CANADA FIRST!

SO PAPA DON’T PREACH

(On Defence Offsets)

We have the “once-in-a-century” opportunity to get it right when it comes to changing how we buy defence equipment.”  Honourable Diane Finley, PC, MP, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Announcing the Defence Procurement Strategy,  Ottawa, Ontario, February 5, 2014

The High Tech Forum on Defence Innovation, which comprises experts in various fields related to enhancing indigenous high-tech capabilities, had concluded that Defence Offsets provide a huge opportunity to kick start India’s defence industrial base.

Successfully leveraging defence purchases to build indigenous capabilities is a worldwide trend. On the VISTAS-भारत Facebook page we had mentioned many countries implementing 100% Offsets – not just the 30% provided in our own laws.  Some countries even apply 400%!

So first of all, “Papa Dont Preach!” 30% is not too Onerous considering how many countries practice 100% and above. 100 percenters:

Argentina

Austria

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Croatia

Denmark

Estonia

Greece

Italy

Malaysia

Netherlands

Norway

Peru

Portugal

Slovenia

Switzerland

Canada is insisting on 100% REAL Offsets. Check out our earlier post on the subject – because of their “consistent” insistence, both Boeing and Dassault are either “promising offsets for Canadian industry worth 100 percent of the purchase contract value, or providing full transfer of aircraft technologies to the Canadian government, with no restrictions”.

Contrast this with the tough stance reportedly being taken with India on the MMRCA offset clause. India should straightaway jack up Defence Offsets to 100% at least and derive the maximum out of this once in a century opportunity. India is also right to insist that lifecycle costs and not just the initial purchase price, should be taken into account while calculating Offsets, as lifecycle costs can be extremely high. 

Now, Canada has just overhauled its defence procurement strategy to strengthen indigenous high-tech defence industry and take advantage of the fact that “Defence-related  industries  are  unique  in  that  governments  are  essentially  the  only  customers,  and  have  flexibility  under  international  trade  agreements  to  favour  domestic  suppliers.”

Since advanced nations are constantly brandishing the WTO against us – we must at least take advantage of the flexibilities provided for the defence sector. Wasn’t the WTO meant to facilitate our industrial development? But we had to withdraw the Preferential Market Access Policy for private sector procurements which would have benefited our manufacturing industry.

Thus, many countries have leveraged Offsets to become part of the sophisticated global high-tech aerospace supply chain. But at every turn we have failed to leverage our civil and military aircraft purchases and our considerable air travel market to build our own aerospace industry which can be part and parcel of an exciting high-tech global supply chain.

India also needs to develop the MRO market. A presentation by HAL is being posted which outlines the full potential of the market that can be exploited by Indian firms.

The next post will be on the subtle propaganda on the reputation and capabilities of Indian industry, and the myths being propagated in this regard. This helps only non-Indian firms. Since defence markets are under pressure worldwide, it is essential for OEMs to corner the growing Indian defence market and ensure Indian companies, which have won massive tenders abroad, are disregarded in their own country.

 SUMMARY OF DEVELOPMENTS IN CANADA

2008:  Canada  establishes  the  Canada  First  Defence  Strategy  (CFDS)  which  provides  stable  long-term  funding  and  a  roadmap  for  the  modernization  of  the  Canadian  Forces  over  a  20-year  period.

2013, February: Canada issues the excellent report “Canada First: Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilitiesthe document starts with Canada First! This is what we have been advocating all along – INDIA FIRST! In Canada they call Offsets the Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) policy: the report mentions ‘A main source of revenue for Canadian industry relates  to  the  government’s  long-standing  Industrial  and  Regional  Benefits  (IRB)  policy  —  often  referred  to  generically  as  an  “offsets”  policy—  that  requires  winners  of  major  defence  contracts  to  spend  the  equivalent  of  the  dollar  value  of  contracts  (which  are  often  awarded  to  foreign  firms)  in  support  of  Canadian  industry’.

2014, February 05: Canada launches new Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS), with the following goals:

  • Companies bidding on defence and security contracts have to provide 100 percent Offsets. They are insisting Canada get full value for any procurement from Dassault and Boeing.
  • Deliver the right equipment to the Canadian military in a timely manner;
  • Leverage Canada’s purchases of defence equipment to create jobs and economic growth in Canada; and
  • Companies bidding on major defence and Coast Guard procurements have to prove that their bids support “Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs) and other productivity drivers, including industrial and technological high-value activities, for example, “technology transfer”.
  • “Implement an enhanced Export Strategy to support international sales opportunities and “participation in global value chains“” (Note: this is our key goal also).

