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India Test-Fires Surface-To-Air Missile Developed Jointly With Israel

BALASORE, June 30: India today successfully test-fired a new surface-to-air missile, developed jointly with Israel, from a defence base off Odisha coast.

The medium range missile (MR-SAM), a product of joint venture between India and Israel, was successfully test launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur at around 8.15 am, a DRDO official said.

"The test launch was a grand success and it met all the targets," he said.

The missile positioned at launch pad-3 of the ITR swung in to action after getting signal from the radars to intercept a moving aerial target supported by an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) 'Banshee' over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.

Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, they said.

"The missile along with MF-STAR will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats," said a Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.

Indian Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL), a laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), he said.

A new production facility to deliver 100 missiles a year has been established for such type of long rang and medium range surface-to-air missiles at M/s Bharat Dynamics Limited, India.

The missile, which was initially proposed to be tested yesterday, was deferred in the last moment for today. Earlier, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata on December 30, 2015, officials said.

Such type of medium range surface-to-air missiles (SR-SAM), having striking ranges from 50 to 70 km, can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armory at present, they said.

These missiles would be inducted in all three services after user's trial is completed.

As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with the defence officials had temporarily shifted 3652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of the ITR at Chandipur to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, said a district revenue official.

Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in three Odisha coastal districts namely Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were asked not to venture into the sea during the test launch time.

Chinese army spotted along LoC in Pak-occupied Kashmir: sources

SRINAGAR, March 13: After frequent incursions in Ladakh area, Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops have been spotted at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) on the Pakistani side of Kashmir, ringing alarm bells in the security grid.

The army spotted presence of senior PLA officials at the forward posts opposite Nowgam sector in North Kashmir after which some intercepts of Pakistani army officers suggested that the Chinese troops have come to create some infrastructure along the LoC, sources said on Sunday.

Though the army has officially maintained complete silence on the issue, they have been constantly updating various intelligence agencies about the presence of PLA troops along the Line of Control, sources said.

The PLA troops were first spotted in the later part of 2015 and ever since their presence was witnessed opposite Tangdhar sector as well. In this area, Chinese government-owned China Gezhouba Group Company Limited has been building a Jhelum-Neelum 970 MW Hydel power project.

The hydel project is being built in response to India's Kishanganga power project being built in Bandipore of North Kashmir. The Indian project is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. Construction on the project began in 2007 and is expected to be complete this year.

The intercepts also suggested that Chinese PLA would be digging some tunnels in Leepa Valley, located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), to build an all-weather road which will serve as an alternate route to reach Karakoram Highway.

The visit by PLA officials is seen by experts as part of Beijing's 46 billion dollar China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) under which Gwadar port in Karachi is linked to Chinese Xinjiang province through Karakoram highway, an area under illegal occupation of China.

As the CPEC project was given final shape, India had last year registered its protest against the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit and Baltistan, an area in PoK, saying that it was unacceptable to India.

In the meantime, some of the experts in the nation's security grid have been giving serious thoughts to the presence of PLA in close proximity with Pakistani army officials. Chinese officials have maintained that CPEC was an economical package to link Asia with Eurasia.

 



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