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June 8, 2021

Rajnath Singh Invites Swedish Defence Majors to Set Up Manufacturing Hubs in India

 


He said that the foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) can set up manufacturing facilities individually or in partnership with Indian companies through joint ventures or technology agreement to capitalise on the 'Make in India' initiative. "Swedish firms such as SAAB already have a major presence in India and I am confident that other Swedish firms will find India as a major investment destination for defence manufacturing," he said.

"There is a lot of scope for Sweden and Indian defence Industries for co-production and co-development. Indian industry can also supply components to Swedish industries," he added. Singh said India has a vast defence industrial base with 41 ordnance factories and nine defence public sector undertakings and expanding private industries supported by an eco-system of over 12,000 micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Mission - 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' or 'Self-Reliant India' of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is about producing cost-effective quality products and in its core has the motto - 'Make in India' and 'Make for the World'," he said. In his address, the defence minister also mentioned that India has a robust shipbuilding industry with an ecosystem of world-class public and private ship building companies. He said the ships constructed by Indian shipyards are of global standards and extremely cost-effective.

"I take this opportunity to invite Swedish firms to invest in the dedicated defence corridors of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where they can benefit greatly from the unique incentives being offered by the state governments and the availability of a highly skilled workforce in India," he said.

news18


Indian Navy Set to Receive Three MH-60 'Romeo' Multi-role Helicopters from US in July

 


The Indian Navy will receive three of the 24 MH-60 “Romeo” multi-role helicopters from the US in July, according to reports. India had signed a Rs 15,157 crore ($2.13 billion) contract with US for the Lockheed Martin choppers in February 2020 in a significant ramp-up of military capabilities for the Navy in detecting and destroying enemy submarines prowling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

“The first batch of the Indian pilots has reached the US for training on the helicopters and we would be receiving three of these helicopters in the US in July," Navy sources told ANI.

The training will be held on US soil in the city of Pensacola, Florida and will later continue in San Diego, California. The pilots will return to India next year in July.

The heavy-duty helicopters are equipped with APS-153(V) multi-mode radars, night-vision devices as well as armed with Hellfire missiles, MK-54 torpedoes and precision-kill rockets. This would help the Navy in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance).

News18


Indian navy to float $6 billion tender for six submarines

 


India’s government has approved the launch of a $6.14 billion program for the construction of six conventional submarines under Project 75-I.

The approval was granted by the defense ministry’s procurement body, the Defence Acquisition Council, on June 4. It permits the Indian navy to publish a tender for six submarines, with a target audience of domestic shipbuilders.

Officials cleared the issue of a Request for Proposals (RfP), which “envisages indigenous construction of six conventional submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system,” the ministry of defense said in a press statement.

“This is a landmark approval, being the first case processed under the strategic partnership model,” the statement reads. India’s strategic partner’s policy, introduced by the MoD in June 2017, allows the selection of private-sector companies to produce major weapons and platforms, including submarines, in partnership with overseas original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

A senior Indian navy official said the MoD has already shortlisted two domestic companies – state-owned Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL) and private firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd, and five foreign vendors: Rubin Design Bureau of Russia, Naval Group of France, Navantia of Spain, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea.

The official said a formal tender will be issued to two domestic shipyards within the next two months, with the expectation that those companies will then team up with one of the five foreign vendors.

A senior MoD official said the foreign contractors have to clearly define the scope of technology transfer in specific areas, meet requirements for the extent of indigenous work, propose an economic framework for Indian prime partners and other Indian suppliers, and present a training program for the local workforce.

The foreign companies are free to set up joint ventures or equity partnerships or make royalty arrangements with Indian prime partners and other Indian suppliers, MoD officials added.

