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China confirms sale of 8 attack submarines to Pak, first delivery by 2023

BEIJING, Oct 21: China has announced the sale of eight attack submarines to its close ally Pakistan, widely considered to be one of Beijing’s biggest military deals with an estimated value of about $5 billion.

Reports in the Chinese state media and the military’s official website quoted China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation chairman Hu Wenming as confirming the submarine deal, which had been in the pipeline for long.

The deal comes at a time when military cooperation between Pakistan and the US has taken a nosedive. US lawmakers recently blocked a move to subsidise the sale of eight F-16 jets because of concerns that Pakistan isn’t doing enough to combat terrorism.

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation held a conference on October 12 to discuss details of the deal, China Shipbuilding Online reported. Hu confirmed the “project to export eight attack submarines to Pakistan” at the conference.

In August, members of the standing committee of defence of Pakistan’s National Assembly had been informed by naval officials about the deal for the eight Chinese submarines. Naval officials had also said that four of the diesel-electric submarines will be built at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

China is expected to deliver the first four submarines by 2023 while the others will be completed by 2028. All the submarines will be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems.

Both countries have not identified the type of submarine to be supplied by China but analysts have speculated that it could an export variant of the Chinese Navy’s Type 039 and Type 041 Yuan-class vessel.

China, which is Pakistan’s largest supplier of military hardware, is expected to provide a long-term loan at a low interest rate for the submarine deal worth between $4 billion and $5 billion.

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation chairman Hu was quoted as saying that the conference held on October 12 aimed to continue the spirit generated by President Xi Jinping’s speeches on the Belt & Road Construction Work Symposium in August. The $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a key part of Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative aimed at spurring economic development.

The conference was also aimed at promoting “timely and high quality export projects”, Hu said.

India to get second nuclear submarine from Russia

NEW DELHI, Oct 19: After protracted negotiations, Russia has agreed to lease a second nuclear submarine to India+ in a deal which will cost around $2 billion.

Sources on Wednesday said the deal was struck during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on October 15 on the sidelines of the BRICS meet in Goa.

However, it was not part of the slew of announcements made after the talks.

The Defence Ministry and the Navy did not offer any information on the subject since it was a strategic platform coming under direct purview of the Prime Minister's Office.

Alexei Nikolski, a columnist with Russian daily Vedomosti, which broke the story, wrote, "According to a source in the Russian defence industry, the long-discussed lease to transfer a multipurpose Project 971 nuclear submarine to India from the Russian Navy was signed in Goa."

The Akula 2 class submarine is expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21.

The Indian Navy already operates an Akula 2 class nuclear submarine, INS Chakra (formerly known as K-152 Nerpa), which was leased by Russia for 10 years and commissioned on April 4, 2012 after India paid for its completion of its construction and sea-trials.

India had been keen to lease a second nuclear submarine.

Indian defence sources had said that Russia had linked the lease of the nuclear submarine to the agreement for four stealth frigates.

In Goa, India and Russia announced an over USD 3 billion frigate deal. Under the agreement, two stealth frigates will be built in Russia while the other two would be built in India under license production.

The Akula 2 class submarine, though not the latest class of nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines in the world, is still considered one of the most advanced.

Capable of sailing at speeds up to 35 knots (nearly 65 km per hour) under water, it is among the quietest Russian submarines.

After US slams Islamabad for nuke talks, Parrikar warns Pak of more action

NEW DELHI, Oct 1: Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday threatened Pakistan with a “befitting reply again” if it continues to sponsor terrorism, the tough talk coming a day after the US bluntly told Islamabad to stop its rhetoric on nuking India.

Parrikar’s warning came two days after New Delhi said Indian forces carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control — the de facto border between the two countries in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian strike was in response to a militant attack on an army camp at Uri that left 18 soldiers dead.

Pakistan has no idea what happened because its condition is like that of an “anaesthetised patient” post-surgery, who has no idea what has happened, the minister said at Pauri in Uttarakhand. Islamabad has denied New Delhi’s claims about conducting surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

PM Narendra Modi met President Pranab Mukherjee and is understood to have briefed him about the surgical strikes.

According to TV reports, Parrikar gave an analogy of Lord Rama, the protagonist in the epic Ramayana, who won Lanka and gave it to Vibhishana.

“We did the same in Bangladesh. We do not want to harm anyone, but if someone harms us, a befitting reply will be given…Lord Hanuman did not know of his powers before going to Lanka, I made our armed forces realise their power,” he was quoted as saying.

India was instrumental in the bifurcation of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh in 1971.
Parrikar’s tough talk against Pakistan comes when New Delhi’s diplomatic encirclement of Pakistan seems to be paying off. The international community, including Pakistan’s traditional allies, has maintained a studied silence on India’s surgical strikes, while underscoring the need to act against terrorism, indirectly bracketing Pakistan.

