Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PCDA Circular No.596 – 7th Central Pay Commission – Revision of Disability/ War Injury pension for Pre-01.01.2016 Defence Forces pensioners

Circular No. 596
Dated: 09th February, 2018
To,
1. The Chief Accountant, RBI, Deptt. Of Govt. Bank Accounts, Central office C-7, Second Floor, Bandre- Kurla Complex, P B No. 8143, Bandre East Mumbai- 400051
2. All CMDs, Public Sector Banks including IDBI Bank
3. Nodal Officers, ICICl/ HDFC/ AXIS/ IDBI Banks
4. Managers, All CPPCs
5. Military and Air Attache, Indian Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal
6. The PCDA (WC), Chandigarh
7. The CDA (PD), Meerut
8. The CDA, Chennai
9. The Director of Treasuries, All States
10. The Pay and Accounts Officer, Delhi Administration, RK Puram and Tis Hazari, New Delhi
11. The Pay and Accounts Office, Govt of Maharashtra, Mumbai
12. The Post Master Kathua (J&K)
13. The Post Master Camp Bell Bay
14. The Pr. Pay and Accounts Officer, Andaman and Nicobar Administration, Port Blair
Subject: Implementation of Government decision on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC)- Revision of Disability/ War Injury pension for Pre-01.01.2016 Defence Forces pensioners reg.
Reference: This office Circular No. 570 dated 31.10.2016, Circular No. 582 dated 05.09.2017 and Circular No. 585 dated 21.09.2017.
(Available on this office website www.pcdapension.nic.in)
Copy of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2017(01)/D(Pen/Policy) dated 23rd January, 2018 on the above subject, which is self-explanatory, is forwarded herewith for further necessary action at your end.
2. In terms of Para-2 of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2017(01)/D(Pension/ Policy) dated 04th September,2017, Disability Element of Disability Pension to Armed Forces Pensioners has to be revised by multiplying the existing rate of Disability Element as had been drawn on 31.12.2015 by factor of 2.57 to arrive at revised rate of Disability Element as on 01.01.2016. Further, in terms of Para-5.2 & 5.3 of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2017(02)/D(Pension/Policy) dated 05th September’ 2017, Disability Pensionary awards has to be revised on notional pay fixation method and benefits of broad banding will be given to discharge cases also as in invalided out cases and these will be done by issuing Corrigendum Pension Payment Order (PPO).
3. Now, consequent upon the issue of GOI, MOD letter dated 23rd January, 2018, the cases where Armed Forces Pensioners who were retired/ discharged voluntary or otherwise with disability and they were in receipt of Disability/ War Injury Element as on 31.12.2015, their extent of disability/ War Injury Element shall be re-computed in the following manner given below, before applying the multiplication factor of 2.57 on existing disability/ war injury element as on 31.12.2015 for getting the revised disability/ war injury element as on 01.01.2016 in accordance to Para-2 of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2017(01)/D(Pension/ Policy) dated 04th September’ 2017.
4.  The Note below Para-12 of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2016-D(Pen/Pol) dated  29th October, 2016 (circulated vide Circular No. 570 dated 31.10.2016) stands deleted. In other words, quantum of additional pension available to old age pensioners after attaining the age of 80 years and above shall also be admissible on revised disability/ war injury element.
5. It is also stated that PDAs may take utmost care during revision of Disability/War Injury Element as per this order in those cases where the pensioners who are in receipt of 50% of Disability/ War Injury Element of Disability/ War Injury Pension. If the individual has already been given rounding of benefit through PPO (in invalided out cases) then rounding of benefit in such cases should not be given. However, where his disability was assessed as 50% in discharge cases then it will be rounded to 75% as mentioned in Para-3 above. If the PDAs found any problem regarding identification of such cases the same may please be forwarded to Audit Section of this office.
6. All Pension Disbursing Agencies handling disbursement of pension to the Defence Pensioner are hereby authorized to pay benefit of rounding off disability/ war injury and additional pension as per Para 3 & 5 above without any further authorization from the concerned Pension Sanctioning Authorities.
7. Provisions of GOI, MOD letter No. 17(01)/2017(01)/D(Pen/Policy) dated 23rd January, 2018 shall take effect from 01.01.2016.
8. This circular has been uploaded on this office website www.pcdapension.nic.in  for dissemination to all alongwith Defence pensioners and Pension Disbursing Agencies.
S/d,
Dy. Controller(P)

