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  • Rafale: the doomed French bird

    Is the French 4th+generation fighter aircraft doomed? This question must be anguishing people in Dassault and the French government. The Rafale has not won any contract in the export market since its entry into service in 2004 and is now apparently out of race for the MMRCA contract. What lies behind all these repeated commercial fiascos? The Rafale lost five major bids against its US counterparts in recent years: in South Korea (2002), Singapore (2005), Saudi Arabia (2007), Morocco (2007) and apparently India.

    May 14, 2009

    North Korea continues to defy the world

    True to its planned schedule, North Korea defied warnings from the international community on 5 April 2009, launching a rocket capable of reaching Alaska and Hawaii. As was expected, it stirred a chorus of worldwide criticism. Yet, the emergency meeting of the United National Security Council convened for the specific purpose of debating the North Korean issue remained deadlocked. China armed with veto power remained inflexible in its position and called for “calm and restraint” from the international community in an effort to “safeguard peace and stability of the region”.

    April 13, 2009

    North Korea in International Limelight over its Space Development Programme

    North East Asia’s fragile peace is being threatened by North Korea’s planned launch between 4 and 8 April over Japanese territory of a communication satellite. The US and its allies suspect the planned satellite launch to be a long-range ballistic missile test. The prevailing uneasy peace is accentuated by the fact that both a ballistic missile and a satellite launcher operate on very similar technology.

    April 02, 2009

    The Growth of China's Navy: Implications for Indian Ocean Security

    The PLA Navy (PLAN)'s capabilities in key areas (assets, trained personnel, experience) are currently insufficient to support long-range sea lanes of communication (SLOC) defense missions. With sufficient effort, Beijing may eventually overcome these obstacles, but it would probably also have to acquire some form of overseas basing access, which its foreign policy still proscribes.

    July 2008

    Looking Beyond Nuclear Weapons

    The year 2008 started with oil prices touching a historic high of US $100 a barrel. This is partly a reflection of the high demand for energy. Today, many countries are factoring ‘energy’ into their planning, be it hydrocarbons or other forms of energy. But in the case of India it appears that its energy future would be decided more by politics than actual energy needs. In the first week of 2008, an Indian delegation has completed the third round of negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) on India-specific nuclear safeguards.

    January 15, 2008

    BMD's Slow Progress Towards Technological Maturity

    "We fired an operationally configured interceptor out of a silo at Vandenberg Air Force base, and it flew out, and was successful in intercepting the target." - Lt. Gen. Henry Obering

    October 12, 2007

    Aero India 2007: The Lure of India's Burgeoning Aerospace Market

    The Sixth Aero India Aerospace and Defence Exhibition held from February 07 to 11, 2007 was by all accounts a 'big' event. The biennial gathering was organized jointly by the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Department of Defence Production and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). For the first time, Farnborough International Ltd., the organization that holds the Farnborough International Air Show, was involved. 503 defence companies from 33 countries were represented at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bangalore, the venue of the show.

    February 22, 2007

    China's Ambitions in Space

    It may be a mere coincidence that the People's Daily, official mouth piece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), decided to carry two pieces on China's ongoing space programme on its website on February 7, 2007.

    February 19, 2007

    The ASAT test and China's Space Ambitions

    With the successful test of its first anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon, China has once again highlighted its impressive achievements in space technology. At the same time, the test is refuelling debate around the world, particularly in the US, between proponents of regulating the use of outer space and those who insist on America's absolute free reign in this realm. But the niggling question with regard to the test is whether this test is a signal aimed at bringing the Americans to the negotiating table for a space-weapons treaty?

    February 12, 2007

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