Defense officials are expected to take at least two years before making a final selection and signing a contract with the winner. The first submarine is not expected to roll out before 2030, the second navy official remarked.

defensenews

May 25, 2021

 


While India’s plan to construct six nuclear-powered attack submarines is the result of decades-long perseverance in the face of ridicule and a lack of funding, Australia remains ideologically constrained

A recent report stated that India’s second nuclear-powered ballistic submarine (SSBN) is scheduled to be inducted into the Indian Navy later this year. The future INS Arighat will be India’s second SSBN, following the INS Arihant, which was launched in 2009 for sea trials and commissioned in 2016. Despite the extra-long testing period and some Keystone Cops-like misadventures – it was reported in 2018, for example, that the Arihant’s propulsion compartment was damaged by water which flooded in after a hatch at the rear was left open while moored and, in 2014, a worker was killed during pressure tests on the hull – the Indian Navy appears to have been sufficiently satisfied with its performance as to launch the Arighat, the second boat in the Arihant class, in 2017 and begin sea trials. With the Arighat’s commissioning expected later this year, India’s SSBN programme appears to be underway.

Despite the publicity given to the launch and induction of the Arihant, details about it are scarce. It has a displacement of around 6,000 tonnes and only four missile tubes. That deficiency would indicate that the Arihant is more a technology demonstrator than a vessel that could actually be used for its designed purpose. In any case, India lacks a proven underwater-launched missile that could be fitted to the Arihant (the K15 Sagarika intermediate-range nuclear-capable missile has been launched from underwater platforms but not, as far as is known, from a submarine) or, for that matter, the Arighat, which shares its physical dimensions and also has four missile tubes. The two further SSBNs that are to be constructed will have, however, a displacement of 7,000 tonnes and eight missile tubes. Apart from being confident in their ability to build a second SSBN, India’s naval project managers also appear to have the confidence to modify their original design.

More importantly, India’s naval designers now also have the confidence to apply the lessons that they learned from constructing SSBNs to the design and construction of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs). According to yet another newspaper report, India’s Cabinet Committee on Security will likely approve ‘within a month or two’ a project to build three SSNs, with three more to follow after they have been built. There is little doubt that New Delhi will follow the same pattern in its building of the SSBNs. It will construct three SSNs and apply the lessons learned from that exercise to build the second batch. It is noteworthy that the SSNs will have a displacement greater than the 6,000 tonnes of the Arihant and Arighat. That would imply, at face value, that the SSNs will be potent vessels.

It is not surprising that India has decided to acquire nuclear vessels that will complement its conventionally-powered fleet. It recognises that in addition to the terrestrial threats that emanate from its north and north-west it must now cope, given the rise of the Chinese navy, with a maritime threat as well. It recognises, further, that China’s ability to build SSNs and SSBNs force it to balance those assets with similar assets of its own. While its French-designed Scorpene-class submarines are undoubtedly quieter than China’s Jin-class SSBNs and Shang-class SSNs, those vessels can remain at sea far longer than the Scorpenes can, especially if they are able to be re-stocked with food and fresh crews at Gwadar in Pakistan. If India could acquire from Russia, which leased an Akula-class SSN to India, the technology that is required to employ its SSNs to their full potential and thereby supplement the lessons that it has learned building these submarines, its expertise in SSN and SSBN operations, like its nuclear triad and deterrent capacity, would grow enormously.

There are lessons for Australia in this matter. Australia, as a whole, has been bogged down by ideology that is decidedly anti-nuclear. As a previous FDI paper noted, those individuals who decry any suggestion that Canberra should initiate an enquiry into creating a nuclear industry are quick to say that such an industry is illegal in Australia. It is worthwhile repeating the counter made to that argument in that paper; if the decision to make a nuclear industry illegal in Australia was the result of a political process, political will can revoke that decision. Given the imperatives of climate change and the need for a reliable source of energy production that is not predicated on burning coal, Australia, with its abundant supply of uranium ore and technological capability, could comparatively easily create a nuclear industry. That would support, in turn, the creation of the SSN fleet that this island nation so badly needs instead of the convoluted and unsuitable solution that has been proposed to counter a growing regional threat.

Australia needs to make hard decisions that will help retain our way of life and the freedoms that we appear to take for granted, and make them soon.

futuredirections

May 9, 2021

Indo-Pacific in mind, Navy pitches for six nuclear attack submarines

 


The nuclear powered attack submarines will give Indian Navy the much needed long legs for deterrent patrols and access denial in the Indo-Pacific without giving away its position

With Quad, European Union and the United Kingdom recognising the Indo-Pacific as the new strategic frontier, the Indian Navy has apprised the government of its requirement to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) to counter the challenge on high seas in a post pandemic world.