No.17(01)/2017/D(Pen/Policy)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-Servicemen WelfareNew Delhi-110011,
Dated 23rd January, 2018
The Chief of the Army Staff
The Chief of the Naval Staff
The Chief of the Air Staff
Subject- Implementation of Government decision on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) – Revision of Disability/ War Injury pension for pre-1.1.2016 Defence Forces pensioners reg.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s letter No. 17(01)/2016-D(Pen/Pol) dated 29th October’ 2016 modified vide letter No 17(01)/2017(01)/ D(Pension/Policy) dated 4th September, 2017 for revision of pension of pre-2016 Defence Forces pensioners/ family pensioners in implementation of the Government decisions on the recommendations of the 7th CPC. As per the same, disability element/ liberalized disability element/ war injury element of Defence Forces pensioners have been revised by the pension disbursing agencies by multiplying the existing rate of disability element as on 31.12.2015, by factor of 2.57 to arrive at revised rate of disability element as on 1.1.2016. The Ministry vide letter No 17(01)/2017(02)/D(Pension/Policy) dated 5th September, 2017 have also issued orders for revision of pension including disability element by issue of corrigendum PPO based on notional pay fixed as on 1.1.2016 in the 7th CPC pay matrix corresponding to the pay in the pay scale/ pay band 86 grade pay in which the pensioner had retired. The later order of 5th September, 2017 allows the benefit of broad banding of disability in cases of retirement/ discharge voluntary or otherwise with disability/war injury and additional pension on disability/war injury element to be authorized by issue of corrigendum PPO
2. In partial modification of Ministry’s said order dated 29th October, 2016 as modified, the President is now pleased to decide that in cases where Armed Forces pensioners who were retired/discharged voluntary or otherwise with disability and were in receipt of disability/war injury element as on 31.12.2015, their extent of disability shall be re-computed in the following manner before applying the multiplication factor of 2.57 on existing disability/war injury element to arrive at the revised disability element/war injury element as on 1.1.2016.
3. Rates for calculation of disability where composite assessment has been made due to existence of disability as well as war injury, shall be determined in terms of provision contained in Para 3(b) of Ministry’s letter No.16(02)/2015-D(Pen/Pol) dated 8th August 2016. The amount of revised disability element finally arrived shall be rounded off to next higher rupee.
4. The president is also pleased to decide that quantum of additional pension available to old age pensioners after attaining the age of 80 years and above, shall also be admissible on revised disability/war injury element. The Note below para 12 of this Ministry’s above mentioned letter dated 29th October,2016 stands deleted.
5. The provisions of this Ministry’s above -mentioned letter dated 29th October 2016 as modified vide letter dated 4th September,2017 and dated 5th September,2017 which are not affected by the provisions of this letter, shall remain unchanged.
6. PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad shall issue necessary implementation instructions for implementation of provisions of these orders directly by the pension disbursing agencies.
7. The provisions of this letter shall take effect from 1.1.2016.
8. This issues with the concurrence of Finance Division of this Ministry vide their ID No.Part file (i) to 30(01)/2016/Fin/Pen dated 15.12.2017.
9. Hindi Version will follow.
Yours faithfully
S/d,
(Manoj Sinha)
Under Secretary to the Government of India
(Source : PCDA / Govtempdiary website) 

PCDA Circular 592 : Restoration of full pension in respect of Defence Service Personnel who had drawn lump sum payment on absorption in Public Sector Undertakings/Autonomous Bodies

