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Thread: After Gorshkov now its Trenton

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    After Gorshkov now its Trenton

    US disarms Indian ship
    - Purchase terms disallow use in war, permit American onboard survey

    SUJAN DUTTA

    New Delhi, March 14: India bought its second-largest warship, the INS Jalashva, from the US after signing away the authority to use the vessel in the event of a war. It has also granted an unprecedented right to the US to board and take an inventory of the ship’s capabilities whenever it wants to.

    The acceptance of a “restrictive clause” in the contract for the ship — it cost about $50 million (around Rs 202 crore) — is political dynamite in India. The Left has been suspecting that India is bending, if not breaking, convention to accommodate US interests as it pursues closer military relations with the Pentagon.

    By the navy’s definition, a warship is a “sovereign piece of territory in the seas”. But the US has been granted the right to embark the ship even after selling it to the Indian Navy.

    In accepting the Pentagon’s condition that the ship should not be used for “offensive deployment” but only for relief — such as after the Tsunami of December 2004 — the Indian Navy has given up its right to use the vessel for the purpose for which it was built by the US Navy itself.

    This damning capitulation of the Indian Navy to conditions imposed by the Pentagon was revealed in a close reading of a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CA 5 of 2008) tabled in Parliament today. The report does not name the ship, identifying it only as ship ‘X’ before its induction into the Indian Navy and ship ‘Z’ after it joined the fleet.

    It, however, describes it as a “landing platform dock commissioned in a foreign navy in 1971”. The Jalashva — called the USS Trenton when it was in service with the US Navy — is the only vessel that fits the description. It joined India’s eastern fleet in September 2007 and is based in Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command.

    “These issues are all valid and have been raised before,” Admiral (retired) Arun Prakash, who was the Chief of Naval Staff when the Jalashva was contracted, told The Telegraph this evening.

    A landing platform dock is used for evacuation — like the Trenton did during the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006 in the Mediterranean — and for offensive action like landing Marines from the sea to attack an enemy and capture hostile territory. The ship is a troops-carrier and is capable of taking within its hold armoured vehicles and tanks.

    The Jalashva’s six embarked SH-60 helicopters are capable of being used both for surveillance and attack. The Indian Navy intends using its small landing craft to transport its marine commandos (Marcos) in stealthy offensive and sabotage missions.

    The CAG report is explicit on India’s acceptance of the restrictive clause, however.

    “Restrictive clauses raise doubts about the real advantages from this deal. For example, restrictions on the offensive deployment of the ship and permission to the foreign government to conduct an inspection and inventory of all articles transferred under the End-Use monitoring clause of the Letter of Agreement (LOA). Given that the ship is of old vintage, Indian Navy would remain dependent upon foreign-based support,” the auditors wrote.

    The Indian Navy also bought the ship without physically verifying its state even though it had run its life and was being de-commissioned by the US Navy that found no further use for it, the CAG report has highlighted. The Indian Navy’s biggest ship is the Viraat.

    The CAG report’s focus is on the irregularities in the purchase of the Jalashva. The CAG’s remit does not include an examination of the political circumstances of a defence deal.

    Last month, six of the Jalashva’s crew died after a gas leak on board the vessel during a drill in the Bay of Bengal. A naval board of inquiry is investigating the cause of the leak but prima facie reports have pointed to a defect inherited by the Indian Navy.

    The US offered the ship to India in September 2004 under its Excess Defense Article (EDA) programme through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. The USS Trenton was due to be de-commissioned in September 2006. The Indian Navy was convinced “on the basis of a joint visual inspection with the foreign navy (September 2005) that the LPD would meet its requirements for the next 12 to 15 years”, the CAG report noted.

    But it pointed out that the non-negotiable offer of the US was accepted without a rigorous technical evaluation.


    http://www.telegraphindia.com/108031...ry_9023015.jsp
    “Aged U.S. warship comes with strings”

    Sandeep Dik****

    Curbs on offensive deployment; end-use clauses intrusive

    NEW DELHI: India’s most ambitious military acquisition from the United States to date comes with strings attached: there are restrictions on its offensive deployment. And further, the end-use monitoring clauses agreed upon by India could mean intrusive inspections.

