The LCA Tejas got a special passenger today at the Aero India air show being held on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Sitting behind the pilot in a two-seater trainer variant of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was Army chief General Bipin Rawat, who was taken for a spin in the nimble fighter jet in the skies above Yelahanka Air Force Station.

This was the first time General Rawat flew in the home-made fighter jet, known for its agility, being the smallest and lightest multirole supersonic fighter jet in its class. PS Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, will also fly in the LCA Tejas later today, news agency ANI reported. Although a lightweight aircraft with a short range, the LCA Tejas can carry the same array of modern weapons that bigger warplanes carry, from precision guided and standoff weaponry to long-range ‘beyond visual range’ missiles that can take down enemy planes from a safe distance. Continue reading


India’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has detailed a number of improvements for the planned Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Tejas Mk2 fighter. The Mk2 benefits from Indian Air Force experience with the Mk1, says an ADA official. A prototype of the new aircraft, which features the addition of canards behind the cockpit, will likely fly in late 2023.

Key changes the Air Force asked for were additional range and the ability to carry advanced standoff weapons, he adds. The maximum all-up weight will grow to 17,500kg, up from 13,500kg for the baseline Tejas, and the aircraft is 1.35m longer. The longer fuselage allows for more fuel behind the cockpit, and the Mk2 will be able to carry more drop tanks. Continue reading

SOURCE: DH News Service

Foreign defence companies’ interest in grabbing Indian fighter jet deals remains undiminished despite their disappointment over how the ‘MMRCA’ tender for 126 fighters panned out over the past decade, ending in the much-reduced and controversial purchase of 36 Rafale fighters from France’s Dassault. The US F-16 didn’t fly with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and New Delhi, but its maker Lockheed Martin isn’t giving up. It is now offering what it says is a “new fighter, inside and out” that is specifically built for, and in, India. It’s called the F-21.

The IAF is looking to add up to 114 new fighter jets beyond the 36 Rafale fighters. Lockheed Martin, along with the same five other companies that competed for the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) contract — Boeing (F/A-18), SAAB (Gripen), MiG Corporation (MiG 35), Eurofighter (Typhoon) and Dassault (Rafale) — are bidding to bag this deal. Continue reading


There will be no impact of American financial sanctions on the delivery of the S 400 air defence systems to India and alternate payment options are being worked out, including a national currency swap, Russia has said. The game changing air defence system that can take down targets from as far as 300 km is set for delivery by October next year, a top Russian official said, adding that the sanctions have no impact on the technical aspects of the deal.

However, US sanctions that prevent financial institutions from dealing with Russian military companies still come in the way for payments given that banks are unwilling to take a risk. The Russian side however says that US dollars are no longer the universal currency for foreign exchange, indicating that other channels are being worked out. Continue reading


Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 21 asked public sector defence undertakings in India to look at the world as a market for their products. She was speaking at Vasco town after launching a Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of the Goa Shipyard Limited, a public sector undertaking.

“I want not just the Goa Shipyard but every defence public sector undertaking to look at manufacturing of international class. Not just look at your captive market like the defence forces, but look at world as a market which you need to reach out to and compete globally,” she said. Internationally there is an immense interest in buying defence products like the OPVs from India, she said. Continue reading


The young men waited their turn in the queue beneath the gaze of verdant hills still covered in snow. Six days after the terrorist attack in Pulwama, over 3,000 youth have showed up for an Army recruitment drive in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla’s district.There are only 111 vacancies.Two candidates who spoke to India Today TV said they already worked in the private sector, and one of them said it was his childhood dream to become a soldier.

The recruitment rally began yesterday and will continue till February 22; it has witnessed a huge rush of unemployed youth from far-flung areas of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts. Continue reading


 Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Wednesday made it clear to all anti-Pakistan elements that the missiles arsenal Pakistan possesses is not just for show as the country will use them if the need be. In a video message, Sheikh lashed out at Indian media stating that Pakistan will give an “overwhelming response” if India even gives off any hint of attacking our territory.