After the March 4 Combined Commanders Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh mentioned the requirement of SSNs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 3 while discussing the Indian Navy’s operation Samudra Setu II to garner much-needed oxygen from India’s close allies in West Asia. The Naval warships are also involved in providing medical support to its Island territories in Lakshwadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The SSNs only need to surface for food supplies and other logistics and can go for long distance patrols with conventional weapons and missiles on board. As of now, India has one Akula class SSN, which is on lease from Russia, and one indigenously build ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) with another joining the strategic forces command next year.

While the Navy is still to approach the Union ministry of defence for acceptance of necessity, a term for need to buy, the national security planners are concerned about China adding 12 SSNs to its fleet apart from seven ballistic missile submarines to its strike force.

It is not for any other reason that French SSNs base at Toulon and French SSBN base at Brest was on the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his now cancelled visit to France around the May 8 India-EU summit at Lisbon. While the India-EU summit was reduced to virtual summit, the physical bilateral visit to France was postponed to a later date.

Although the Indian Navy has no preferences, the national security planners are looking at France, the UK, the US and Russia as possible partners for joint development of SSNs in India under Atmanirbhar Bharat program.

The French Naval Group is one of the key contenders for the SSN project as France is one of the most trusted allies of India since post 1998 nuclear tests sanction days. Unlike the US, France does not have any regulatory regime that can stall the on-going program using international traffic in arms regulations (ITAR). Finally, France has offered to jointly develop the SSN with India with full transfer of technology. It is already building six diesel attack submarines (called Kalvari class) for India which will be retrofitted with air independent propulsion technology developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Earlier this week, Admiral Singh called on Prime Minister Modi and briefed him about various initiatives being taken by the Indian Navy to assist the people of the country during the pandemic.

The Admiral said the Navy has reached out to all state administrations and have offered help to set up hospital beds, transportation and conduct of vaccination drives and deploying its ships to ferry oxygen containers and essential medical supplies from various countries.

hindustantimes

U.S. Approves Six Boeing P-8I Patrol Aircraft Sale to India worth $2.42 Billion

 


The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of six P-8I Patrol aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.42 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Friday.

The Government of India has requested to buy six P-8I Patrol aircraft; eight (8) Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS-JTRS 5) 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors, radars and counter-measures.

The Indian Navy procured eight P-8I aircraft from Boeing in January 2009, via Direct Commercial Sale and contracted for an additional four aircraft in July 2016.

The first P-8I aircraft were delivered to the Indian Navy in 2013, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations. This proposed sale of an additional six P-8I aircraft will allow the Indian Navy to expand its maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) capability for the next 30 years. 

The prime contractor will be The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA.  The purchaser typically requests offsets.  Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the prime contractor.

defenseworld

Under fire to improve, OFB ships 11 million bullets to US market

 


The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has despatched 11 million rounds of 5.56x45mm (M193) caliber bullets to the US on Thursday. It’s the same caliber of ammunition used in the 5.56 Insas assault rifles, which the Indian Army is phasing out. The bullets supplied to the US are of NATO specification, making it slightly different from that used is the country, said sources.

The Insas rifle too is made by the ordnance factories and is the first indigenous assault rifle.

The consignment took off for Chennai from the Varangaon factory near Bhusawal. This is the first major export order bagged by OFB for small arms’ ammunition to a developing country like the US. The OFB has also bagged repeat order of similar quantity, which would be despatched soon, said a source in the organization.

The factory is also working on an order to make around 4 lakh rounds of the 9 mm ammunition, which is used in the Kalashnikov (AK series) rifles, said a source. The order for the 9mm rounds has come from Israel. The bullets will be mainly pumped into the private users market apart from use in law enforcement, said a source.

This comes as a major boost for the ordnance factories, which have been under fire these days for alleged inefficiency and lack of quality in products, leading to plans for converting it into a public corporation from a government department at present.

“The order was bagged directly through an independent agency. It was cleared as ammunition fit in the quality criterion and the factory could also come up with competitive rates,” said a union source.