    A damaging report on the purchase of USS Trenton tabled in Parliament on Friday noted that the $ 50-million deal was finalised after only a “visual inspection” and with “over-reliance” on information by the U.S. Navy.

    The Comptroller and Auditor-General raised doubts over the military efficacy of USS Trenton (now INS Jalashwa) especially in view of the “restrictions on offensive deployment” and permission to the U.S. to “conduct an inspection and inventory of all articles transferred under the end-use monitoring clause.”

    The report said: “Given that the ship is of old vintage [1971], the Indian Navy would remain dependent upon foreign based support … the cost [of refurbishment] may also go up further.”

    Moreover, the acquisition decision and inking of the contract took place the same day, signalling haste in purchasing the ship.

    A month ago, six Indian Navy sailors including an officer died aboard the same ship following a toxic gas leak. It later transpired that this class of ships had suffered from this problem and three U.S. Navy sailors lost their lives in a similar incident.
    Curbs not revealed

    In the past, neither India nor the U.S. revealed the existence of curbs on offensive deployment. Besides, in various interactions there was no mention of the end-use monitoring clause. An attempt during U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates’ recent visit to conclude an end-user clause for further exports of sensitive equipment was stymied by Defence Minister A.K. Antony. The end-user clause for the U.S. ship was signed when Pranab Mukherjee was Defence Minister.
    Australia’s case

    The Indian Navy also did not draw lessons from Australia’s purchase of similar ships from the U.S. without proper examination, causing time overruns from one to three years and cost escalation by three times. The Navy seemed to be facing a similar predicament because despite inducting the ship, it had to negotiate with a foreign firm for refurbishing the weapon systems and had to sign another agreement to ensure the supply of spares.

    Had the Indian Navy not opted for the ship, the U.S. would have decommissioned it in 2006.

    A simple “joint visual inspection” led Indian Navy officers to conclude that the ship would last for another 12-15 years. But the CAG report found that the U.S. Navy had concluded in 2003 that the ship was not suitable for modernisation and should be decommissioned.

    The CAG report may dampen the Navy’s interest in a U.S. offer to sell another ship of the same class. Jalashwa is the second biggest ship with the Indian Navy and is intended to fill a crucial gap in transporting a large number of men and equipment for beach assaults.

    http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/15/stor...1560871300.htm
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    imagine what has happened with the C130s and the P-8's if this is the case with this ship!
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt View Post
    imagine what has happened with the C130s and the P-8's if this is the case with this ship!
    Not really a fair comparison, the C-130 and P-8 will both be new build rather than second hand.
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    A lot of hubhub about nothing: IN will have its peacetime use and in case of an actual military conflict 'in our time', is it really realistic to assume that it would not be used? Or that its use would be prevented (short of sinking her, how?)

    Don't like the tone of these articles e.g. " damning capitulation of the Indian Navy to conditions imposed by the Pentagon "
    Uhm, who proved these conditions were 'imposed' (as opposed to 'agreed on')
    Uhm, who proved 'agreement' equals 'capitulation'

    For the price of $50 million, what is the whining all about? This ship is intended to develop operational concepts and train, and will in a relatively short time be replaced by new built capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanshan View Post
    A lot of hubhub about nothing: IN will have its peacetime use and in case of an actual military conflict 'in our time', is it really realistic to assume that it would not be used? Or that its use would be prevented (short of sinking her, how?)

    Don't like the tone of these articles e.g. " damning capitulation of the Indian Navy to conditions imposed by the Pentagon "
    Uhm, who proved these conditions were 'imposed' (as opposed to 'agreed on')
    Uhm, who proved 'agreement' equals 'capitulation'

    For the price of $50 million, what is the whining all about? This ship is intended to develop operational concepts and train, and will in a relatively short time be replaced by new built capability.
    Well, the last line of the article indicates the US basically made it a 'take it or leave it' choice. By taking them up on it, India did implicitly consent to the conditions and I agree that for disaster relief and development of operational concepts for amphibious warfare, the ship is a bargain for that price - even with the limitations imposed. However, it WILL make India wonder what strings America may attach to other arms deals (P-8, C-130J, MRCA...) already signed or still in the making, and rightfully so.