OFFICE OF THE PR. CONTROLLER OF DEFENCE ACCOUNTS (PENSIONS)
DRAUPADI GHAT, ALLAHABAD- 211014
Circular No. 592
Dated: 05.12.2017
To,
1. The Chief Accountant, RBI, Deptt. Of Govt, Bank Accounts, Central Office C-7, Second Floor, Bandre- Kurla Complex, P B No. 8143, Bandre East Mumbai- 400051
2. All CMDs, Public Sector Banks.
3. The Nodal Officers, ICICI/HDFC/AXIS/IDBI Banks
4. All Managers, CPPCs
5. Military and Air Attache, Indian Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal
6. The PCDA (WC), Chandigarh
7. The CDA (PD), Meerut
8. The CDA Chennai
9. The Director of Treasuries, All States
10. The Pay and Accounts Officer, Delhi Administration, R K Puram and Tis Hazari, New Delhi.
11. The Pay and Accounts Office, Govt of Maharashtra, Mumbai
12. The Post Master Kathua (J&K) and Camp Bell Bay.
13. The Principal Pay and Accounts Officer Andaman and Nicobar Administration Port Blair.
Subject:- Restoration of full pension in respect of Defence Service Personnel who had drawn lump sum payment on absorption in Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous Bodies.
Reference:- Circular No. 532 dated 19.01.2015.
Reference is invited to para-8 of DOP & PW O.M. F. No.4/34/2002 -P&PW(D)- Vol- II dated 23/06/2017 vide which it has been decided to extend the benefit of order dated 02-08-2007 of the Hon’ble Madras High Court and the Order dated 01-09-2016 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court to all similarly placed absorbee pensioners. Accordingly, all such absorbee pensioners who had taken 100% lump-sum amount in lieu of pension on absorption in PSUs/Autonomous Bodies and in whose case 1/3rd pension had been restored after 15 years, may be allowed restoration of full pension after expiry of commutation period of 15 years from the date of payment of 100% lump-sum amount.
2. It is, therefore, decided by the competent authority that provisions of GoI, Ministry of personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare OM F. No. 4/34/2002-P & PW(D)-Vol-II dated 23.06.2017, shall also apply mutatis mutandis to all Armed Forces pensioner absorbed in PSUs/Autonomous bodies vide GoI, MoD letter No. 1(04)/2007-D(Pen/Policy) dated 18.09.2017. Other terms and conditions prescribed vide GoI, MoD letters issued from time to time which are not affected by the provisions of GoI, MoD letter dated 18.09.2017 shall remain unchanged.
3. The Armed Forces PSU absorbees whose full pension is restored in terms of the above instructions would also be entitled for revision of their pension in accordance with the instructions issued from time to time in revision in implementation of the recommendations of the Pay Commissions including 7th Central Pay Commission.
4. The pension in terms of these orders will be revised by respective Pension Sanctioning Authorities suo-moto by issuing Corrigendum PPOs in all affected cases. Further, PDAs will also brought into notice these type of cases to concerned PSAs, if any left, for revision of pension.
S/d,
(Sandeep Thakur)
(Jt.CDA(P)

No.1(04)/2007-D(Pen/Policy)
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare
New Delhi-110011
Dated: 18th September 2017
To
The Chief of the Army Staff
The Chief of the Naval Staff
The Chief of the Air Staff
Subject: Restoration of full pension in respect of Defence Service Personnel who had drawn lump sum payment on absorption in Public Sector Undertakings / Autonomous Bodies.
Sir,
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s letter no. 1(4)/2007-D(Pen/Policy) dated 4.12.2007 under which revised methodology to workout restoration of pension was issued for those Defence pensioners who had drawn lump sum payment on absorption in Public Sector Undertaking/Autonomous Bodies. The restored pension as well as full amount of pension was further revised with effect from 01.01.2006 in terms of this Ministry’s letter No. 1(4)/2007- D(Pension/Policy) dated 21.08.2009 as amended vide letter No. 1(4)12007-D(Pen/Policy) dated 09.02.2011, letter No. 1(1)/2014- D(Pen/Policy) dated 16.10.2014. As per these orders, payment of dearness relief and additional pension to old pensioners is regulated on the basis of the notional full revised pension.
2.In compliance of Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated 01 09.2016 in Civil Appeal No. 6048/2010 and Civil Appeal No. 6371/2010, Govt. of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare vide their OM F.No. 4/34/2002- P&PW(D)-Vol II. dated 23.6.2017 read with OM of same No dated 21.07.2017, have decided to extend the benefit of ibid orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court to all such absorbee pensioners who had taken 100% lump sum amount and in whose case 1/3rd pension had been restored after 15 years, by restoring their full pension after expiry of commutation period of 15 years from the date of payment of 100% lump sum amount.
3.Matter has been considered and it has been decided that the provisions of Govt. of India, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare OM F.No. 4134/2002-P&PW(D)-Vol. II dated 23.6.2017, shall also apply mutatis mutandis to all Armed Forces pensioner absorbed in PSUs/ Autonomous bodies. Other terms and conditions prescribed vide this Ministry’s letters issued from time to time which are not affected by the provisions of this letter, shall remain unchanged.
4.The Armed Forces PSU absorbees whose full pension is restored in terms of the above instructions would also be entitled for revision of their pension in accordance with the instructions issued from time to in implementation of the recommendations of the Pay Commissions, inculding 7th Central Pay Commission.
5.The pension in terms of these orders shall be revised by respective Pension Sanctioning Agencies suo-moto by issuing Corrigendum PPOs in all affected cases. No aplocation in this regard shall be called for either from the pensioners or ffrom the PDAs concerned.
6.This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Division of theis Ministry vide their ID No. 31(8)/9/Fin/Pen dated 07.09.2017.
7.Hindi version will follow.
S/d,
(Manoj Sinha)
Under Secretay to Govt. of India
(Source : Click for Signed Copy of order / Govtempdiary website)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Indian Navy (IN) - Holy Cow! :: By GB Reddy

