TEHELKA: Has it happened to you before?
MAJ. S.J. SINGH: Why not? So that's why we are very
cautious about…. When we handle the subject, we handle it
at the appropriate level. To start with, associate them right
from the beginning…word 'go'. So the…the meter, as I say,
is down from the moment the word 'go'.
to say, all this has a deeper significance. For in the
the five-star hotel we are in, Major Singh has Major General
Singh (GOC), infantry chief of the Drass-Kargil sector
in Jammu &
Kashmir, based in Nimu, waiting for us. The General is
on leave and an
old friend of Major Singh. Under infantry chief Major
Prasad, he will be responsible for the trials of the HHTs.
was already conducting trials for Thomson-CSF and El-Op.
indeed, was all for involving the top brass from the very
TEHELKA [to Satnam Singh]: How long will the
evaluation trials take, like…the Thomson and the El-Op?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: See, we can't be very specific
about it. It is based on the type of equipment we have…you
know, like, if you are dealing with these Image Intensifiers,
they take much shorter time, than probably a weapon system
will take. Because, you know, it depends upon what are you
trying to see.
TEHELKA: But…it's everything is eventually returned,
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Yes, obviously.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: All the equipment…it's all
in the understanding. All the equipment that comes for trial
is basically of the firm. If they give it to us, then it all
TEHELKA: Yeah, at no-cost and…
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: So, you carry on trials, see
your performances that have been identified by the company.
See what we need. We either say 'yes', or we say 'no'. Or
we give, ki all right, if you can…if the company can
give us what we need. Because some people have the capability
to modify the equipment and things.
TEHELKA: What is the kind of…biggest problem you are
facing with them…if at all? Weight?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Problems, in what way?
TEHELKA: Weight? Bulk performance…?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: With what?
TEHELKA: The hand-held….
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: The imager?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: No, it's the quality of image
that counts. And, also the other criteria is the portability.
You see, if it is going to be a hand-held Image Intensifier,
it should be something that doesn't add too much of weight.
TEHELKA: Yeah, yeah. Obviously, obviously. That's where
we score. Yeah.
TEHELKA [interrupting]: Are you happy with the
evaluation of the other equipment that has come up so far?
Thomson and El-Op?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: It's…it's…it's not been fully
accepted as such. It has still to come to my area for trials.
TEHELKA: Okay. And this one, El-Op?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: El-Op has also not come to
me. They're still at the lower levels. Trials are going on.
TEHELKA: Lower levels meaning?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Means the plains…
LT. COL. BERRY: Terrain-wise…terrains.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: But they still have to move
up to my area.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: To the high altitude trials.
So we haven't really filed them off. So I can't give you an
opinion on that at all.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: But yes, we have feedbacks
of the trials of the desert region. There are some problems
there in that portion.
West End President Alvin D'Souza lets his imagination
loose, highlighting thereby how incredibly casual and
callous critical defence purchases have become. He talks
about how they could introduce an audio factor in the
TEHELKA: What we can do in ours, which is very rare,
is that we can put in movement locators. So immediately there's
human movement, there will be a beep that goes off.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Yeah, it's something like the
Battlefield Service Radars.
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: It gives you sound…
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: If there's something…
TEHELKA: Yeah, you're alerted immediately, so…
LT.COL. BERRY: An alert sound comes…?
TEHELKA: Yeah. There's a beep.
course, it would be interesting if one asked General
Satnam Singh directly about the evaluation procedure.
TEHELKA: So you've been involved in the evaluation
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Yeah, yeah.
TEHELKA: Of various products?
LT.COL BERRY [answering for Satnam Singh]: A
number of times...
TEHELKA: Basically you are in the field job?
MAJ. GEN. SATNAM SINGH: Yes, I am in the operational