In a blunt message delivered publicly on Friday, the United States told the Pakistani government to “exercise restraint” regarding the use of nuclear weapons, or the talk about it.

“I would just say nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities,” US state department spokesman Mark Toner said at the daily briefing in response to a question, about “some of the rhetoric from the Pakistani government”.

“And that’s my message publicly and that’s certainly our message directly to the Pakistani authorities,” he added.

On Monday, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif had threatened to “destroy India” in the event of a war.

“We have not made an atomic device to display in a showcase. If such a situation arises we will use it and eliminate India,” he told a TV channel, raising alarm in capitals around the world already worried about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of terrorists.

On Saturday, Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh also reviewed military preparedness at the northern and western borders. He visited the Udhampur-based Northern Command and interacted with the special forces men who destroyed seven terror launch pads in PoK, killing at least 35 terrorists and their handlers.

He later visited the Chandimandir-based Western Command to take stock of the army’s readiness along the Punjab border.


Indian Army conducts surgical strikes against terrorist in Pakistan

NEW DELHI, Sept 29: India said on Thursday it carried out “surgical strikes” along its de-facto border with Pakistan, taking out several “launchpads”, or temporary shelters, militants were preparing to use to cross over into the country.

At least seven “launchpads” – located between 1km and 3km across the de-facto border – were targeted after a week of surveillance, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, director general of military operations, told a press conference.

Small groups of commandos of 2, 4 and 9 Parachute Regiments were airdropped at the Line of Control (LoC), or the de-facto border, from where they crossed over to the other side, sources said. The Udhampur-based Northern Command coordinated the operation that took place from across Poonch and Kupwara districts in Kashmir.

“Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them,” Singh said, without giving details.

Islamabad promptly denied the claim and said it would respond strongly were India to try a military raid on its soil.

The strikes were India’s first direct military response to the attack on the Uri army base earlier this month, and could not only influence a series of impending state polls but also trigger an escalation in tensions along the LoC.

The cross-border action is being seen as Prime Minister Narendra Modi following through on his warning that those responsible for the Uri attack “would not go unpunished”. The Indian army had also said it would avenge the attack, which killed 18 Indian soldiers on September 18, at a time and place of its choosing.

The “surgical strikes” could force militants across the LoC to shift their sanctuaries further back into Pakistani territory, bolstering the image of Indian forces as a capable striking power. Such an image could also help tamp down violence in Kashmir, where two months of street protests over the killing of militant Burhan Wani have left more than 85 people dead.

Calls have grown in India for a robust response to the Uri attack that New Delhi says was carried out by militants based mostly across LoC. New Delhi has already moved to diplomatically isolate Pakistan, including pulling out of the regional SAARC summit that was to be held in Islamabad in November.

The cross-border action -- the first official one across the Pakistani border – was based on specific intelligence, said Singh. India also informed Pakistani military after the strikes.

Singh said the decision to launch the strikes had been taken after the military determined the launchpads had been set up with “an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and various other metros in our country.”

“The operations were basically focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country,” he said.

India’s official announcement of the strikes came just hours after Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the LoC.

The government briefed former prime minister Manmohan Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and governor, the President and the vice-president about the strikes.

India expresses concern to Russia for military drill with Pakistan

By Deepak Arora

Vikas SwarupNEW DELHI, Sept 23: India has expressed concern to Russia for holding part of the military drill that it would be holding at a military facility in Gilgit-Baltistan, which was part of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state and is claimed by India. Following the Uri attack that killed 18 soldiers, it was earlier belived that India had prevailed on Russia to call off the exercise.

External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup had referred to plans to conduct manoeuvres in Gilgit-Baltistan and said this was “part of Indian territory”. New Delhi’s “well known sensitivities” had been conveyed to Moscow, he said.

The exercise will be conducted at the Pakistan Army’s High Altitude School at Rattu in Gilgit-Baltistan and at a special forces training centre at Cherat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The drill is expected to focus on high-altitude warfare.

The drill reflects the growing military-to-military ties between Pakistan and Russia, whose relations were strained for decades following the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The two sides have taken several steps to improve defence relations as India’s military procurements moved away from Russia to the US and Israel.

Russia lifted a long-standing embargo on arms sales to Pakistan in 2014. Last year, the two sides finalised a deal for four Mi-35 attack helicopters – a move that angered has India. Since then, reports have suggested that Pakistan is interested in acquiring more military gear from Russia, including Su-35 combat jets.

India signs deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France

NEW DELHI, Sept 23: India signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France on Friday for close to 7.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) on Friday. The long-awaited deal was inked in Delhi between defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian.

The 7.8 billion euro deal is crucial for the Indian Air Force that is grappling with a drawdown of its fighter fleet.

The IAF has 33 fighter squadrons, each consisting of 18 fighter planes. It requires 45 combat units to counter a combined threat from China and Pakistan. The IAF admits it does not have sufficient number of warplanes for a two-front war.