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    The answer is then to look elsewhere. If the IN signed a contract in the full knowledge of what strings were attached then any questions over the reasons and implications should be addressed to the IN, not the USA. If these strings are unnacceptable nobody forced the IN to buy, just like there is plenty of competition for the other equipment they may buy from the US. This isn't at all like Gorshkov where the IN signed a contract which has deviated from what was agreed by a massive amount in both price and delivery schedules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trident View Post
    Well, the last line of the article indicates the US basically made it a 'take it or leave it' choice. By taking them up on it, India did implicitly consent to the conditions and I agree that for disaster relief and development of operational concepts for amphibious warfare, the ship is a bargain for that price - even with the limitations imposed. However, it WILL make India wonder what strings America may attach to other arms deals (P-8, C-130J, MRCA...) already signed or still in the making, and rightfully so.
    In fairness when this thing was bought the Indian were pretty explicit that its primary role would be disaster relief anyway. I know that some people would love this ship to be the start of some great Indian ocean going amphibious force but it was never going to be so. I suspect that the Indian Navy/Government does not feel like it has sacrificed much with this deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sealordlawrence View Post
    In fairness when this thing was bought the Indian were pretty explicit that its primary role would be disaster relief anyway. ....
    It's also for experience in operating a dock landing ship, something which the IN has never had before. The operational restrictions won't affect that. AFAIK, the IN intends to buy new LHDs/LPDs at some point, when Trenton can be retired.

    But it's obvious that such restrictions would be unacceptable for most other classes of ship, e.g. the proposals that India might buy an ex-USN LHA as a gap-filling aircraft carrier substitute should fall at the first hurdle on restrictions such as these.

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    India gets a major disaster-relief asset, gets to develop doctrines & techniques for use of such ships in many areas, and gets to conduct a detailed, years-long technical evaluation of a very successful design and type.

    This will enable them to build their own in the future.


    Additionally, the line "But the CAG report found that the U.S. Navy had concluded in 2003 that the ship was not suitable for modernisation and should be decommissioned." is more than a little deceptive, as the USN is modernizing NONE of the class, but is replacing them with larger, much more capable, much more modern new ships (see San Antonio class LPD).

    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/lpd-17.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio-class

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbinia View Post
    The answer is then to look elsewhere. If the IN signed a contract in the full knowledge of what strings were attached then any questions over the reasons and implications should be addressed to the IN, not the USA. If these strings are unnacceptable nobody forced the IN to buy, just like there is plenty of competition for the other equipment they may buy from the US. This isn't at all like Gorshkov where the IN signed a contract which has deviated from what was agreed by a massive amount in both price and delivery schedules.
    Quote Originally Posted by sealordlawrence View Post
    In fairness when this thing was bought the Indian were pretty explicit that its primary role would be disaster relief anyway. I know that some people would love this ship to be the start of some great Indian ocean going amphibious force but it was never going to be so. I suspect that the Indian Navy/Government does not feel like it has sacrificed much with this deal.
    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    It's also for experience in operating a dock landing ship, something which the IN has never had before. The operational restrictions won't affect that. AFAIK, the IN intends to buy new LHDs/LPDs at some point, when Trenton can be retired.

    But it's obvious that such restrictions would be unacceptable for most other classes of ship, e.g. the proposals that India might buy an ex-USN LHA as a gap-filling aircraft carrier substitute should fall at the first hurdle on restrictions such as these.
    In short - all 4 of us are in full agreement The restrictions will not affect India's intended use of Trenton in particular - but if similar limitations were to be imposed on other US arms sales in general, they would likely be unacceptable.