“We have not saved our firecrackers for Diwali. The response of every surgical strike and light musical rhyme will be reciprocated with a full classical song”, taunted the federal minister. Continue reading


The personal Twitter account of Mohammad Faisal, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, has been suspended. ARY News said the account was blocked after a complaint by Indian authorities. A report in the Express Tribune said Mohammad Faisal’s account was suspended for “keeping his social media followers updated” about “Indian atrocities” in Jammu and Kashmir and the hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan foreign ministry’s official account (@ForeignOfficePk), which bears Mohammad Faisal’s name, remains active. Continue reading


Emboldened by its success in the Pulwama suicide bombing, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) plans to carry out another fidayeen attack of a much bigger magnitude, intelligence intercepts of conversations on February 16-17 between JeM leadership in Pakistan and its terrorists in Kashmir have revealed.

As per the intercepts, exclusively accessed by TOI, Jaish terrorists resolved to execute another bombing to cause massive casualty to Indian security forces. On Wednesday, a top intelligence official said various inputs from different quarters indicated that there could be a major attack either in Jammu or outside J&K.  Continue reading

SOURCE:  India Today

former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday backed Prime Minister Imran Khan against New Delhi’s allegations that said Islamabad was providing safe havens to terrorists. He also accepted that Jaish-e-Mohammed could have been involved in the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

In an exclusive conversation with India Today TV’s Rahul Kanwal, Musharraf said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not have any “real emotion” for the CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack.Over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)-led terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, drawing condemnation for Islamabad from across the world. Continue reading


The recent terror attack in Pulwama, in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 soldiers of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed, left the entire nation in shock and saw some tough steps being initiated by the government of India to diplomatically isolate Pakistan. The attack was carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation.

WION hosted a summit in Dubai where a discussion was held on “Uprooting state-sponsored terrorism: An imperative for peace in South Asia”. The panelists in this session were former Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh, former diplomats G Parthasarathy and Kanwal Sibal, director of US-based think tank Hudson Institute Husain Haqqani, and South Asia expert from the Wilson Centre Michael Kugelman. Continue reading


The aviation market in India has begun to “explode” and the country is looking forward to partnerships to locally manufacture aircraft, Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday. Wooing investors at the inaugural session of the biennial Aero India Show here, Prabhu said, “India’s aviation market is now beginning to explode…”

“So far, we have had limited airports, very limited connectivity. But now, we have added more airports, taking the number to 103,” he added.”In the next 15 years we will add another 100 airports with an investment of $65 billion,” he said further. Continue reading


The Jammu and Kashmir administration Wednesday withdrew security of 18 separatists and 155 politicians, including PDP leader Wahid Parra and IAS officer Shah Faesal, officials said. The security review meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of state chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, took the decision as it was felt that providing security to these separatists is a “wastage” of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere.

Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat. Continue reading


Any terrorist, or anyone who supports and finances terrorism must be proscribed by the United Nations, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said on Wednesday, rejecting suggestions that Riyadh was opposed to India’s efforts to get Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar banned by the global body.

He also said the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Islamabad on February 18 calling for avoiding “politicisation” of the U.N. listing regime was not at all directed at India’s efforts to list JeM chief Azhar as a “global terrorist”. Continue reading


The Pulwama attack is strategic and initiated by the Pakistani deep state with or without the tacit blessings of the Pakistani Army and China. Our response options are limited. We don’t have adequate force levels to launch a conventional war, since we would also have to factor the Chinese sabre rattling in the North East. A surgical strike is out of the question, as we don’t have the element of surprise and with the effectiveness of a PMO-monitored strike having been punctured, another attempt would have negative value, especially if any Special Forces are captured alive.

We have the military option of “limited recce in force”, ( pushing forth in certain border areas with an objective of dominating or capturing pieces of land). Another option is pummeling the line of control with incessant artillery fire. But this will have little effect on the deep state leadership. Instead, it will swell the ranks of militants from the valley, as the artillery will cause collateral damage. Continue reading

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