India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is expected to be announced next month — along with the appointment of a new army chief to replace Gen Bipin Rawat, who is retiring on December 31 — with powers to direct the three service chiefs and to create new theatre commands for an optimal military response in case of hostilities.

While the implementation committee, appointed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and headed by national security adviser Ajit Doval, is still to define the charter for the CDS, people familiar with the matter said the chief will be a single-point military adviser to the government, as suggested by the K Subrahmanyam-led Kargil Review Committee. Continue reading


India’s long-running process to replace its Hindustan Aeronautics-built HS 748 – or “Avro” – fleet of utility transports could be nearing an end, with Airbus Defence & Space confident of concluding an order for its C295. “We hope to progress soon with India,” says Ioannis Papachristofilou, the company’s head of marketing, who notes that Airbus also has “a lot of open campaigns” for the twin-turboprop type.

New Delhi’s Defence Acquisition Council gave its approval to a proposed 56-aircraft order for the Indian air force in May 2015. The programme’s first 16 aircraft will undergo final assembly by Airbus in Seville, Spain, with the remainder to be built by in-country partner Tata Advanced Systems. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF), which has an air base in Sulur, has decided to set up a ‘weapon storage point’ nearby and plans to construct a parallel taxi way at the base. The facility would help the IAF store strategic weapons, including missiles, in Sulur and it would be easy to move these during war across southern India.

The Ministry of Defence has approached the state government to acquire 700 acres of land near the Sulur air base for this. The district administration has sent details of the land to be acquired to the state government. It is awaiting administrative sanction, said a source. Once the state government grants administrative sanction, an officer will be appointed exclusively to acquire land. The Union government will bear the compensation to be given to land owners. Continue reading


More than three months have passed since the government of India’s move to alter the constitutional status of the country’s (erstwhile) only Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoyed special status under Article 370 of the constitution.

The unprecedented step taken by the Narendra Modi government on August 5, 2019 – not only to abrogate Article 370 but also bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories – sent shock waves across the political spectrum in India and invited attention worldwide. While the situation in Jammu and Kashmir remains under the lens across the globe, the discourse around it has largely remained skewed away from the facts. Continue reading


Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been issued to defence forces and other security agencies to deal with rogue drones, which were spotted particularly on the western borders, the government informed the Lok Sabha today. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the Civil Aviation Ministry on August 27, 2018, issued directions — Requirements for Operation of Civil Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAs/Drones) — in order to regulate and monitor the operation of the devices.

“However, in order to meet the threat from hostile or rogue drones operated by terrorists and subversive elements, the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 10, 2019, issued comprehensive SOPs for handling the threat from drones and other sub-conventional aerial platforms in the country,” the minister said. Continue reading


Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, told Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in an email interview that the EU understands India’s security preoccupations in Kashmir and elaborated on the strengthening bilateral strategic partnership. Excerpts:

What is your opinion on India’s decision to make changes to Article 370?
I discussed the matter with minister S Jaishankar on several occasions. Our position has not changed. We understand India’s security preoccupations, but restrictions on fundamental freedoms remain. Some steps have been taken, but it remains crucial that freedom of movement and means of communication are fully restored, as well as access to essential services to all Kashmiris. Continue reading


Make in India, in the defence production, is very crucial and not an option, said Rajinder Singh Bhatia, President and CEO of the Defence Aerospace Division, Kalyani Group in his address to the officers of the three services of the Indian Armed Forces.

“Make in India is not an option but an imperative and further analysed the data pertaining to manufacturing industry in India, its impact on GDP and also brought out how strategic partnership model will encourage broader participation of private sector in defence production,” Bhatia said in his address to the officers, according to a press release by the Defence Wing on Tuesday. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Statesman

As part of bilateral defence cooperation, India and China will hold a joint military exercise on counter-terrorism, called ‘Hand-in-Hand’, in Meghalaya in December, informed sources said on Tuesday. Nearly 130 troops of the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) each will participate in it.

