India’s first space observatory Astrosat has started capturing images of the outer space, the first of which was released on Twitter by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday.The multi-wavelength mini Hubble-type space observatory captured the image of Crab Nebula, a remnant of a supernova and the brightest hard X-ray source in the sky, last Friday.

The nebula was not detected during Astrosat’s first orbit because the satellite ‘happened to pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region when Crab was in the field of view’, Isro said in a blog post. Continue reading


Germany’s Atlas Elektronik GmbH is tying up with one of billionaire Anil Ambani’s defense companies to make an advanced torpedo in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pursues a $60 billion expansion of the country’s navy.

The goal is a joint venture with Ambani’s Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Co. to make a heavyweight torpedo in India, according to Khalil Rahman, the chief executive of the German company’s local unit. Continue reading


Changing its long standing stance on the abilities of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is now convinced that an improved version of the homegrown fighter that is being ordered will perform better that theJF17 that is being produced in Pakistan.

The IAF is placing an order for 100 modified Tejas aircraft in addition to an older order for 20 planes, confident that it would beat the Pakistani competitor on four parameters — reach, weapons, ability to kill and survivability. Continue reading


Iranian state media reported the first successful test of the country’s new long-range strike missile, the Emad, on Sunday.Iran’s defense ministry has released photos of the missile’s launch, but no details of the new weapon’s capabilities. CNN reports the Emad (Pillar) is a surface-to-air missile designed by Iranian experts. It is the country’s first missile that can be precision-guided to reach its target.

Iran’s state media, IRNA, said the Emad is “capable of scrutinizing the targets and destroying them completely.” Continue reading


Photos uploaded to a Chinese website indicate that the PLA Navy Air Force has successfully equipped its Su-30MK2 fighter with the domestic SD-10A air-to-air missile, according to Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese, on Oct. 6.

Earlier photos have shown the PLA is able to install its KG600 electronic countermeasure pod on the Su-30MKK of the PLA Air Force as well as the Su-30MK2 fighter of the PLA Navy. A Chinese military expert told Tencent News that it is a technological breakthrough for China to be able to fit domestically designed devices and weapons systems to Russian aircraft such as the Su-27 as well as the Su-30, which were designed to be equipped with Russian systems only. Continue reading


A number of Su-30 fighter jets have been deployed in Syria as part of Russia’s ongoing aerial campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group, Russian media reported on Monday.The Su-30 Flankers provide air cover for Russian bombers pounding ISIL positions across Syrian territory, Gazeta.Ru quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying in Moscow. Continue reading


Nirbhay, India’s latest missile — equivalent of the famous American Tomahawk missile — will be test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore in Odisha at 9 am on Thursday. This will be the third test of India’s indigenously developed subsonic cruise missile.

The first two tests of the cruise missile were conducted on March 12, 2013 and October 17, 2014. The first test was only a partial success. “Our previous test was successful where all the critical phases were completed, and the mission parameters met. It will take us a couple of more tests before Nirbhay gets operational clearance,” a top DRDO source told The Indian Express.  Continue reading


Defence manufacturing has been identified as a priority sector in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ scheme. While the nomenclature has come into vogue last year, indigenous defence manufacturing has been a rather unsuccessful quest for decades.

Notwithstanding some initial steps by the NDA government — such as increasing the FDI limit to 49 per cent — a lack of clarity on policies from the defence ministry has constrained the progress on ‘Make in India’. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had promised the revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) by April but it is now expected to be released in December. A new DPP will be the starting point for any meaningful action on ‘Make in India’ in defence. Continue reading


Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has postponed the test launch of the key reusable launch vehicle technology demonstrator (RLVTD) to next year. While the earlier test schedule of September was disrupted by the launch of Astrosat, India’s first astronomy satellite other launches with societal application have delayed it further.

A source said the focus currently is on putting the payload for GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system which will be put in space by GSAT in November first week and the subsequent Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) launch in December. Continue reading


Thirty-eight Indians missing in Iraq for several months are alive, according to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who, however, provided no evidence to back up the claim.

Abbas told President Pranab Mukherjee that the missing Indians are safe, according to an Indian spokesman who said that no supporting evidence was provided in support of that. Continue reading


Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will discuss the stalled dialogue between Pakistan and India with US President Barack Obama during their upcoming meeting on October 22, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz said.

“A number of other issues would also be discussed between the US president and Sharif,” Dawn quoted Aziz as saying on Monday. Continue reading


Pirates of the Arabian Sea versus 52 warships of the Indian Navy — it took only four years to clean up the waters. But the “high risk” tag of the entire area between Africa and Indian waters took considerably longer to shed – three more years. The clean chit came last week.

The tag was proving no less expensive than piracy. Merchant ships had to sail hugging the Indian coast – spending much more on fuel and insurance — for safety. Chinese vessels came too close for comfort. And it cast doubt on the capabilities of the Indian Navy to ensure the safety of its waters. Continue reading


That the United States should be contemplating a nuclear deal with Pakistan in connection with Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington on October 22 makes little sense.  Judging by a Washington Post report by a senior columnist, it appears that some move in this direction is under internal discussion in the Obama administration.

The report cannot be ignored because of the timing and the standing of the columnist who was briefed. Our spokesperson has, therefore, taken note of it and questioned the rationale of a nuclear deal with Pakistan in view of its proliferation record.  Continue reading


The defence ministry has decided to ignore anonymous complaints and impose penalties on frivolous grievances raised by competitors to speed up the procurement of equipment for the armed forces.With a deluge of complaints holding up essential purchases – in some cases for years with disgruntled competitors keeping up the pressure – a new set of time-bound guidelines have been drawn up by the ministry.

While during the UPA rule cognizance was taken of all complaints, much to the frustration of shortlisted vendors, who were left hanging at an advanced stage of negotiation, the government will now attempt to trace the origin of unsigned grievances but will not act on them if found to be anonymous. Continue reading

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