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April 23, 2018

Thales looking at role in India’s nuclear submarine project


French defence company Thales has said it is working on doubling its footprint in India by expanding its overall product portfolios with a major focus on India’s ambitious project to build a fleet of nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Senior Executive Vice-President (International Development) Pascale Sourisse said Thales was in particular looking at supplying key components such as sonars for India’s nuclear-powered and other submarines.

India has been working on a secret project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines which are expected to boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities. The government had last year also begun the process to acquire six conventionally-powered advanced stealth submarines at a cost of around Rs 60,000 crore under project P-75 (I).

“We can equip any kind of submarines including nuclear-powered submarines. We are equipping nuclear submarines in France,” the senior executive of Europe’s largest defence electronics company told PTI in an interview.

Six Scorpene-class submarines are currently being built under ‘Project 75’ of the Indian Navy. The submarines, designed by French firm Naval Group, are being built by the Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. The project P-75 (I) will be a follow-on for Project 75.

Sourisse said India was one of the top three priority markets for Thales and the company planned to double its footprint in the country in the next two or three years by ramping up its supply chain and building a sustainable ecosystem of partners.

Thales expected defence manufacturing in India to grow because of the government’s initiatives in boosting the production of weapons and military platforms, she said.

In particular, she referred to the government’s decision to raise foreign direct investment in defence manufacturing to 74 per cent for certain niche segments.

Sourisse said the Thales strategy was not only to support the government’s “Make in India” policy but also exports from India.

India is expected to spend close to USD 300 billion in the next five years in procuring defence equipment and almost all major global defence firms are eyeing a slice of it.

“We are in India for 65 years. Since 1953, we have been working with the Indian Air Force, the Navy and the Army,” she said, adding the company was looking to expand its product portfolio as well supplies to all the three forces.

When asked about the project to upgrade the IAF’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets, Sourisse said it was moving along “very well”. Thales is a part of the project along with Dassault Aviation.

On the Rafale deal, she said it would be a “win-win” proposition for India. Thales will provide equipment and systems that are expected to account for about 25 per cent of the total value of each Rafale.

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

In the naval domain, Sourisse said Thales was ready to produce its premier Search Master radar in India under the “Make in India” initiative.She said the company was keen to produce various equipment and surveillance devices for the Indian Air Force as well and particularly mentioned the fire control radar solution.

Last week, Thales and India’s MKU Limited had joined hands for the development and production of optronic devices and F90 close quarter battle (CQB) rifle for soldiers.

The optronic devices and F90 rifles will be manufactured in India at MKU’s facilities in Kanpur.

Thales has been providing avionics and other equipment to the state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for over four decades and Sourisse said the company was now looking at expanding the association further.

Earlier this week, Thales set up a new office in Bengaluru as part of its plans to strengthening its presence in India.

 gulfnews

India to Add Seven More Advanced Airfields Near Border With China


India will build seven new Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) along the border with China in Arunachal Pradesh for the Indian Air Force (IAF) apart from modernising the eight existing ones, Sputnik has reported.

The announcement came after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman witnessed air operations in Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat and Dollungmukh as part of the ongoing Gagan Shakti exercise.

“The Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) of the IAF in Arunachal Pradesh will be further built as part of the modernisation. We will develop all of them and even expand some in the frontier areas, that’s certain,” Sitharaman said.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa confirmed this, “As part of the expansion plan, seven more ALGs will be constructed for military operations in Arunachal Pradesh in addition to the existing eight ALGs in the easternmost state.”

For the exercise, which began on 10 April, the IAF has mobilised more than 1100 combat, transport and rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft to conduct all terrain operations – desert, high altitude, maritime and special operations – in real time scenarios. Over 300 officers and 15,000 airmen have also been mobilised to participate in the exercise.

In the last few years, India has operationalised a number of ALGs along the border with China, mainly in Arunachal Pradesh including ALGs in Pasighat, Ziro, Along and Walong. The process of reconstructing ALGs along the border with China was started in 2009.

The IAF recently landed its C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft at the ALG located in Mechuka, a small town in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The ALG, operationalised in 2016, is located at an elevation of about 1830 metres.

 sputniknews

India wants US to waive sanctions over Russia deal


India is likely to ask the United States for exemptions from sanctions to clear its way to ink a deal to procure S-400 air defence missile system from Russia.