Wake Up “Blindmen of Hindustan” – political leaders, bureaucrats, technocrats and Admirals. 

Time to understand the nuances of the IN - Holy Cow! Never late to promote an informed debate.

The IN demand for third aircraft carrier (cost estimated for full complement - over Rs.1,50,000 crores likely to be spread over 5-8 years times span between laying the ‘Keel’ and commissioning) as strategic means to deter and dominate the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), besides power projection and influence over the Asia Pacific Region needs in depth review. Inevitable will be cost escalation due to time over run and advanced technologies thereof.

“Hawks” believe India to be a regional power, aspiring to global power status - strategically a blinkered or warped view. Time-frames for such enhanced power are indeterminate.  Even in the present strategic environ-ment context, India cannot lay claims to be a South Asian power which exercises hegemony or dominance on its peripheral nations. Strategic deadlock or stalemate persists.

An in-depth cost-effective study is, therefore, an imperative. Geopolitics, National Maritime Security interests and Roles assigned to IN by Government of India, Defence Strategy enunciated by Ministry of Defence, “New Operational Environment”, and IN’s Maritime/Naval strategy – ways, means and ends at the least or optimum costs to execute the assigned roles must be evaluated in detail. “Sea based v/s Air based v/s Land based” systems, concepts and their operational effectiveness and costs must determine “multi domain” choices instead of archaic “uni-domain centric” numbers/size obsession.

Fact - unique India’s and Andaman-Nicobar Island Territories geostrategic significance – like a “Dagger” jutting into the IOR and “Shield” straddling Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) through Straits of Malacca. No other nation enjoys such a unique geo strategic advantage for dominating the international shipping lanes passing through IOR by a variety of means like the Navy and Air Force...

Undeniably, such a geo-strategic significance provides alternate options to deter and dominate the IOR in short and mid-term contexts and project influence over the Asia Pacific Region in a long term context based on enhanced ‘power’ status – economy, technology and soft power.

Integrated “Multi-Domain Air-Sea-Land” integrated strategic approach is a compelling imperative in the face of China’s PLA Navy (PLAN) incremental build up, particularly projected high-end technology spectrum of air and missile threat capabilities and UAVs over High Seas. No illusions!

Let me recall roles of IN includes: Sea control; Security of Sea-Lines of Communication (SLOC); Maintaining Influence in IOR; Safeguarding Vital Interests Overseas; Security of Island Territories; Non-military Missions; and politico-diplomatic forays.

Let me also briefly outline the IN threat concerns in the IOR and Asia Pacific region. Pakistan Navy’s capability is quite insignificant. Pak Navy’s naval combat systems include: Attack Submarines – 3xAgosta 90B and 2xAgosta 70; 10 Frigates; 11 fast attack missiles patrol craft; 3 Mine Hunters; and other Auxiliary fleet ships. Recently, Pakistan has test-fired Harba anti-ship cruise missile, which appears to be a variant of the Babur-series LACM, which is deployable from land and has a stated range of 700 km. In January 2017, Pakistan also tested the 450-km range Babur 3 SLCM.