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    Interesting responses.More or less agree with Trident , swerve and SLL.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wanshan View Post
    Or that its use would be prevented (short of sinking her, how?)
    Its use cannot be prevented per se, but its use will put a bar upon future maintenance,refurbishment(of the ship+the helos) for which IN is still dependent on the US.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trident View Post
    The restrictions will not affect India's intended use of Trenton in particular - but if similar limitations were to be imposed on other US arms sales in general, they would likely be unacceptable.
    I think your appraisal of the situation is more or less correct.Realistically thinking there isnt much chance that it will take part in an actual war(of course with our volatile neighbours you never know for certain )but what all of this has done is to make tiny alarm bells ringing in the corner of the mind.Also note what the ex-Admiral says.Now the question is do things like these affect other deals?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbinia View Post
    This isn't at all like Gorshkov where the IN signed a contract which has deviated from what was agreed by a massive amount in both price and delivery schedules.
    I am not saying its like the Gorshkov.Its just another controversy for the IN to deal with after the gorshkov fiasco.
    The answer is then to look elsewhere. If the IN signed a contract in the full knowledge of what strings were attached then any questions over the reasons and implications should be addressed to the IN, not the USA. If these strings are unnacceptable nobody forced the IN to buy, just like there is plenty of competition for the other equipment they may buy from the US.
    I am sure thats correct and the IN knew all along about the clauses and restrictions.And the US is not being blamed for the clauses they put in.They did what they had to do according to their interest.But the fact that those were accepted by the procuring party.And also the fact that if there isnt any realistic chance that this will be used in an actual war and that it is an old ship why put in the clauses at all?And the other more important issue >>In the era of increasing India-US cooperation if US could put in restrictions for a old LPD..what happens with future deals in offensive equipment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayrubik View Post
    Its use cannot be prevented per se, but its use will put a bar upon future maintenance,refurbishment(of the ship+the helos) for which IN is still dependent on the US.
    Most of INs Sea King fleet comes from the UK. I'm sure AgustaWestland or Pratt & Whitney Canada could handle maintenance or refurb of six H-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters if the US did not want to provide these services.
    As for the ship itself, do consider it's an LPD, not an AEGIS cruiser. WIth IN's track record of keeping old ships operatioal (e.g. 2 vintage carriers), I'm sure their yards can handle Trenton if need be. What little weapons it has (e.g. Phalanx) can be replaced (e.g. Kashtan). There is little - if any - dependence on US support in general in IN, IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanshan View Post
    Most of INs Sea King fleet comes from the UK. I'm sure AgustaWestland or Pratt & Whitney Canada could handle maintenance or refurb of six H-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters if the US did not want to provide these services.
    As for the ship itself, do consider it's an LPD, not an AEGIS cruiser. WIth IN's track record of keeping old ships operatioal (e.g. 2 vintage carriers), I'm sure their yards can handle Trenton if need be. What little weapons it has (e.g. Phalanx) can be replaced (e.g. Kashtan). There is little - if any - dependence on US support in general in IN, IIRC.
    The Sea king issue is still a sore point between those two parties. Unfortunately the UK Industry involuntarily in a lot of cases has been put on a very short lease by the US.

    This does make one wonder what will happen when things like the P-8 are bought. I still remember the deal with the earlier P-3s where India would have had to declare where and how it would use those aircraft and get permission from the US before doing so!

    Congress as ever is selling Indian Interests and soveriegnty for no real good reason.
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    The real issue is why all the strings?

    Why would it be so important for the US to ensure that the Indians can't use such a ship in combat... as mentioned it is hardly an AEGIS cruiser.

    I think the obvious answer must be that they don't want India to use it against Pakistan. In fact I think if India and China ever came to blows (unlikely as that might be) that the US might say on the quiet that they could use it for that conflict, but a conflict between India and Pakistan it would be the deal with strings followed to the letter or else.

    The irony is that as mentioned this will be used as a learning exercise so the Indians will have a better idea of how to design and use future designs in this ship category. As such the purchase might not be used directly against Pakistan but it will lead to the creation of vessels and tactics that may be used in the event of war... with whomever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarryB View Post
    The real issue is why all the strings?

    Why would it be so important for the US to ensure that the Indians can't use such a ship in combat... as mentioned it is hardly an AEGIS cruiser.

    I think the obvious answer must be that they don't want India to use it against Pakistan. In fact I think if India and China ever came to blows (unlikely as that might be) that the US might say on the quiet that they could use it for that conflict, but a conflict between India and Pakistan it would be the deal with strings followed to the letter or else.