Sources said the exercise would enhance the capacity of both Indian and Chinese troops to respond to any emergency situation to counter terror. The exercise was previously held in December last year at Chengdu, China. Company size contingents of the Indian Army’s 11 SIKHLI and a regiment from Tibetan Military District of the PLA participated in it. Continue reading


A partnership between two democracies like India and Australia should be “far easier” to build than one between Australia and a one-party communist state like China, former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said. He made the remarks on Monday while speaking at Vision For Free & Open Indo-Pacific” event in New Delhi

“A partnership between two democracies such as India and Australia should be far easier to build than one between Australia and a one-party communist state like China,” Mr Abbott said. “Perhaps this is why the relationship between Australia and India, until recently, has largely been taken for granted; while that with China has been carefully cultivated by all governments and assiduously fostered by all prime ministers since Bob Hawke,” he added. Continue reading


As many as 167 Army personnel lost their lives in Siachen Glacier in the last 10 years due to weather-related incidents, sources said on Tuesday, a day after an avalanche killed 4 soldiers and two civilian porters there.

The casualty figure between 2009 and 2019 includes six officers, the sources said. They did not provide break-up of the casualties, but it is assumed that all the deaths took place in weather-related incidents since the military confrontation between the forces of India and Pakistan has been practically nil during this period. Continue reading


The Indian Army has sent out a strong warning to its personnel in case of information leakage. It also urged the commanders to execute “harsh punishments” against those who do not report on information leaks. The move was prompted following several cases of sensitive information getting out in the public domain.

The Army has identified nearly 150 social media profiles with fake identities involved in trapping to seek secret information. “Non-reporting of information leakage is a serious offence and defaulters will be severely punished. Harsh punishments must be given by commanders to those who neglect the warning. No soft approach should be tolerated,” said the Army in a recent advisory. Continue reading


Hitting out at Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that the neighbouring country does not live up to the meaning of its name and keeps on doing nefarious acts. Addressing the Indian diaspora in Singapore, Mr Singh also defended the revocation of Article 370 and said that it was unfortunate that one full-fledged state (Jammu and Kashmir) was not integrated with the rest of the country.

Mr Singh, who arrived in Singapore on Monday night on a two-day visit, said that the government will never compromise national interest. “We have a neighbour whose name is Pakistan (land of the pure) but it keeps on doing “na-Pak” (nefarious) acts,” he said, taking a swipe at Pakistan, which has downgraded diplomatic ties with India after it revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Continue reading


Pakistan has resumed postal mail service with India, nearly three months after it was suspended in the wake of India’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistan media reported on Tuesday. Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

India’s August 5 decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties. Islamabad suspended all communication links with India as well as the trade ties. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to procure 200 Medium Weight Fighter (MWF) fighter jet in near future to replace the whole fleets of Mirage-2000-5 and Mig-29UPG but also has laid down strict guidelines with its developers on what it wants from the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) which is the nodal agency of the MWF program.

ADA and IAF have agreed to develop the MWF program with state-of-the-art technology which is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats and since in today’s modern-day warfare a smart aircraft will need not only analyze and handle high volumes of data should also be allowed to operate in the future battle space where 5th generation fighter aircraft will dominate and only a smart 4.5++ Gen will able to survive in this environment. Continue reading


In this second part of an interview with ET’s Manu Pubby, DRDO Chief G Sateesh Reddy describes the indigenous ASTRA missile as ready for induction and detailed how all components for the Ballistic Missile Defence system are now ready.

Two new missile projects by DRDO have stood out – the ASTRA air to air missile and the ballistic missile defence system designed to protect India against a nuclear attack. Where do we stand on these?
ASTRA initially had some technological challenges which have been overcome successfully. With our persistent effort and with active IAF support, all the user evaluation has been completed and ASTRA is now ready for induction. We are very confident of extending the range to nearly double of its existing range, making it the most lethal BVR missile. Continue reading

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