Made on NATO specifications, these bullets are made entirely of lead. The rounds supplied domestically have a mix of lead and steel. The lead bullets have more lethality, a source said. This serves dual purpose of private possession and also by security forces, said a source.

Even as the Indian Army is phasing out the 5.56 Insas rifles as it was reported to be disadvantageous, the production of rounds continues at the factories. This is for the rifles that still remain in use by the forces. Apart from the Army, even the paramilitary forces have been using the Insas, which was put into use during the Kargil war. The Army, however, does not find it too suitable for counter insurgency operations.

As for the 9mm ammunition, which is being made by the factory, it will have a different primer and the propellant system as compared to that in bullets made at present, said a source.

Meanwhile, the orders for making 5.56 Insas rifles itself has come down to negligible levels because of the Army’s plans to phase it out, said OFB sources.

TOI

21st Century propulsion for Indian Navy warships: Rolls-Royce and HAL MoU for MT30 Marine Engines

 


As part of their expansion plans, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rolls-Royce have signed a MoU which will provide support in installation, packaging, marketing and services support for Rolls-Royce MT30 marine engines in India. Under the umbrella of this MoU, for the first time, both Rolls Royce and HAL will be working together in the area of marine applications.

In an official statement which was issued earlier this week, R Madhavan, CMD, HAL said “The Company is exploring the idea of using the MT7 marine engine on the hovercraft which is being planned by the shipyards in India. And this partnership will leverage the rich experience of HAL’s IMGT Division that works on marine gas turbines with Indian shipyards.”

“The company with over five decades experience in developing naval propulsion solutions and HAL’s in-market expertise in working with marine gas turbines, we are looking forward to building on this partnership to supply solutions in naval defence,” Kishore Jayaraman, President, Rolls-Royce India and South Asia said.

On the partnership, Tom Bell, President, Rolls-Royce Defence said, “As India focuses on its vision of modernization and self-reliance in defence, we are looking forward to introducing the MT30 to customers in India together with HAL.”

“This has been designed for naval platforms of the future, and the MT30 is perfectly equipped to meet the Indian Navy’s present and future needs,” Mr Bell added.

Indian Navy & the engines

Indian Navy has been exploiting the Gas Turbine technology for warship propulsion over four decades, with suppliers from Ukraine (as the Russian OEMs were on Ukraine part before the mapping of Ukraine international borders) and USA. Gas turbines shall remain as preferred warship propulsor due to its multiple advantages like compactness, ease of use onboard etc. Apart from the seaborne use of the Gas turbines, India has large high capacity Gas turbines for electrical power generation as this technology provides some of the most efficient and fuel flexible electric power.

From weapons package to propulsion system …

Explaining the whole process, Milind Kulshreshtha, C4I expert & Strategic analyst, says, “The design of any warship is a complex process, in which the role of a ship predominantly defines the equipment fit and the propulsion package. The propulsor of a ship comprises a prime mover, gearbox and shafting correlated to a ship’s design and tonnage and it is the single most important factor for ship’s speed, maneuverability and endurance for successful operations in a Naval battle. The activity from finalization of the weapon package to the propulsion system takes years as part of the ship design process and this is a well-coordinated activity at the Naval Headquarter level.”

According to him, “The propulsion system of a warship falls under three main categories viz. Diesel Engine, Gas turbine or Steam turbine, with the modern designs also using a combination of these (like Diesel engine with Gas turbine). The ship’s propulsion system is fitted to provide service for more than four decades, primarily dovetailed to serve the ship throughout its life span. Such design complexities are the reason why we see multiple ships being built under the same Class of Ship designs like Projects P-28, P-15A, and P-16A etc.”

MT30 Marine Gas Turbines for Ship’s Propulsion – what is unique about this?

“The MT30 marine gas turbines are some of the mature and successful gas turbine technologies globally available to India, and the UK has agreed to supply these engines for fitment onboard Indian warships through the ToT route of HAL. Earlier too, HAL has carried out licensed work for UK’s Jaguar fighter jet engines Rolls Royce Turbomeca Adour MK 804 / MK 811 Engines since 1981,” Mr Milind Kulshreshtha tells Financial Express Online.