    The irony is that as mentioned this will be used as a learning exercise so the Indians will have a better idea of how to design and use future designs in this ship category. As such the purchase might not be used directly against Pakistan but it will lead to the creation of vessels and tactics that may be used in the event of war... with whomever.
    Could be any of several reasons, including:
    1. Because US doesn't want to p off Pakistan, which it need in the 'war against terrorism
    2. Because it is a way to keep the price of the vessel low
    3. to sell the deal at home: I'm sure this is cheaper for USN than other methods of disposal of old ships
    4. because America has to slowly establish closer relations with India, which for a long time was a 'non-aligned' country, which happened to get a lot of its weaponry from the Soviet Union. Once more trust is established, other deals become feasible (i.e. test case)

    I you ask me, those strings are a wax nose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rayrubik View Post
    I am not saying its like the Gorshkov.Its just another controversy for the IN to deal with after the gorshkov fiasco.

    I am sure thats correct and the IN knew all along about the clauses and restrictions.And the US is not being blamed for the clauses they put in.They did what they had to do according to their interest.But the fact that those were accepted by the procuring party.And also the fact that if there isnt any realistic chance that this will be used in an actual war and that it is an old ship why put in the clauses at all?And the other more important issue >>In the era of increasing India-US cooperation if US could put in restrictions for a old LPD..what happens with future deals in offensive equipment?
    This is only a controversey because it seems certain Indian political parties want it to be, the vendor offered sales terms, the purchaser accepted and the deal was done, there was nothing underhand from the US and so there is no way the purchaser can complain about the sale conditions. And this is irrelevant to future deals, any future deals will be negotiated on a case by case basis.

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    Thanks for the replies.The IN and US has hit back at the CAG and thats relieving because nobody wants to see another deal-strings-sanction cycle to begin!

    No restrictions on deployment of Jalashwa: Navy

    Ridiculling a report by the national auditor that raised doubts over the ‘restrictive clauses’ on the deployment of INS Jalashwa—a former US Navy troop carrier—the Navy has said that the warship can be used in all roles possible and India has written permission from the US for the same.
    US too says Jalashwa can be used in all roles

    “There are no unique terms or language associated with the transfer. The same applies to hundreds of ships we have transferred (in the past) and do not limit the use of the warship by a sovereign country in achieving its national objectives,” Winter, who is on a three day visit to India, told reporters in the Capital on Friday.
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    A storm in a teacup from the notoriously touchy Indian media.

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    Hi,

    Will INS Jalashva L-41 (former USS Trenton LPD-14) keep the original armament?
    What modifications are intend to be made by the Indian Navy on this ship?
    I have a JAG 1/700 LPD class ship to build, and I would like to build the INS Jalasshava L-41.

    What changes are nedeed?

    thanks in advance
    Ayala Botto
    Lisbon, Portugal

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    Quote Originally Posted by AyalaBotto View Post
    Hi,

    Will INS Jalashva L-41 (former USS Trenton LPD-14) keep the original armament?
    What modifications are intend to be made by the Indian Navy on this ship?
    I have a JAG 1/700 LPD class ship to build, and I would like to build the INS Jalasshava L-41.

    What changes are nedeed?

    thanks in advance
    Ayala Botto
    Lisbon, Portugal
    The Trenton has already been commissioned in the IN on June'07.
    To read more about it http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/Jalashwa.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by AyalaBotto View Post
    Hi,

    Will INS Jalashva L-41 (former USS Trenton LPD-14) keep the original armament?
    What modifications are intend to be made by the Indian Navy on this ship?
    I have a JAG 1/700 LPD class ship to build, and I would like to build the INS Jalasshava L-41.

    What changes are nedeed?

    thanks in advance
    Ayala Botto
    Lisbon, Portugal
    For its intended purposes, NONE! Its a great old ship as she is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Toby View Post
    For its intended purposes, NONE! Its a great old ship as she is!
    She's still carrying 2 Phalanx CIWS, 2 Mk 38 25mm guns and 8 .50-calibre machine guns.

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    All FMS sales of the US has the same boiler plate language. Haven't you ever heard of buying used items AS IS. As the defense secretary said, there aren't any restrictions. National defense usage is legitimate. The boiler plate language is to protect the US in its courts from any potential lawsuit.

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