 80% effective systems to grow in number. Chinese military doctrines gives very less importance to human lives. ( hope you all remember their well knows "human wave" tactics). They believe in the intrinsic strenth of numbers.
    Joint venture is another issue we allways lament about. Wht did we try to reinvent the wheel when a JV could have made it much easier for us. Truely said, but that would have made an artificial show of indipendence and reality would have been far from it. With a knowledge and technological bank of 3 rd gen if we go for a JV on 4.5 gen project do you think our real tech capability would have atall developed. In these numerous projects undertaked by indian defence tech institutes have given india an indepth undertsanding of the interconnection of the technologies.Whereas they have developed thousands of key techs inhouse. Even if these techs are not of the highest quality they have certainly taken us to the higher technical generation. Further harnessing of the skills would certainly be required but wht has been achieved can never be overlookes. Yes our akash has taken such a long time to get a nod from defence forces. Yes it still dosnt have an active seeker. But are we sure that right now china is not producing or inducting any SR+ SAM with out active seeker ? ? ? yes ofcourse they are. There are not many(rather very few) SR+ SAM systems around the world which is way beter better than akash but we want to begin with atleast a patriot beater. So if there is anything wrong with our indigenization process that is in our planning and not in our technical competence. Again a right planning comes from proper understanding of technologies and evolving need for the techs with the passing time which cannot be learnt over night. A true indigenization is always a very painful & slow process. Just think about one point that even best of russuan technologies are not enough for indian forces !!! they are looking around for even better stuff. This tells u everything about the present indian tendency. If it was about making another jf 17 by now we would have been flying atleast 50 of them. With lower requirements to fulfil kaveri would have had a much better chance to succeed. There is a huge gap between a 80 KN & 98 KN thrust. A completely different level of techs required to fulfil this tgt which even russians dont seem to have mastered as of now. We must not think that just due to the involvement of a higher generation techs makes lower tgts easily achievable. Its not the case. We know its not unthinkable to achieve high supersonic speed using ram jet tech wheras doing the same by using a far more advanced tech namely scram jet is yet to be mastered even by USA. Just a tgt of 98 KN forced DRDO to think about much more advanced techs rather than fine tuning the existing techs to bring out the optimum performance. So time was invested there ( i will not say wasted ) but an achievable tgt of 80KN could'nt be reached.Though currently kaveru exhibit around 70KN it is tech wise far advanced than a number of jet engines which produces higher thrust.Lets remember Just because a defective gun cant fire accurately dont make a bow and arrow a more advanced weapon system. I will not keeping typing about every DRDO endevour but following this line of thought should rejuvinate us. A silent revolution is currently taking place in indian defence industry. There will be several surprizes in the comming decade but sadly these successes will be improperly attributed to JV's and ToT's. Whereas even to complely absorbe and assimilate a new generation technology a nation needs an elivated platform which india has built in the past two and a half decades.
     
  12. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    All this talk about India being a global military power is too much hype.
    I wouldnt take all these american think tanks very seriously since very often these articles are a lot of fluff for local consumption.

    India should just target being a regional military power with just enough offensive capability to make China blink !! The Chinese only respect power, and right now India does not get any respect from China because of its weak military position. When India's military position vis-a-vis China improves significantly, then India's various issues with China will magically resolve themselves.

    India does not have the financial resources to become a global military power; it simply has too many gaps in other areas, to plunk too many resources into the military.

    The thing that is dissappointing about India's military growth is there seems to be a lack of strong leadership. India should focus on indigenization and in-house competence in a few critical areas and technologies, and just buy the other stuff or let private companies build them.

    But you still see all kinds of DRDO projects where they try to build everything.

    A country like India should be very judicious in how it spends its defense dollars, and only spend that money in the most critical areas and technologies.

    For that to happen, you need strong leadership and strong management.

    Based of the 20 year procurement saga of the Hawk Trainer and various other procurement scandals - its fairly obvious to any layman that the MOD and the political leadership are not very competent.

    Its just absolutely ridiculous to lose over a 100 pilots in accidents over a 10-15 year period. That's a world record for incompetence.

    There is no point talking about being a global military power when things like this happen, India will be lucky if it can emerge as a regional power in 10 years.
     
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Frankly, I don't think we should be putting too much into these kinds of articles. We're on our way, certainly, but we're only at the beginning of a very long and arduous road. Before we think of projecting power globally, we should think of projecting power amongst ourselves. Lest we lose sight of where we came from and where we're headed to.
     
  14. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    I will say that a global military power designs and manufactures [most of] its own equipment. We have to get there first. For starters, let's encourage programs such as LCA, INSAS and Arjun-MBT, at least as baby-steps. Let's buy enough of them to make them end up as viable and successful. Let's export some too. Let's give DRDO and sister organisations enough cash so they could attract talent, rather than fish for some.
     