More about MT30

“The MT30 gas turbines are an aero-derivative gas turbines for marine propulsion, with an efficient power to weight ratio. They came with some advanced features like no operational limitations on re-starts and re-initiation of turbines any time after a normal stop or even after an emergency shutdown. Such features are presently not available in the conventional Gas turbines in use by the Indian Navy,” says C4I expert who has worked on the development of the indigenous Naval Combat Management (CMS) systems.

The MT30 turbines have low vibration levels, thereby making the surface ship quieter in water and, further, this improves its own ship’s submarine detection capabilities using the onboard sonars (due to lesser self-noise factor component).

“UK Royal Navy 65,000t modern aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are some of the largest operational warships which utilizes the MT30 marine gas turbines. A fully integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP) which comprises all propulsion systems and the ship’s electrical power generation through Advanced Induction Motor (AIM) technology provides an autonomous operation onboard. The MT30 technology has been in use onboard other modern US warships like the USS Freedom,” he adds.

“MT30 generator packages also provide the electrical power for the US Navy’s all-electric Zumwalt class destroyers. In fact, seven ship types world over are utilizing the MT30 technology for the ship’s propulsion. These includes Republic of Korea (for Daegu class frigates), Japan (for 30FFM frigates), Australia (for Hunter class), Italy (for Landing Helicopter Dock) and Canada warships. With the selection of MT30 gas turbines, Indian Navy too is now future ready towards achieving electrical propulsion for its warships, which has emerged as the technology of the 21st century,” Mr Kulshreshtha observes.

Does India have Gas Turbine engines? No.

Based on the information available in public domain, in 1961, the Indian Government christened Defence Research and Development Organisation’s GTRE (Gas Turbine Research Establishment) with the aim to design and develop gas-turbine engines for military applications and carrying out advanced research work in the area of gas-turbine sub-systems.

The Lab was also designing the indigenous Kaveri jet engine for Tejas project, which too has not seen the implementation phase in the last many decades.

Similar to fighter jets engine projects, another project of marine Gas turbines too has suffered various technical research shortfall to be ever deployed onboard a ship, leaving the Defence Ministry to operate warships with imported Gas turbine solutions. “This includes critical spares and parts supplies, which in turn makes India at risk of adverse effect of any sanctions. Even in the day-to-day running of these machineries, foreign OEMs are inflexible to undertake engine upgrades, limited and delayed after sales support etc.,” explained a senior officer who wished to remain anonymous.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts put in by DRDO to indigenize the Gas turbine technology, India has been always dependent on foreign suppliers for this technology.

Due to unsuccessful attempts to indigenize the Gas turbine technology by DRDO, even today the MT30 Marine Gas turbines are being directly handled by HAL as part of ToT with Rolls Royce, UK so as to be implementable onboard modern indigenous warships being manufactured by Indian shipyards. “While we are looking ahead for Atmanirbhar Bharat status in the Defence sector, the past reports of DRDO too requires a technology review, else investment in self-reliance through Government agencies may not give the desired benefits to the defence forces,” urged the senior officer.


Financial Express

April 20, 2021

Israel’s BARAK ER Interceptor Hits Ballistic Missile

 


The Barak ER (Extended Range) interceptor produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) successfully struck a ballistic missile target.

BARAK provides protection against a range of air, sea and ground threats, including ballistic, ground-to-ground, and cruise missiles, UAVs, and helicopters. It consists of interceptors for a variety of ranges and advanced homing seekers, digital MMR radar or MFSTAR radar for naval platforms, command and control system, and unified launchers for different ranges. 

These systems are complemented by breakthrough communication and connectivity capabilities, providing the user with optimal force activation using several batteries or ships for the multidimensional battlefield.

The BARAK-ER Air Defense System combines the capability to intercept airborne threats at an extended range of up to 150 km, including ballistic missile targets.  The extended range capability is made possible in part by adjusting the interceptor and MMR radar capabilities to a 150 km range, and can be fitted for both naval and land platforms, the company said in a release today.

