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Contents - October 2003

The Drone Dilemma
Air Cdre (Retd) KHALID IQBAL

Drone and suicide bomber are new facets of warfare. Drone is a bomb without man and suicide bomber represents the man as a bomb. Drone is an innocent looking name given to an unmanned aircraft or a remotely piloted aircraft, incorporating the entire range of lethal weapons that a piloted aircraft could carry. Drone functions through direction given to it from a ground or air borne command station via a data link; some of the versions also operate as a self-directing entity. As drone technology replaces human eyes and brain with machines to make the final decision to fire, warfare tends to become bloodier, especially in terms of collateral damage and, as a corollary, less accountable. Faulty intelligence often results in engaging wrong targets; at times informants have their own motives for naming their neighbours or their enemies as hostile combatants...........more

Rafale Fighters for
the Indian Air Force

Contributing Editor Air Marshal (Retd) AYAZ AHMED KHAN

India on Tuesday January 31, 2012, selected French jet Rafale over the Eurofighter Typhoon for the Indian Air Force, by nominating Dassault Aviation of France as the preffered bidder. After this gigantic military deal of $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) procurement program the frantic search by Indian Air Force for a new 5th generation MMRCA is likely to end. The IAF has been evaluating the Euro-fighter Typhoon being jointly built by UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, American F-18 Super Hornets, and F-16 -Falcon Super Vipers, Russians Mig-35, and Swedish made Saab 35 . In the hotly-contested race French two engine Rafale MMRCA fighter is the preferred choice and is the likely winner....... ....more

Salala Probe Report
by the Pentagon

The NATO investigation about the Salala attack has been completed two days ahead of the scheduled date. The full text of the report is yet to be released but some of the key findings were revealed in a press briefing by the Pentagon. In essence it has concluded that the unfortunate incident was not deliberate but occurred due to a series of errors and misunderstandings by both the parties. It does, however, reluctantly concede that ISAF and ANA forces that were operating near the border against the Afghan Taliban militants share some of the blame for the fiasco – but it was unintentional as the event was precipitated by what the ISAF and ANA troops considered provocation in the form of fire from the direction of the two outposts across the Durand Line....more

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