The Rafale aircraft will allow the airforce to strike targets in Pakistani soil even while flying within the Indian airspace.

The Narendra Modi government had cleared the deal amid indications that the French government waived off the advance guarantee, allowing India to save 134 million euros.

The Centre had initially planned to purchase 126 fighter planes but later opted for just 36 jets in fly-away condition from France with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the revised deal in Paris last year.

The delivery of the jets will begin in 36 months and will be completed in 66 months from the date the contract is inked.

The fighter jets will have state-of-the-art missiles like Meteor and Scalp that will give the IAF a capability that had been sorely missing in its arsenal.

Rafale jets will enable the air force to hit targets inside Pakistan from within India. Pakistan currently has only a beyond-visual-range (BVR) missile with 80-km range.

During the Kargil war, India had used a BVR having 50-km range while Pakistan had none. With Meteor, the balance of power in the air space has again tilted in India’s favour.

The “vanilla price” or the price of only the 36 aircraft is 3.42 billion euros. The armaments cost 710 million euros and changes specific for India will be done for 1,700 million euros. The total price also includes spare parts and maintenance.

MKU showcases future generation personal armour at India International Security Expo 2016

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Sept 22: MKU, a leading manufacturer of armour solutions and night vision devices, showcased future generation personal armour solutions for defence and security personnel at 19th India International Security Expo held at Pragati Maidan here.

India International Security Exhibition is considered as one of the premier exhibitions on homeland security, fire safety, traffic management, industrial safety, disaster management and information security. The event is organized by ITPO & SPGI with support of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and BPRND.

The 19th edition of the India International Security Expo, held from September 19-21, provided Indian and international visitors and companies to witness the growth in technology in all security related fields.

In the backdrop of increasing attacks on security personnel, it is imperative that our soldiers are provided with the best equipment to safeguard their lives as they engage in various theaters against anti-national elements.

Weight carried by a soldier is of critical importance as it impacts and hinders his performance and survivability capabilities in the theatre of operation. Modern soldiers carry equipment weighing approx. 36-40 Kgs on them including body armour, ammo, batteries, water, rations and new generation devices needed to fight and survive and of these, body armour is probably the single heaviest item.

As committed defence company MKU has always been engaged in building secure and safe environment not only in India but also Globally.

The technologists and designers at MKU have combined the capabilities of new ultra-light weight 6th generation Polyshield armour with the versatile and extremely comfortable quick release Instavest. The Instavest is Patent product of MKU.

Until recently there was no reliable way to reduce the resulting trauma of the impacting bullets or fragments on a soldier’s helmet. While he may be able to survive the actual hit, there have been many instances of long-term head injuries due to the resulting trauma in helmets. MKU also exhibited its Mukut advanced combat helmets at which are made using the revolutionary RHT (Reduced Helmet Trauma) Technology and have been tested and certified by HP White Laboratories, USA to offer a BABT (Behind Armour Blunt Trauma) of less than 10 mm which is over 40% lower than conventional helmets.

Also on display was the new Multi Accessory Connector System from MKU. MACS is an integrated all in one mounting system which adds the capability and versatility of mounting multiple devices on the much safer Bolt Free helmet.

EIS Electronics taking 'Make in India' forward

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Sept 1: There has been a paradigm shift in defence and aerospace manufacturing in India with the sector being provided a huge impetus with the Make in India initiative of the Government of India. The revised DPP is expected to pave the way for ease of doing business.

The cooperation between the DPSUs, OFs and the private sector is expected to grow with greater openness and collaboration.

To this end, CII (Confederation on Indian Industry) in partnership with Ordnance Factory Board, organized a seminar on OFB—Industry partnership for vendor development and outsourcing of OFs. The seminar enabled the OFs to detail their indigenization requirements as well as provided the industry a platform to identify partnership opportunities with OFs.

The seminar paved the way for both OFs and private sector companies to identify areas for partnering by complementing each other with their respective strengths towards developing a strong defence industrial base in the country.

Among the various companies which showcased their capability was E.I.S. Electronics, an Indo German joint venture set up in Kanpur, India, to manufacture harnesses for aerospace and defence applications.

Jointly promoted by MKU, India and E.I.S. Electronics GmbH, this Indo German Joint Venture, makes electrical wiring harnesses for Airbus aircrafts at its modern, state of the art production facility in Kanpur.

Since April 2013, E.I.S. India has madeover 23 types of harnesses for Airbus 320 and 380. They are now manufacturing for Airbus 350, the latest wide bodied aircraft from Airbus.The facility is AS 9100 certified.

E.I.S is associated with Indian forces as well as OEMs like HAL. The company is associated with several Indian programmes like SU30, DO228, AN32, ELTA Radar Systems, AD equipment etc.

E.I.S. Electronics (India) is an example of the efforts of its Indian promoter MKU to ‘Make in India’ and bring in the latest technology and manufacturing best practices to develop indigenous capability to make world class products in India.


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