New Delhi has been negotiating a contract with Russia’s state-owned Almaz-Antey Corporation to procure the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missiles. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu discussed the proposed deal when they met in Moscow on April 3 and discussed bilateral military cooperation.

Moscow’s envoy to New Delhi, Nikolay Kudashev, recently said that the negotiation on the contract might be concluded before Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosts Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi for the annual bilateral summit next October.

Sources in New Delhi told the DH that the government was also assessing if the deal would make India liable for actions by President Donald Trump’s administration in Washington DC under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The US Congress in July 2017 passed the CAATSA to impose sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Trump signed it into law in August 2017 and its scope was further expanded in October 2017.

The Section 231 of the CAATSA mandated secondary sanctions to any nation entering into high-value deals to procure military hardware from Russia. The proposed India-Russia S-400 deal is estimated to be worth about $ 5.5 billion (Rs 39,000 crore).

New Delhi and Washington already had some discussion on the possibility of the US granting India a waiver from the CAATSA sanctions, thus clearing the hurdle for it to ink the contract for procuring the missile system from Russia.

Sources said that New Delhi had conveyed it to Washington that India could not abruptly scale down its reliance on military hardware from Russia, given the decades-old history of defence cooperation between the two countries. It was also made clear that India-US strategic partnership, particularly the bilateral defence cooperation, might be at risk if the Trump administration did not assure New Delhi of the exemption from CAATSA sanctions, added the sources.

Russia claims that its S-400 air defence missile system is effective against offensive actions by US F-35 stealth multi-role fighter jets. What has of late prompted New Delhi to seek early conclusion of the negotiation on the deal are reports that Russia has already started supplying the S-400s to China.

India and Russia in 2016 inked an inter-governmental agreement for procuring the S-400 air defence missile system. Both sides have since been negotiating the contract.

 deccanherald

April 21, 2018

Dassault Reports Rafale Progress in India


The training of Indian pilots and maintenance personnel in preparation for delivery of Rafale fighters is in progress in France, Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier told AIN in describing progress with the Indian air force contract for 36 Rafale fighters. He also commented on the latest Indian request for information (RFI) for more new fighters while visiting India as head of a delegation from the French Aerospace Industries Association (French acronym: GIFAS). However, Trappier made only passing reference to the financial and legal troubles that have recently beset the Reliance Group, Dassault’s partner in India for the Rafale contract.

In addition to the training in France, India is preparing a hangar at the Reliance Defence facility at Nagpur, where parts for the Rafale are being made, with deliveries to start this year. Dassault Aviation has started looking for more offset partners. Major subcontractors to the French manufacturer that have already tied up with Indian companies include engine maker Safran and Dassault Systèmes, providing 3D modeling and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. Thales announced last year it would develop Indian capabilities to integrate and maintain the radar and electronic warfare sensors at the Nagpur facility along with an Indian supply chain for manufacturing microwave technologies and high performance airborne electronics.

Currently, the Reliance Group's flagship company, Reliance Communications, is embroiled in court cases brought by minority shareholders, and stemming from its inability to repay lenders. The group has debts of $18 billion. A senior official at the Indian MoD has questioned the status of Reliance Defence, since the MoD’s Defense Procurement Policy is very strict on the credit rating of vendors. However, a Reliance official at the Nagpur facility told AIN: “The legal case has nothing to do with Reliance Defence, which is a part of [a separate] subsidiary, Reliance Infrastructure.”

Trappier said that Dassault is busy responding to the recently released RFI for 110 more fighters. The request cites 75 percent of these as single-seaters and the remainder as two-seaters. A maximum of 15 percent of the aircraft would be delivered in a flyaway state, with the remainder to be made in India by a Strategic Partner/Indian Production Agency. The current RFI dropped an earlier stipulation that the new fighters be single-engine.
 But the Dassault chief declined to confirm that Reliance would be the partner in bidding for the 110 fighters. “There is a process of the RFI, and we will see at the time of the Request for Proposal…there is nothing as of now,” he said. “We need a variety of other suppliers [and] we are ready to transfer technology, because my government supports this and our own commitment to India,” he added.

Trappier also noted that the Indian Navy requirement for 57 carrier-capable fighters would be best met by the Rafale naval variant. However, the seaborne Rafale currently used by the French is built for CATOBAR operations (catapult assisted takeoff but arrested recovery). The Indian Navy's current aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the forthcoming Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-1 are designed for STOBAR operations (short takeoff but arrested recovery)

 ainonline

Shortage of funds delaying strategic roads along China border


While infrastructure development along the China border was the most important issue discussed in the bi-annual Army Commanders’ Conference, the issue of shortage of funds leading to delay in strategic road projects was also deliberated upon at the mega military event.

