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Pentagon team on way for missile defence briefing
The Indian Express ^ | Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 0205 hours IST | SHISHIR GUPTA

Posted on 02/15/2005 9:14:12 PM PST by Gengis Khan

Pentagon team on way for missile defence briefing Patriot: More than two years after New Delhi’s first request, Bush admn gives go-ahead


NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 15: In a significant breakthrough for missile defence and more than two years after New Delhi made its first request, a Pentagon team will be landing in the Capital this Sunday to make a technical presentation on the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 anti-ballistic missile system.

Defence Ministry sources confirmed that a four-member team, led by Edward Ross of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), will be here from February 20 to 24 to discuss missile defence.

The team will present a technical brief to the International Security division of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence. Ross is second in command to General Koffler at the DSCA in Pentagon.

Sources said that the Pentagon team will interact with officers of the Indian armed forces and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during their four-day stay.

It’s learnt that the Bush administration gave clearance for a classified technical presentation of PAC-2 system as part of the Next Step in Strategic Partnership (NSSP) agreement signed last year.

The first indication that Washington was willing to share technical data came after Indian Ambassador to US, Ronnen Sen, flew to New Delhi last November to discuss the missile defence issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee. It was then that the government gave clearance to Sen to proceed further.

While the Indian defence establishment is keen to have a look at the PAC-2 system, it has its eyes on the future because this opens the way to PAC-3, the latest upgrade of the anti-missile system developed by US defence majors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

PAC-2 is a long-range, all altitude, all weather air defence system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. The range of the missile is 70 km and it can climb to an altitude greater than 24 km. The minimum flight time—time needed to arm a missile—is less than three seconds and maximum flight time is just three-and-half minutes.

Till date, Washington has shared this technology, updated in 1991, with key allies, including Israel, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. PAC-3 was seen in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom and has a kill rate of more than 95 per cent. Neither China nor Pakistan have the anti-ballistic missile capability.

It was in August 2002 that New Delhi, citing its proven non-proliferation record, first asked for a technical presentation of PAC-2. Though the Raytheon chairman wrote to then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Washington did not give a green signal for the technical presentation. The Pentagon team’s visit comes at a time when US defence contractors showed up in large numbers at the Aero India this month.

In fact, former chairman of US joint chiefs of staff General Joseph Ralston (now with the Cohen Group) and former US under-secretary of political affairs Thomas Pickering (now with Boeing) met National Security Advisor M K Narayanan this month to assure him that US defence companies are reliable in product support.

Narayanan has also been pitching in to improve Indo-US relations and has had no less than three conversations with US counterpart Steve Hadley ever since the latter assumed charge in the new Bush administration.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: defense; india; missiledefense; patriot; us

1 posted on 02/15/2005 9:14:12 PM PST by Gengis Khan
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To: Gengis Khan; TapTheSource

Welcome to the Allies, India! It's not really news at all (been in the works for a long time), but it's certainly widely known now!

2 posted on 02/15/2005 10:12:21 PM PST by familyop ("Let us try" sounds better, don't you think? "Essayons" is so...Latin.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

India Ping!

3 posted on 02/15/2005 10:14:29 PM PST by familyop ("Let us try" sounds better, don't you think? "Essayons" is so...Latin.)
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To: familyop; Gengis Khan

Umm,This a step in the right direction,but the PAC-2 is well,not exactly hot!!For one India already operates a handful of Russian S-300 SAM systems,which defend the Bhabha Atomic research centre in Mumbai & the capital,New Delhi.The S-300 is rated to be onpar with the PAC-2,so I don't really see any rationale in buying that variant,unless India also wants the Israeli Arrow(for which American permission is need).The PAC-3 is a whole different ballgame & it remains to be seen whether the US is willing to hawk that to Delhi.About China & Pakistan not having anything like this,that's just journalistic excitement.For one the PAC-2 cannot be called a dedicated ATBM in any sense & 2 Pakistan has also been angling for the PAC-2(so if India buys it,I don't see Islamabad being far behind).China already operates several batteries of the S-300 & are already looking at it's next generation,the S-400 Triumf.

4 posted on 02/16/2005 12:40:27 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I think India will get the PAC-3 upgrade. Time for training schedules is also essential. As for Islamic information movements, Arabs in favor of secular government have avenues of information dissemination to leaders more in some countries than in others. We'll be keeping up with news about Iran and Syria, where changes are likely soon.

5 posted on 02/16/2005 6:05:02 PM PST by familyop ("Let us try" sounds better, don't you think? "Essayons" is so...Latin.)
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To: familyop

They may-but it's not been offered yet.The hard fact is that the American defence sector has not wooed India satisfactorily.Just look at what the Europeans,Russia & Israel are doing.Europe(Anglo-Italian-French) is offering the Aster-15/30 Naval SAM system,of which the Aster-30 is being modified for a ATBM capability.They are offering it to the Indian navy & also for manufacture in India along with systems like the MICA -AAM,if & when India buys 120 odd French Mirage-2005 jets-this is in addition to signing an agreement to modernise an anti-tank weapon & manufacture it in India for the Indian & French armies & also offer it for export.The US has not shown that sort of flexibility yet.Israel has offered codevelopment of a new long-range naval SAM called the Barak-2(which will compete with the Aster) & are pretty much upgrading every Indian weapon system and also jointly marketing an Indian helicopter.Would the US do that??Im not so sure!!

6 posted on 02/16/2005 7:38:18 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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