The BARAK ER interceptor tested in the trial series was taken directly from the company’s production line. The BARAK ER revolutionizes air defense with unprecedented flexibility, both in real-time full net-centric combat management as well as with unique smart launchers. The launchers are capable of independently launching and managing any mix of interceptors without a dedicated command post on site.

defenseworld 



French Navy Receives First Air Defence FREMM Frigate

 


Naval Group handed over the first FREMM frigate Alsace to the French Navy on April 16 in Toulon.

Alsace is the first of the two air defence frigates with enhanced air defence capability and the seventh FREMM multimissions frigate ordered by OCCAr for the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement - DGA) for the French Navy.

The frigate’s role will be the anti-aircraft defence of major units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, or that of PHA-type landing helicopter docks, within the framework of a naval air and amphibious group.

The FREMM DA uses the most advanced weapons systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes. Like the other units of the FREMM series, she carries the NH90 helicopter (Caïman Marine), whose use is supported by the SAMAHE system supplied by Naval Group. The performance of the ship’s combat system are strengthened with increased radar and communication capabilities, a new radar and electro-optical fire control system as well as SETIS Combat Management System equipped with specific air defense functions.

defenseworld

FRANCE RECALLS 15 DIPLOMATS FROM PAKISTAN IN WAKE OF VIOLENT PROTESTS

 


France has recalled 15 diplomats from Pakistan in the wake of violent protests and clashes involving a banned group that is demanding the expulsion of the French envoy over the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

The Pakistan government banned the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under the Anti-Terrorism Act on Thursday after the group organised violent protests across the country for three days and challenged the authorities. At least two policemen were killed in clashes with TLP supporters.

A total of 15 French diplomats, mostly secretaries and aides to department heads, have already left Pakistan or are set to return to Paris over the next few days, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Monday.

On Thursday, France advised its nationals and companies in Pakistan to temporarily leave the country because of the violent anti-France protests by TLP in many cities.

“Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country,” the French embassy said in an email sent to French citizens.

“The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines,” it said.

The recall of the French diplomats reflects the rapid deterioration of diplomatic ties between Paris and Islamabad. Bilateral ties took a hit after the government of President Emmanuel Macron backed the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish blasphemous cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed last year.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has shown no signs of taking on fanatical religious or extremist groups, had also criticised Charlie Hebdo for republishing the caricatures and said “wilful provocations” on religious grounds should be “universally outlawed”. Khan was also critical of Macron’s role in the affair.

The “extremely rare” decision to recall the French diplomats “illustrates Paris’ impatience in the face of a crisis that has lasted for more than five months”, Le Figaro reported. France hadn’t resorted to such a step even when Pakistan witnessed frequent terror attacks in 2008 and the French foreign ministry’s decision “denotes a change in its diplomacy in South Asia which is increasingly aligned with that of India”, the report added.

On Sunday, police in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore launched an operation against TLP after the group took more than a dozen policemen, including a senior officer, hostage. Several people were killed and many more were injured during the operation, according to Pakistani media reports.

Despite the ban on the group, government representatives met TLP leaders for talks on Sunday and secured the release of 11 policemen who had been held hostage.

The TLP leaders made four demands during the talks – the expulsion of the French ambassador, removal of the ban on the group, release of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi who was arrested on April 12, and release of other arrested workers and revoking of FIRs registered against them. The government representatives said the first demand would have to be decided by Parliament and sought time to act on the other demands.

Last November, the Pakistan government had signed an agreement with TLP whereby it agreed to implement all of the group’s demands within three months. Before TLP was banned last week, the group had set April 20 as the deadline for expelling the French ambassador.


hindustan times

IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria embarks on a 5-day visit to France

 


Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Air Staff on Monday embarked on a five-day visit to France on an invitation from Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff. The Indian Air Force (IAF) took to Twitter to announce Bhadauria's visit to France.

Air Chief Mshl RKS Bhadauria, CAS embarked on an official visit to France today on an invitation from Gen Philippe Lavigne, Chief of Staff @Armee_de_lair. The visit from Apr 19-23 will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces," IAF tweeted.

The visit of the Chief of the Air Staff from April 19 to 23 will enhance potential avenues for strengthening the level of interaction between the two Air Forces. He will hold meetings and discussions with the senior military leadership of France and undertake visits to operational facilities and airbases.

TOI