The matter pertained to the dearth of funds in the hands of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which in turn, is leading to delays in completing strategic roads along the frontier with China, officials said today.

As a response to the money crunch, funds meant for General Staff (GS) roads are being diverted for the higher priority India-China Border Roads (ICBRs). This is likely to affect the 200-odd GS roads that ensure inter-valley and inter-sector movement of troops and equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

On the other hand, the ICBRs are meant for much larger mobilisation efforts.

The inadequate budget for the strategic roads and infrastructure development along the northern borders has also been highlighted by the Indian Army’s Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand, who informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence that the allocation for these tasks is falling short by about Rs 902 crore.

Speaking about the event, Lt Gen A K Sharma, the army’s Director General Staff Duties, said: “Senior commanders deliberated at length on the prevailing situations along the northern borders, the capacity building endeavours including infrastructural development and measures to provide them requisite impetus.”

Earlier this week, the BRO, which a primary construction agency for border infrastructure development, gave a presentation at the conference, providing an update on the work it has been carrying out along the northern borders, the funds it has received and how it is falling short of their requirement. “Only 60 per cent of demands for funds for all roads under the BRO are being met. This is not enough. Due to the shortage, all road projects, including of the 61 ICBRs and GS roads, will be delayed and cannot be completed on time,” said officials privy to the matter.

There are 73 planned ICBRs whose construction began in 1999. The BRO has been tasked to construct 61 of them, out of which 28 have been completed and the remaining 33 are expected to be completed by 2022.

The matter was also raised in one of the reports tabled in Parliament by the Standing Committee on Defence. The Director General Border Roads had flagged off concerns over the completion of road projects saying: “This year, we have made a slight policy change because these have a fixed timeline of 2022. Dedicated fund is being allocated for east ICBR out of my budget. While I understand this may affect the other GS roads to some extent, this is a criticality for the nation and we have taken this. So, we will be allocating the budget ICBR-wise first.”

 economictimes

Lack of funds trouble defence forces! Indian Army lists out weapon systems it can’t afford to buy


The Indian Army has listed out ammunition and spares that it cannot afford to procure despite the fact that the existing power of the arsenal would not be enough for even 10 days of war, reported IE. It is mandated that the Indian Army has enough ammunition to carry out at least 40 days of intense war. But, the stocks in the arsenal suggest that India can go on for mere 10 days. The Indian Army has listed out weapon systems such as smerch rockets, battle tanks and even some missiles. The army is also formally likely to accept that it was fewer resources for fighting 10 days of war.

After the recent DefExpo 2018, Ashok Leyland bagged the order to supply HMV 10×10 vehicles to the Indian Army. These will be used to carry smerch rockets. The smerch rocker is a Russian made multiple launch rocket system. It is used to target soft targets, artillery batteries and command posts. Another weapon system that the Army listed was the 9M113 Konkurs, the Anti Tank Guided Missile system and the T-90 battle tank. It was reported that the Indian Army did not have enough funds to procure more of these weapon systems, that are crucial for the intense war situation.

According to the Indian Army, the listed weapon systems are extremely expensive. The cost of one unit of T-90 battle tank is estimated to be around Rs 30 crore. Indian which already has around 40 smerch missile systems, is in no position to buy more of it, as it costs beyond the existing budget. It was reported that routine funds were being diverted for these procurements, resulting in a crisis where Indian army has been lacking required ammunition and spares.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 3,59,894 crore to the Ministry of Defence in this budget session. This budget allocation for defence is the lowest since past one decade. The budget allocation for defence had amounted only 2.3 per cent of India’s GDP. It was reported that the defence forces are in dire need of ammunition and is suffering from a shortage of funds.

