Tag: South Asia

This Sort of Thing Keeps Me Up at Night

India has just sent combat troops into Pakistani areas of Kashmir:

India announced on Thursday that it had carried out early morning “surgical strikes” on terrorist camps in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, a step that risks escalating the conflict between the two nuclear powers.

However, Pakistan denied that a cross-border strike had taken place, saying that Indian troops had fired small arms across the Line of Control, killing two soldiers and injuring nine.

A senior Pakistani security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said Pakistan would consider a cross-border strike by India an act of war.

The official warned that Pakistan could use tactical nuclear weapons in self-defense if India initiates a war.

The Indian operation, if it occurred as described in Delhi, would be precedent setting. Though India’s military has almost certainly carried out cross-border raids, the government has never publicly announced them, even during the brief conflict in Kargil in 1999.

Indian officials said that ground troops crossed the de facto border shortly after midnight and destroyed a handful of terrorist camps in Pakistani-controlled territory, inflicting “significant casualties” and returning across the Line of Control before dawn.

The operation was planned in retaliation for two attacks this month on Indian positions, including one that killed 19 Indian soldiers.

Remember: both India and Pakistan have significant nuclear arsenals.

The DPRK does not scare me. This does.

You have two military establishments that are fixated on a final cataclysmic conflict, and, particularly in Pakistan, these beliefs exhibit significant sway over the decision making process.

We are dealing with a bunch of generals who would make Curtis LeMay look like a wimp.

Let’s Talk About the Backstory Here

When Dassault won the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract, it wanted to partner with Reliance Industries, but the Indian Government insisted on local co-production be conducted by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the company that took over 30 years to deliver the massively under-performing Tejas fighter aircraft.

When Dassault saw the level of technical competence at HAL, they refused to work with them, figuring that it would be a complete horror show, and they would be on the hook for this, so now we have India signing a deal for 36 French made fighters:

India has concluded a deal to acquire 36 Dassault Rafale fighters, with a contract signed in New Delhi by the nation’s defence minister, Manohar Parrikar, and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on 23 September.

The deal is worth €7.75 billion ($8.69 billion) for the French-built aircraft along with associated weapons and a support package.

Finalisation of the contract brings to a close a long-running acquisition process to equip the Indian air force with the Rafale, which was selected as the winner of its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender in 2012, defeating the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon. Other previous candidates for the deal included the Lockheed Martin F-16, RAC MiG-35 and Saab Gripen.

The air force was originally slated to acquire 126 aircraft via the programme, but the original deal ran aground over cost concerns. [Cost concerns my ass. Dassault found HAL incapable of executing a co-production deal] It was revived by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to France in 2105, when he declared that 36 aircraft would be acquired in “fly-away” condition from Dassault. This was keeping in view the “critical operational necessity” of the service, he said at the time.

This was the Rafale’s first foreign sale, and it was a very big deal for Dassault, but they could not get co-production to work, but the fact that they had this order made it a viable choice on other foreign markets, which is why there are sales to Egypt and Qatar as well, so the deal, even if much diminished was a lifesaver for the Rafale production line.

The ineptitude of the Indian defense establishment in developing new systems (see the Tejas, the Arjun tank, the INSAS rifle system, etc.) remains staggering.