In contrast, the IN’s current fleet is 137 vessels all types; by 2027, likely to have 198 warships. Ships and submarines under construction include: one aircraft career; ASU submarines - six conventional Scorpene, six nuclear powered and two midget for special operations; four stealth guided destroyers; stealth frigates - seven under Project-17A and 10 Talwar class; corvettes (ASW) – 4+8 Kamorta class, 16 Shallow water and six Next Gen; 12 mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV);  and others.

Thus, understanding Chinese PLAN developments, based on its multi-front, multi-domain force levels, strategic threat concerns and vision, is, therefore, critical. PLAN current force level is around 492 warships (excludes auxiliaries) deployed in three fleets include: 1 aircraft carrier; 68 submarines; 94 submarine chasers; 29 destroyers; 50 frigates; 37 corvettes; 109 missile boats; 17 gunboats; 29 mine countermeasure vessels; 4 amphibious transport docks; 32 landing ship tanks; 31 landing ship medium; 12 replenishment ships; and 232 auxiliaries.

In the “Sea” domains, both surface and sub surface, China faces US Navy force projectionIts vision is to deter and limit US Navy Supercarriers operations beyond “Second Island Chain”.  So, it is accelerating its efforts to acquire sophisticated anti-ship missiles, aircraft carriers and submarines. DF-21D, known as “carrier killer” with a range of 1000 to 1200 kms is to strike at hostile carrier based fleets inside the “First Island Chain”. The improved DF-26 (3000-4000 km), known as “medium-size ship killer” is to reach the “Second Island Chain” in the western Pacific Ocean, all the way to the US base on Guam.

As per the present plan, PLAN is to field two new aircraft carriers with the present one being used as a training platform. As per naval experts, China would need at least 6+1 aircraft carriers to gain naval ascendency in the Pacific with the Liaoning retained as a training carrier. China will also begin construction on a new Type 081-class landing helicopter assault ship within the next five years.

Most important, PLANs modernization effort in the submarine fleet is awesome - world’s biggest attack-sub fleets, with five JIN-class nuclear models (JL-2 nuclear capable missile range more than 8000 Kms) and at least 50 diesel models.  China has expanded its force of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN). Two SHANG-class SSNs (Type 093) are already in service, and China is building four improved variants of the SHANG-class SSN. In the next decade, China will likely construct the Type 095 guided-missile attack submarine (SSGN). In contrast, the USA has 14 boomers and 55 nuclear attack subs.

The PLAN’s other combat warships include:  guided missile destroyers (6 + 12 x DDGs); guided missile frigates (12 + 6+? x FFGs), with the versatility for both offshore and long-distance operations; JIANGDAO-class FFL (20 -30 ships); and 60 HOUBEI-class wave-piercing catamaran missile patrol boats (PTG) (Type 022), each capable of carrying eight YJ-83 ASCMs, for operations in littoral waters. The new DDGs and FFGs provide a significant upgrade to the PLA Navy’s area air defence capability, which will be critical as it expands operations into “distant seas” beyond the range of shore-based air defence. The PLAN is increasing its amphibious force.

More importantly, China has developed long-range aircraft equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), submarines and surface ships capable of launching these long range missiles that could target US aircraft carriers while evading the US Navy's Aegis Defence System. Today, any carrier operating within 1,000 miles of the Chinese coast knows that it can be targeted at any moment.

To counter emerging “anti-access/area denial” (A2AD) technologies that include ballistic and cruise missiles that can reach ships over a thousand miles from shore, the U.S. Navy has invested billions of dollars in anti-A2AD capabilities — such as electronic-spectrum jamming, directed-energy weapons, electromagnetic rail guns, and ballistic-missile defences — in a vain attempt to defend the carrier.

Thus, the compelling need for informed debated of acquisition aircraft careers Vis a Vis other means and options available to execute assigned roles. Only INS Vikramaditya, 45,400 tones, modified Kiev class (STOBAR carrier), was formally commissioned in 2013. Earlier aircraft careers - INS Vikrant and Viraat - were retired from service.