  15. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    agree with you.
    indians and those in the GOI are easily flattered when western nations say words like india being- an emerging superpower, global player etc..
    we don't gain anything being that anyway because we don't have hegemonic designs. we need to concentrate on our own economy and aim for an inclusive growth. poverty, healthcare, education, agriculture, energy, infrastructure etc.. need major fillip.
    global ambitions are least of our problem.
     
  16. proud_hindustani

    proud_hindustani Regular Member

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    India is on it's way to become a global superpower in term of economics. It's also becoming good in space technology. Our military capabilities are increasing but we rely too much on foreign military toys and spends billions of dollars. It would be better for India to learn from China and go for reverse engineering. Reverse engineering in technologies cost less than purchasing foreign military toys. Just buy a few technology and reverse engineer them and then develop indigenously.

    It seriously needs to diminish the number of poor people, improve the infrastructures. India has made some significant improvement in infrastructure but it still has a long way to have world class infrastructures.
     
  17. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    RE is not as easy as you think.

    1. RE needs a long-sighted and strong-willed government.
    in the inital stage of RE, RE will cost much but get few fruits. the "democracy in India" hardly allows its government do invest on such "fruitless" projects.


    2.RE needs the support of full industry chains and good infrastructures.

    it is reported that the PLA's anti-satellete laser weapons system consumes electricity as much as a 0.5-million-populated citie does.can India crappy infrastructure support RE?

    Before 1990s, CHinese RE hardly get any fruits while after 1990s, more and more fruits of CHinese RE appeared. why ?
    Because Chinese industry chains are getting more and more full and can give enough support to RE.
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Certainly India is one of the top military powers today, and will only become stronger in the future.

    Imo there are 3 fundamental problems that are holding us back from becoming a truly global power.

    Problem #1 :
    Our lack of homegrown tech, crippling bureaucracy, lack of vision and focus (etc)

    These are issues which with concentrated effort can easily be overcome in a short period of time.
    Our close partnerships and big ticket purchases allow us to obtain access to ToT. A politically active middle class and media can force the govt to revamp DRDO. And regular terrorist attacks by maoists, homegrown elements and paks have already resulted in Govt being forced to beef up security.

    Problem #2.
    Our apprehensions regarding our importance and role in world affairs.

    Soon we will be the 3rd largest economy in the world, then what ?
    Okay we will be getting boomers, ICBMs and ACs, then what ?
    Do we spread democracy or should we improve our selves ?
    Do we act like US and try to act like the global watchdog or try to become like China and always look for what's in it for me; or become a pansy like EU ?

    We require a reality check, where do we stand and then chart out a roadmap to where we wish to stand.
    India is not clear where it stands nor where it wants to stand in the world.
    We have no clear strategic doctrine. Our FP is dictated by who soever is in power. There has to be consistency in our FP, and neither is there any will to see things through.

    We sign hundreds of treaties with Brazil but few with our neighbours.
    We pump in billions in Astan and SL but China bags the lucrative projects.
    We exercise with foreign navies but refuse to deploy troops under any banner except UN and still speak of NAM as though it has any relevance.
    We are good friends with Saudis yet suffer in silence from Saudi financied terrorism and when they speak against us regarding Kashmir.
    We give aid to Palestine and call for a Palestinian State and yet buy weapons from Israel.
    We stand for peace and democracy and yet draconian laws are enforced in some of our sensitive states.


    Problem #3:
    Our Neighbourhood.

    India's volatile neighbourhood has kept us so pre-occupied with regional issues that we have had no chance really to even think about becoming a global power.
    Chinese incursions, Pakistan sponsored terror attacks, a defiant Maoist Nepal, Chinese activties in SL and Burma, a weary US in Astan, Illegal immigration from Bdesh etc. etc.
    India is already 80% of the Subcontinent's economy and the strongest regional power; inspite of this we can't assume a leading, dominating, calming and stabilising role in our own backyard, can we really expect to do so all over the world ?

    PS: I don't know what is the obsession of every Indian PM with Pak and Kashmir is this because it is the shortest possible route to ever lasting fame, why does no one want to do things hard way and wait for fame post-mortem ?

    The FP wrt to the neighbourhood has to be pragmatic and shouldn't vacillate b/w extremes of dovishness and hawkishness.
    MMS - 26/11; ABV - Lahore,Kargil, Mushy.
     
  19. warlock2

    warlock2 New Member

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    sometimes I think our military budget must be cut be removing "No First-use" policy regarding Nukes...now a days putting too much money in Bombers, missiles can't yield desired results... which can be achieved by covert opertaions and aggressive foreign policy....this is china what is doing...they get paid from Pak for arming them to teeth against us and try to put pressure to invest more in defence....the way resource are under stress due to rising population and defence expenditures.... we must get away with atleast one .... either Pak or China...and this not our choice but we have to choose for our survival.
     
  20. Martian

    Martian Respected Member Senior Member

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    I think it's lack of urgency to focus the mind of bureaucrats and scientists. Everyone knows America will protect India from being seriously harmed.
     
  21. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^Who is 'everybody'? That's just your personal theory so don't try to pretend otherwise! India is for all intents and purposes equidistant from the major powers.
     

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