This key issue has been constantly been pressed upon and has also been brought up in the ongoing Army Commanders Conference. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence had also highlighted the increasing needs of the Indian defence forces and CAG reports also spoke about the critical shortage of ammunition in the Army.Last year, the Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Sarath Chand had also termed, 65% of arms with India to be in ‘vintage category’.
 It was also reported that the army wishes not to spend its resources on sustaining its existing equipment, but would rather go for procuring new weapon systems. A month earlier, Army Chief Bipin Rawat had said that Indian Army can maintain preparedness and its active operational activities within the budget that has been allocated for the armed forces. However, he had also said that the army would have been happier if they were allocated more budget.

financialexpress

UVZ, Punj Corp tie up to service T-72, T-90 tanks of Indian Army


Russian firm UVZ and Punj Corporation Pvt Ltd (PCPL) have tied up to undertake repair and maintenance of T-72 and T-90 tank engines and radiators in India.

UralVagonZavod (UVZ), which makes main battle tanks, has also appointed PCPL as its sole representative to undertake the repair and maintenance work in India, the companies said in a joint statement today.

An agreement to this effect has been signed between both the companies in Chennai earlier this month, it said.

Indian Army and the Indian Ordnance Board would be able to meet the critical material and logistics supply gaps for T-72 and T-90 Tanks through Indian Rupee procurement.

Awadhesh Mishra, CEO of PCPL told that this agreement would result in an expected business of around Rs 1,000 crore every year as there is a big backlog of repair work of these tanks in India.

The UVZ has said that for all the maintenance and repair activities undertaken by the PCPL including supply of required spares, the UVZ would provide full technical support, personnel and ensure conformance to quality.

It said that India has over more than 4,000 tanks and its serviceability and maintenance has been a major cause of concern.

Igor Kolikov, the Deputy Director General of UVZ has said the requirement of a suitable and simpler mechanism to improve the serviceability of tanks has been a long pending demand of the Indian government. This has now been initiated through the participation of Indian private industry. Mishra said the establishment of a Private Service Centre is the first step in realisation of the Technical Service setup in India and reinforces the commitment by the UVZ to improve the overall serviceability of the UVZ products in India.

Suitable quality control and mobilisation of personnel as per OEM (original equipment manufacturers) guidelines shall be enforced to ensure timely delivery with greater degree of self-reliance, Mishra said in the statement.

UVZ and PCPL have also decided to cooperate in implementation of the "GOCO" (government owned, contractor operated) model for operation of the Army Base Workshops in keeping with the "Make in India" initiative of the government, it added.

economictimes

Delegation assess Ka-226T helicopter’s performance in Russia


Representatives from the Ministry of Defence recently visited the Kamov Helicopter facility in Moscow and witnessed the performance of Ka-226T helicopters. Russian Helicopters which is a parent company of Kamov Helicopters has been chosen to deliver around 200 units of Ka-226T rotorcraft to India. Earlier, it was decided that the helicopters will be developed by Indo Russian Helicopter Pvt Ltd (IRHL), a joint facility of Russian Helicopters and HAL in Tumakuru in Karnataka.

The officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Indian military officers took part in the demonstration flight of Ka-226T. This visit by the MoD officials comes within the framework of the procurement process. The delegation also visited prototype production facility and design bureau of the Kamov Helicopters.
The delegation also saw the digital models of Ka-226T, first digitally developed Russian rotorcraft.

The production of the same rotorcraft will be initially set up at Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant of Russian Helicopters, and will later be transferred to the joint facility at Tumakuru, under the ambitious Make in India initiative. However, the Ka-226T that will be produced in India will bear a different technical configuration catering exclusively for the Indian defence forces.

The delegation level visit which was earlier discussed during Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Moscow has proved to be very beneficial. The delegates were allowed to assess the performance levels of the Ka-226T copters. They were also able to gauge the scientific and technical potential of this Russian helicopter. Director General of Russian Helicopters Andrey Boginskiy said that they were really enthusiastic about delivering 200 units of the Ka-226T.

The light utility Ka-226T copter features a coaxial main rotor system. It has a maximum take-off weight of 3.6 tons. It also has a transporting payload capacity of 1 ton. The Ka-226T can be attached to transport cabin, which can shelter up to 6 people. It has also reported being cost-effective with high-end state-of-the-art avionics suite.

The Government of Karnataka has already allocated over 600 acres of land for the development of the project in Tumakuru. The capital of the joint venture is estimated to be at Rs 30 crore, with HAL holding shares up to 50.5 percent. Russian Helicopter holding 42.5 percent of shares and the rest by Rosoboronexport.

 financialexpress

April 20, 2018

$8.63-billion advanced fighter aircraft project with Russia put on ice


The proposal for India and Russia to jointly develop an advanced fighter — the eponymous Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — has been formally buried. Business Standard has learnt that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval conveyed the decision to a Russian ministerial delegation at a “Defence Acquisition Meeting” in end-February.