Today, the construction of a 40,000-tonne carrier, the second one, in Cochin Shipyard powered by four gas-turbine engines with a range of 15,000kms, carrying 160 officers, 1,400 sailors, and 40 aircraft, is progressing. The ship was launched in August 2013 and likely to be commissioned in 2018.  The 3rd Vikrant-class carrier INS Vishal, nuclear-powered with CATOBAR system for heavier aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft, with a displacement of over 65,000 tons is planned.

“Hawks” justify aircraft carriers since they represent an awesome symbol of national power. Its overseas missions and port-calls, when used with prudence and in a non-threatening pose, can yield intangible, but substantial, dividends to the country.

Next, the current total submarine fleet of 16 includes: two nuclear-powered submarines, including an Akula II-class boat leased from Russia. In 2016 India commissioned it’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant. However, Arihant spent ten months out of action due to a hatch being improperly sealed; but damage fixed. The estimated cost to build six nuclear submarines is less than Rs 35,000 crores. These submarines would be based on the design of INS Arihant.

Also, the indigenization of the $11 billion Project 75 (I) to build six advanced stealth submarines marks a new chapter in our submarine capability. Induction of Kalvari, the first of six Scorpene-class, suffered a five-year delay due to issues relating to technology transfer. Plans are to induct the rest by 2020 to help meet the target of building 24 submarines by 2030.

Understanding the classification of aircraft carriers is a key basic factor – four categories. One, by roles of four categories: fleet carriers (largest with fastest speeds), escort carriers, light aircraft carriers and helicopter carriers. Two, aircraft carriers classified by configuration - Catapult-assisted take-off barrier arrested-recovery (CATOBAR); Short take-off but arrested-recovery (STOBAR); Short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL); and; Helicopter carrier.

Three, classified by size of displacement like Supercarriers, displacing over 70,000 tones or greater, have become the pinnacle of carrier development. Mostly, they are powered by nuclear reactors. Finally, by power of propulsions: nuclear powered and conventional.

As of January 2018, there are 41 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by 13 countries. The US Navy has 11 active nuclear powered Supercarriers carrying 80 fighter jets (from around 50 in post World War II era). In addition, the US Navy has nine amphibious assault ships used primarily for helicopters, although these also carry up to 20 vertical or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) fighter jets and similar in size to medium-sized fleet carriers. Future Supercarriers are under construction or in design phase of development by China, India, Russia, and the US.

Russia, China, France and India have one medium-sized conventional carrier each with capacity from 30 to 50 fighter jets. Others nations include: two light fleet carriers operated by Italy and one by Spain (1); and Helicopter carriers are operated by Australia (2), Egypt (2), France (3), Japan (4), South Korea (1), Thailand (1) and the UK(1).

Today and even in mid-term context, neither Russia nor China can lay pretensions of challenging USAs supremacy in aircraft carriers and their global roles.

Writing in the National Review in 2015, retired US Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix made the case that aircraft carriers are simply not suited to the future of naval warfare. Carriers, although larger and more technically impressive than ever, are systems designed in a different historical age to deal with a very different historical context: a time when states fought major naval engagements while operating at a comparable technological and operational level.

Most important, since World War II, aircraft carriers have been operating in low-threat, permissive environments almost continuouslyAt no time since 1946 has a carrier had to fend off attacks by enemy aircraft, surface ships, or submarines.

Also, the efficacy of the carrier lies not in the ship but in the capabilities of its planes. Today, combat range of most of those planes is only 500 miles. This means that, even steaming at 30 knots, the carrier would spend 15 hours under an A2AD threat in order to carry its planes close enough to hit land targets. Also, they do not have sufficient in-flight refuelling capacity.

As per US experts, the probability of operational effectiveness in the “New Operational Environment’ is low. But while sinking an aircraft carrier is difficult, it’s not impossible. The U.S. defence community has debated whether or not aircraft carriers are a bit pointless since the late 1940s. Technological developments have placed the carrier’s survivability into question.

Precision-guided missiles (unmanned Kamikazes, in a sense) and high performance “true” submarines threatened to make carriers impossible to defend, especially in combination with nuclear weapons.

