Bought: Green Pine Radars From Israel, No Spy Satellites Yet

New Delhi, June 28: | Updated: Jun 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Although India has acquired the advanced Green Pine Radars from Israel, government has not made any headway on acquisition of spy satellites or anti-missile shield as these systems are still under development by Tel Aviv, defence secretary Yogendra Narain said on Friday.

“We have acquired the Green Pine Radars after discussions for the past three to four years,” Mr Narain said. He added that the radar, which is mainly used in the role of air-borne warning and control system (AWACS) when mounted on a flying platform, would be used for “advanced research” purposes. Mr Narain was talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function to flag-in the successful NCC expedition to Bandarpunch Peak in Garwhal Himalayas.

On media reports that New Delhi had requested Israel for ‘Ofek’ spy satellite and arrow anti-missile, he said talks had not centered on these systems as they were not operational. However, he confirmed that a high level Israeli defence delegation recently visited the country. The Israeli delegation, headed by Major General Amos Yaron, director general of Israeli defence Ministry, was part of “frequent interaction” between the two governments, Mr Narain said.

On the Israeli Phalcon AWACS project, the defence secretary said this was highly operational matters and could not be disclosed.

Mr Narain said as part of moves to check infiltration across the line of control (LoC) in J & K, the defence ministry had cleared purchase of all varieties of night vision devices in large numbers. He said the Army had projected these as “prime requirement” in checking infiltration and counter insurgency operations, and the ministry was trying its best to ensure that a large number of hand-held thermals were provided to the forces.

New Delhi was trying to find the best available technology to monitor infiltrations, he added.

“Our search is on for advanced remote sensing sensors to check infiltration,” he said adding that no deal had been finalised on this with any country.

The defence secretary disclosed that government had recently sanctioned Rs 30 crore to the Army to prepare a medal winning team for the 2004 Olympics, to be held in Greece.

Mr Narain asserted that there would be no pull back of troops from the borders till October, and said some tactical re-deployment could take place.

He, however, said that military deployment was not his domain, adding that the re-deployment could be in the form of holding of more combined exercises.

Lauding the feat of NCC climbers in scaling the formidable Bandarpunch Peak, he said as part of efforts to universalise the corp, government during the last 20 months had sanctioned an augmentation of the force by 75,000 cadets.

He said new cadets would be mostly drawn from the North-eastern states and J & K and all the expenses would be borne by the Central government.