Doval and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra, who attended the meeting, asked the Russians to proceed alone with developing their fifth-generation fighter. They said India might possibly join the project later, or buy the fully developed fighter outright, after it entered service with the Russian Air Force.


New Delhi and Moscow have discussed the FGFA since 2007, when they agreed that Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) would partner Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau (Sukhoi) in developing and manufacturing the fighter. In 2010, Sukhoi flew the fighter, called Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, or “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (PAK-FA). Seven prototypes are currently in flight-testing.

Russia said the PAK-FA met its needs, but the India Air Force (IAF) wanted a better fighter. So HAL and Sukhoi negotiated an $8.63-billion deal to improve the PAK-FA with the IAF’s requirements of stealth (near-invisibility to radar), super-cruise (supersonic cruising speed), networking (real-time digital links with other battlefield systems) and airborne radar with world-beating range. In all, the IAF demanded some 50 improvements to the PAK-FA, including 360-degree radar and more powerful engines.

Defence ministry sources who played a direct role in negotiations with Russia say much of this money was earmarked for Indian production facilities for manufacturing 127 FGFAs, and for India’s work share in developing advanced avionics for the fighter. It also included the cost of four PAK-FA prototypes for IAF test pilots to fly.

Now, the IAF has backed away from the FGFA because it argues the PAK-FA — which Sukhoi has been test-flying since January 2010 — is not stealthy enough for a fifth-generation combat aircraft.

Aerospace analysts who support the PAK-FA reject this argument. They point out that the US Air Force F-22 Raptor, was built with an extraordinary degree of stealth, but that proved to be counterproductive, since it resulted in high maintenance and life-cycle costs. Burned by that emphasis on stealth alone, US designers de-emphasised stealth while building their latest fifth-generation fighter, the F-35 Lightning II. Instead, they focused on building its combat edge through better sensors, highly networked avionics and superior long-range weapons.
 The cancellation of the FGFA project has far-reaching implications for the IAF, for which this was once its high-tech future fighter. United Progressive Alliance (UPA) defence minister AK Antony had ruled out buying the F-35 Lightning II, arguing that India would have the FGFA to meet its fifth-generation fighter needs.

Indian aerospace designers also cited the FGFA experience as essential learning for developing the indigenous fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), which the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) is pursuing.

Now, the FGFA’s burial sets the stage for the IAF to eventually acquire the F-35 Lightning II, which comes in air force as well as naval variants. Indian military aviation, once overwhelmingly dependent upon Russian fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft, has steadily increased its purchases from America. On Tuesday, appearing before a US Senate panel for his confirmation hearings, Admiral Philip Davidson — nominated as the top US military commander in the Indo-Pacific, said the US should aspire to “break down” India’s historical dependence upon Russia.

The IAF has been split down the middle on the FGFA. Broadly, flying branch officers of the “French school”– whose careers have centred on the Mirage and Jaguar fighters — have tended to oppose the FGFA. Meanwhile, officers from the “Russian school”, their careers grounded in the MiG and Sukhoi fleet, have supported the FGFA.

Opponents of the FGFA have even argued that the project would duplicate and hinder the indigenous AMCA project. However, last July, an experts group headed by Air Marshal (Retired) S Varthaman, set up to consider this question, ruled that there were no conflict lines between the FGFA and AMCA. It stated that the technological expertise that would be gained from working with Russian experts would benefit the AMCA project.

In co-developing the FGFA, HAL was expected to deploy its experience in working with composite materials, which were to replace many of the metal fabricated panels on the PAK-FA. India was also expected to participate in designing the 360-degree active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. In addition, the experience of flight-testing the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft would be refined by flight-testing a heavier, more complex fighter.These challenges were expected to imbue Indian engineers with genuine design skills, of a far higher magnitude than the lessons learnt from licensed manufacture.

In addition, the FGFA’s foreclosure means the loss of $295 million that India sunk into its “preliminary design phase” between 2010 and 2013

 business-standard

Fund, ammunition shortage force Army to consider ending purchase of missile systems


In a desperate measure to compensate for a 15 to 20 per cent shortage of critical ammunition, spares and missiles, the Indian Army has proposed to cut down on the purchase of expensive items, as well as discontinue the purchase of spares for vintage platforms to save money.