Also, costs of Super carriers are extraordinarily expensive. "At $14 billion apiece, one of them can cost the equivalent of nearly an entire year's shipbuilding budget," Hendrix notes. A Nimitz-class Supercarrier carries around 5,000 people on board with functional internal economy. Furthermore, U.S. carrier strike group costs $25 million per week for routine operations, rising to $40 million during combat operations. Thus, its life-cycle cost will be phenomenal. Since they concentrate an enormous degree of firepower in one (potentially vulnerable) platform, they represent an unwarranted expense.

And, the loss of a single carrier could conceivably demoralize the nation. "For this reason, the modern carrier violates a core principle of war: Never introduce an element that you cannot afford to lose," Hendrix writes.

Further, losing a platform with nearly 5,000 souls on board would extraordinarily demoralizing to the nation. So Admirals would refrain from employing in a high-threat environment.

No aircraft carrier has ever been hit by a modern torpedo of any sort. Also, shooting anything at an aircraft carrier is a costly, difficult operation. And beyond the monetary cost, launching an open attack against a carrier strike group, with its own cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, is almost certainly a suicide mission. However, China has adopted a variety of different cruise missiles launched from different platforms to threaten US carrier groups with ALCMs, and ASBMs.

Given carriers' vulnerability in combat and to peacetime asymmetrical warfare attacks, the use of more and smaller carriers rather than large vessels has been suggested over the years. However, Supercarriers advocates consider them to be more cost-effective than a larger number of smaller carriers.

Thus, Navy’s fixation with the huge ships is always under criticism. Such critics suggest that smaller, cheaper vessels could perform many of the same tasks. But Navy’s Admirals practically revolt at such a proposition.

Less known are some of the INs historic facts. In 1965 War, INS Vikrant was in dry dock for maintenance. In 1971, it was deployed in the Bay of Bengal in low threat environment. In almost all Indian Navy exercises, the Blue Land Forces Commander deploys the aircraft career South of Goa and out of range of Pakistani air or ship launched cruise missiles. So, force projection is ruled out.

Even the employment of aircraft carrier on ‘fleet escort’ missions in the limited war scenario does not arise. For sea control mission, Indian Navy has other means available like “Sea Control destroyers and frigates” besides submarines of different types.

Just either for show of force or rescue missions in peace times, no need to opt for “White Elephants”.  No nation can afford to waste lakhs of crores to hand out water, food, and blankets. Similarly, escort missions can be ruled out. Although 90% of nation’s trade by volume is done via sea (14th largest shipping industry with 515 vessels), yet bulk of it transported in foreign ships (around 258 vessels are only engaged in foreign trade).

In the light of the foregoing, IN must overcome its obsession with the Supercarriers as the centre-piece of naval warfare.  IN must prepare for a shorter and less expensive war in its IOR backyard with strategy based on disruptive campaign of sea control and economic blockade. Additional guided-missile warships, submarines, sea mines and under water anti sub nets, must be acquired integrated with “Air based and Land based” combat systems to deter adversaries.

No point in the IN, year after year, crying hoarse over shortfalls in budget allocations. To address its budget crisis, it must pragmatically review the “Emerging Strategic and Operational Environment”, threat perspective and aircraft carrier now-marginal combat effectiveness preceded by extraordinarily unique geo- strategic advantage of mainland jutting like a “Dagger into the IOR” and Andaman Nicobar Islands like “Shield blocking the Malacca Straights” to identify and determine the most optimal inter se “Multi Domain” opportunities available to exploit thereby optimizing costs but enhancing operational effectiveness.

After all, India is on course to embrace technological innovations in air delivered and land based combat systems and to increase their effectiveness. Its implications are clear: India needs to stop building aircraft carriers; and opt for more potent naval war vessels to counter PLAN threat in the IOR.

Surely, the nation deserves an innovative solution to the strategic problems in IOR and Asia Pacific.

IN should opt for a fleet-mix to win the war it’s likely to fight instead of fantasizing. Resources recouped from ceasing construction of an Rs.1, 50,000 crores carrier could be redirected to the construction of additional air bases and shore based infrastructure, missile-laden destroyers, or nuclear powered submarines, or frigates, or high-speed vessels, or any combination thereof.

