Defense Industry - Part 6 - In Conclusion

So, what are the next steps forward? What has happened is history, you can’t change the past, but we can plan for the future.
The most important steps are simple and 3.

A vision of what India should be in terms of defense preparedness by 2050A clear defence procurement procedure that is time bound with short term and long-term   objectives clearly spelt out.A bipartisan, multi-party involvement in matters concerning defence and foreign policy so   that either of these don’t get sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. This should be like the red line of no negotiation endorsed and announced to the country by all political parties  jointly. While the first and third points are not in the realm of this article, the second deserves some attention.
As was explained in the beginning, defense procurement is a different animal all together. It cannot be approached just like you would the purchase of an everyday use item. Some ideas to streamline this procedure are as follows.

Make the…

Defense Industry - Part 5 - Numbers don't lie

To get an idea of the level of differences between India and Pakistan (not looking at China on this comparison) please read this.
This comparison is very interesting in that it shows the percentage against the highest in the globe. One will find that in many cases India is lagging far behind China and China is a real and present danger to India.
While most commentators focus on the numbers and make it sound that India is numerically far superior, which is true, the devil lies in the details.
Parameter India Pakistan Difference X Population in Mil 1339 212 6.3 GDP in Billion $ 2900 305 9.5 Defence as percentage of GDP 2.5 % 2.9 % 0.86 Military budget in Bil $ 55.9 10.8 5.18 Coastline 7516 Kms 700 kms 10.7 Border length 3323 3323 kms 1 Land mass <

Defense Industry - Part 4 - Bofors Blast

So, between the systems that the government follows, the socialistic DNA of the past and the complete lack of understanding of issues related to defence you find every government having to tread a minefield at every step. They obviously want to avoid getting blown off and so become circumspect to the point where there is paralysis instead of action.

Now lets first look at what happened in NASA, USA (which incidentally boasts of many many Indian engineers and scientists) - a space mission to the moon conceived in early 1960 and the first man landed on the moon in 1969. Even granting that India doesn't have enough funds it took 16 years just to decide the requirements of a fighter jet.
The Tejas fighter plane project was conceived in 1969, design studies completed by 1975, requirements finalised by 1985, the first flight flew in 2001 and introduced into service in 2015. A total of 46 years in which electronics technology has changed so fast, so much that anything you build in will …

Defense Industry - Part 3 - Historical Perspective

Given the broad challenges as can be seen above, the question becomes where and on what basis do you “compromise”? What marks do you rate for each such parameter and consequently that will determine who the suppliers can be? What is the risk in each decision and each supplier? The questions and answers in reality are far more complicated.
Now in the case of a country like India the whole situation becomes more complicated Politically and Economically.  We are not an 800-pound Gorilla with cash to spare, we are democratic, we are free in every sense of the word that even basic discipline is sometimes considered fascism that any citizen can oppose and gain traction in the media and even put the Govt of the day on the back foot. So what to speak of a multi million dollar defense deal!!!!
When you look back to 1947, the poverty, the challenges facing the country and with an idealistic leader like Nehru the country at one level took some brilliant decisions in promoting defence …

Defense Industry - Part 2 - The devil is in the details

Now let’s look at some products that the armed forces of a country ask, especially India.
Battle tank: This tank must be light, travel on desserts, marshy lands, rivers. It must fire missiles and then quickly relocate to a new place very fast. It must withstand every possible attack from 1 to 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. It must be prepared for biological and nuclear situations. It can fire at into the air at aircraft. It must move at top speeds. 
Fighter plane: Must carry multiple missiles including nuclear. Travel at speeds greater than sound. Must be undetectable by enemy. Fly at very great heights. Be able to fly in all directions including reversing very quickly. It must be able to deflect or avoid missile attacks. It must be able to fly at low altitudes with great manoeuvrability undetected. The pilot should be able to see enemy planes beyond the visual range and target/ shoot them down without their seeing him.
Now, you can create such kind of wish lists for hundreds of products …

Defense Industry Part 1 - An Introduction

The strength of a nation is measured primarily economically and to defend that economy a strong military is needed. Fundamental economics teaches you that the pillars of any transaction are land, labour and capital & consequently nations fight over land and deem it essential to protect their land. The price is determined by demand and supply of a goods or service and unless one sees a demand no capital will flow for that requirement. Even after it flows in, capital may fly away if demand is low and its never possible to have a balance. That is why you have governments and the fundamental Keynesian economic theory which talks of government intervention in the form of fiscal and monetary policy and kick starting a sector with capital infusion as necessities for a country to grow and be stable.
As the world has progressed, population has surged, distances have shrunk and life as we know it has changed in a myriad of ways. All this has been possible due to technology. And, developmen…