Among the expensive items the army has identified for the proposal are heavy multiple rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons.

Top sources in the Ministry of Defence told India Today that the on-going Army Commanders Conference - a bi-annual conference of Army commanders chaired by the Indian Army Chief that decides on the future course of action - will discuss this grim situation.

However, even cutting down on purchases of expensive items and discontinuing the spares for vintage items will not be enough for the Indian Army, according to its own estimates.

The commanders will be told that by cutting down on buying expensive items and spares for vintage platform, the force will be able to save between Rs 600 crore and Rs 800 crore over the next three financial years.

But desperate measures will still leave them with a short-fall of critical ammunition requirement of about 15 to 25 per cent.

The Army commanders are likely to consider moving the government for additional funds, top sources indicated.

The three services - the Army, the Navy and the Air Force - were mandated to be ready to fight a 40-day war and, therefore, be equipped accordingly.

But faced with an acute shortage of funds, the government decided to cut down on the war reserves enough to fight short-intense war lasting not more than ten days.

The items that the Indian Army has identified to be expensive include heavy multiple rocket launchers that are used to destroy artillery batteries, command post of the enemy, anti-tank weapons and specialised mines used in battlefields.India Today is aware of the exact nature of the weapon systems but is not publishing the specifications for security reasons.

It must be noted that the stock of these items, currently, is not enough to fight a ten-day war. However, the Army commanders will be told to consider not to consider buying more of these items in order to save costs.

The Army commanders will also consider whether they should altogether stop buying spares for a certain type of air defence missile and certain type of high-mobility vehicles to transport machinery, which are considered to be vintage.

The shortage of critical ammunition and spares has been an issue of concern for the Indian Army. Recently, a Parliamentary committee had urged the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the allocations to the forces be suitably enhanced at the revised estimate stage so as to enable them to meet the requirements of highest level of operational readiness.

 indiatoday

Chinese Nuke-Capable H-6K Bombers Spotted Circling Defiant Taiwan (Again)


Nuclear-capable bombers in China’s People’s Liberation Army-Air Force carried out a “sacred” military patrol encircling Taiwan, the military announced Thursday.
"The motherland is in our hearts, and the jeweled island is in the bosom of the motherland," pilot Zhai Peisong said in a statement published on the PLA Air Force's microblog, adding, "defending the beautiful rivers and mountains of the motherland is the sacred mission of air force pilots."
The statement indicated that H-6K bombers conducted another patrol mission around "the jeweled island" of Taiwan "recently."

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry confirmed Thursday that on Wednesday afternoon, a pair of PLA Air Force H-6K bombers traveled over the Miyako Strait to the north of Taiwan before looping south and passing over the Bashi Channel en route to base.
Taipei blamed Beijing for escalating regional tensions with military threats, though in the eyes of the Chinese government, the self-ruling island is Chinese territory.
China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang told reporters that "independence separatist activities" presented the biggest threat to maritime security in the Taiwan Strait. "No force and no person should underestimate our resolve and strong ability to defend the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the office said Thursday.
 China has deliberately manipulated [the exercise] to pressure and harass Taiwan in an attempt to spark tensions between the two sides and in the region," Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Chiu Chiu-cheng told reporters the same day, adding that Taipei "will never bow down to any military threat or incentive."

 sputniknews

Here Are the Details About the Rocket India Wants to Buy From Russia


Made-in-Russia weapons are much sought after in the world, with many countries keeping a close eye on what Russian armorers have on offer.
The S-8 OFP “Broneboishchik” rocket is capable of penetrating barriers without being destroyed on impact, the Techmach Corporation’s general General Director Vladimir Lepin told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
“What makes the S-8 OFP so special is that, depending on the detonator’s time setting, it can go off in front of an obstacle, when impacting it or after it has cut through it while still staying in one piece. We have never had such missiles before,” Lepin said.
He added that the Broneboishchik will be loaded on Su-25 ground attack planes and Mi-8 helicopters.The S-8 OFP, designed as a replacement for the S-8 80 mm unguided rocket from the 1970’s, is 3.2 feet long, weighs less than 37 pounds and has a range of 3.7 miles.
The state-of-the art rocket was presented to the broad public for the first time at the 2014 DefExpo held in New Delhi.
India has reportedly shown a great deal of interest in acquiring the Broneboishchik for the country’s armed forces.

 sputniknews