A revolutionary new fleet that is marked by lower costs and ruthless efficiency is the need of hour. The simple fact is that there is enough money to purchase surface and sub-surface ships in sufficient numbers to seize and maintain strategic initiative and imposing costs on adversaries.  Advanced technologies such as directed energy, electromagnetic rail guns, and hypersonic propulsion systems must find place instead of defending a legacy platform.
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This article worth its weight in gold. I have interacted conside-rably with Submariners in the privacy of their homes and they hold much the same views as the Author. As a student Officer I had interacted with Admiral Pereira in the question and answer session at the end of his lecture at the Defence Services Staff College. Admiral Pereira had been a great Carrier enthusiast. I had asked him that if sea control could be affected from the air and undersea, would there be a requirement for Aircraft Carriers? 

Being an ex-fighter pilot, I have always believed in Giulio Douhet's (father of Air Strategy) dictum that the bomber will always get through. So what does the bomber (or cruise missile!) find after he gets through? A single point at which all the enemy's  offensive power is concentrated. One hit and its all over at enormous cost to the enemy.  In my opinion the Admiral did not provide convincing answers. Later on I was chided for not being polite enough to the Admiral by the Directing Staff.  The Carrier won the day by pulling rank on me. I think rank is still on the side of the Carrier. Kudos to the author for saying that the Emperor has no clothes. Another thing, in today's world a Carrier has nowhere to hide. There is no surprise element of overwhelming power

Rajesh Khosla      
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Rajesh,

Tks for appreciating the contents of my paper. At least, I have one positive response to my paper.

Laughable it is to commit huge expenditure - life cycle costs.  

The task of deterring Chinese aircraft carriers can be done better from land based air and surface combat weapons systems.

As on date, China has limited aircraft carrier capability with prime task orientation focussed towards Korea-Japan (East Seas) and South China Sea.

Even when it fields the 3rd carrier some years later, will China deploy it in the IOR region within the strike range of our "INTEGRATED" combat power that includes subs, warships, underwater mines and a horde of other combat systems.

Chinese Admirals would be fools to employ their "Carrier Fleet" in "Power Projection" role on Indian land mass. At best what they can do is excise sea control out of range of our systems and well beyond conventional international SLOCs.

In fact, I am a firm believer to send the "Right" message to China: U try any stunts on the land frontiers, we would play havoc in the IOR, particularly its major "Oil and Gas" pipeline through "Sitwee" port in Myanmar.

Be that as it may, China does not want to enter into any major wars as of now for it is against its "Xi Jinping's Dream" of regeneration of Middle Kingdom" status by around 2030 AD. 
   
Our "Integrated Plans" should be based on such a scenario to cater to the "New Operational Environment" due to technology breakthroughs.

G B R
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Thank you sir for your response. In my idle moments I have looked at the Indian Ocean Map and found that there are enough Islands within the Ocean to provide "unsinkable" Aircraft Carriers and within comfortable air range to cover the entire ocean. Since the Second World War, it has been air power that has dominated the oceans. Islands/land masses well defended by air were never attacked by carriers. On occasions I have discussed this matter with my MEA friends on the golf course. They threw up their hands in horror at this espousal of "gunboat" diplomacy.

The crying need of the hour is a Monroe Doctrine for the Indian Ocean. With no strategic vision in the eyes of the Politician, Babu, Policeman nexus in Raisina hill, it is but natural for the Chinese, who think far, far ahead to make inroads. We need to look at the Army's dictum of one foot firmly on the ground before we can think of moving ahead. The carriers may come when we think of expansion into the open Pacific.

Would the Navy like to comment? I know from past experience that this is a closed subject to them.

Rajesh Khosla 
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A real interesting, valuable and frank initial article by GB Reddy, with equally valuable comments by Rajesh Khosla, that demands a read by all Servicemen - including retd guys - to get a 'broader picture', as also by 'political leaders, bureaucrats, technocrats and Admirals,' as suggested by GbR, and even Generals and Air Marshals.

I found the article with the comments very interesting. In fact, it should be published in national newspapers and mags for 'general awareness'.

Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of meeting/knowing either of these gentlemen. Shall be happy to know more about them.

(Very) slight 'editing' and emphasising (colour) has been done by me, which may please be pardoned.

 Colonel Ronnie Burjor Mistry
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(SOURCE : VIA GP E-MAIL)