This is our once in a century chance to get things right too. Let us fulfill India’s promise!

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Space Technology in Agriculture

Space Technology is been widely used in our routine life, from televisions and mobile phones to high-tech devices like Satellite Navigation and Earth Observation (Remote Sensing technology for identifying and mapping the resources/data).

GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is a satellite system which is used to locate the exact geographic location of a user’s receiver in any part of the world. GNSS is widely used in Aviation, Shipping, Agriculture, Disaster Management and many other sectors. Satellite images can be received through GNSS to the ground stations which can be used for geographical mapping of the resources / data. GNSS Reflectrometry (GNSS-R) has been already demonstrated in low earth orbit to measure sea surface heights. There is increasing interest in GNSS-R also for land surface applications. Potential land surface applications are soil moisture measurement, vegetation growth, image mapping. Since the GNSS transmitters are active continuously, suitable receivers could measure with much improved sampling compared with existing low Earth orbit Earth observation satellites which only allow repeat viewing every few days at best. GNSS-R has several other advantages, but also brings the challenge of making good quality measurements despite the very low signal strength.

Remotely sensed images can be used to identify vegetation damages such as insect damage, weed damage, nutrient deficiency…etc., and plant populations via electromagnetic spectrum. Data from remote sensing information can be used as base maps in variable applications of fertilizers and pesticides. It allows farmers to treat only affected areas of a field. Problems within a field may be identified remotely before they can be visually identified on a wider scale. Ranchers use remote sensing to identify prime grazing areas, overgrazed areas or areas of weed infestations. Lending institutions use remote sensing data to evaluate the relative values of land by comparing archived images with those of surrounding fields.

When electromagnetic energy from the sun strikes plants, depending upon the wavelength of the energy and characteristics of individual plants, the energy will be either reflected, absorbed, or transmitted. Reflected energy which bounces off leaves and is identified by human eyes as the green colour of plants as the chlorophyll in the leaves absorbs much of the energy in the visible wavelengths and the green colour is reflected. Sunlight that is not reflected or absorbed is transmitted through the leaves to the ground. Interactions between reflected, absorbed, and transmitted energy can be detected by remote sensing. The differences in leaf colours, textures, shapes or even how the leaves are attached to plants, determine how much energy will be reflected, absorbed or transmitted. The relationship between reflected, absorbed and transmitted energy is used to determine spectral signatures of individual plants. Spectral signatures are unique to plant species. Remote sensing is used to identify stressed areas in fields by first establishing the spectral signatures of healthy plants. The spectral signatures of stressed plants appear altered from those of healthy plants.

How it works?

The sun emits electromagnetic energy to plants. A portion of the electromagnetic energy is transmitted through the leaves. The sensor on the satellite detects the reflected energy. The data is then transmitted to the ground station. The data is analysed and displayed on field maps.

At Aryavarta Space Organization, we are initiating a similar kind of project with European partners from 8 countries. This project is focused on utilizing space technology – Remote Sensing and GIS Applications for innovative water management system by creating a common platform for seasonal weather forecasting, early in-season crop mapping, in-season water demand monitoring, long term irrigation forecasting, and soil moisture monitoring. Pilot demonstrations are to take place in a few European countries. We are working on preparing for the local pilot demonstration of this project and based on the result and analysis, we aim to extend the benefits to our base country – India, where agriculture is essential in our economy and utilizing space application, will help the agricultural sector through effective implementation of this project. We aim to develop a common platform, for directly accessible to the end users in, user friendly language (or through graphical representation) where all these information and data, about water irrigation, ground water sources, moisture level in the soil, weather forecasting..etc, will be available on a single click of a computer mouse or just a touch away on smart phone.

We should accept the fact that Rocket Science and Space Technologies are not as difficult as it is seen from the front, rather we are using space applications in almost at each stage, directly or indirectly, in our daily routine. Space is not just a cup of tea for space scientists, but it is a bowl of fruits for all those who has passion to know more and explore the space.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rushi GHADAWALA

President, International Affairs

Aryavarta Space Organization

Email: pd.aryavarta@gmail.com (official),

            info@aryavartaspace.org (secretariat)

Website: http://www.aryavartaspace.org

Visionaries in the Aerospace Sector

With more visionaries sprouting up in different pockets in India, the time has come now to implement new ideas. I am enclosing extracts of a paper proposing REFORMS FOR A DYNAMIC AVIATION PRODUCTION ECO-SYSTEM. Some of these were taken from Dr. R.K. Tyagi’s presentation at our High-Tech Forum – HAL.

Kudos to HAL for setting up an Aeronautical University.