The fate of the $8-billion (approx Rs 60,000 crore) Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project for the Indian Army which has been getting delayed will now be decided by the next government. Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online that the project that had been moved to the Make II category of the DPP-2016 last year in an effort to expedite it is stuck due to the lack of decision from both service headquarters and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD has been pushing the industry to invest 90 per cent funds to develop the prototype of the FICV which is for modernising the Armoured Vehicles of the Indian Army; however, due to lack of any commitment from the end user there has been reluctance from the industry. Industry sources pointed out that there have been long delays as the MoD and the Service Headquarters have yet to decide on the requirement of the vehicles. Sources have said that there have been differences of opinion between the end user the Indian Army – and the MoD which has pushed the critical programme under the Make-II category. Continue reading


Indian security agencies have alerted Sri Lanka that another attack could be carried out by the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), the Hindustan Times reports quoting senior officials of the SITE Intelligence Group.

Noufar Moulvi, brother-in-law of Hashim, recently returned to Sri Lanka from Qatar and had taken charge of the group, the report read. The NTJ, the little known group blamed for the bombing of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday, appears to have been inspired by Islamic State (IS) though direct links between the two are yet to be established, people familiar with developments said on Monday. Continue reading


Cross-border military action that is made public necessarily provokes the other side to respond, leading to escalation of conflict between two countries, according to former National Security Advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon.

Speaking at a panel here on Monday during the launch of a book on ceasefire violations — “Line on Fire” — by JNU Professor Happymon Jacob, Menon said that “if the goal (of military action) is to assert moral ascendancy, or grab land, or whatever, it is best done quietly”. “The moment it’s done publicly, you’re forcing the other side to respond, and to be seen to respond. They have no choice..either they deny, or they’re seen by their people. You’re then climbing on an escalation ladder by just going public,” the Indian diplomat said. Continue reading


China and India are both unlikely to completely cut off Iranian crude imports, energy analysts have said, despite the imminent threat of U.S. sanctions.President Donald Trump’s administration announced Monday that buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

The move, which took many market participants by surprise, ends six months of waivers which had allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers of crude to continue to import limited volumes. International benchmark Brent crude traded at $74.26 Tuesday afternoon, up around 0.3%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $65.93, almost 0.6% higher. Continue reading


The Indian Army has approved the “emergency purchase” of 240 Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) made by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense System to meet immediate operational requirements, Indian media have reported. The decision to procure the 240 ATGMs and 12 launchers was reportedly made during the five-day biannual Army Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi that ended on April 13, an IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly report quoted sources as saying.

According to the report, the procurement followed an emergency provision that gave the Indian Army vice chief of staff the authorization to purchase goods and material worth up to $72 million without having to get prior approval from the Defense Ministry. Continue reading


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the most important elements of President Xi Jinping’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative. It is also a big sticking point in India’s relationship with China.

Just last week, foreign minister Wang Yi appealed to India to shed its opposition to the corridor, saying it in no way “undermined” the basic position on Kashmir. The appeal came ahead of the Belt and Road Forum Beijing is hosting from 25 to 27 April, in which 37 heads of state and government have confirmed their participation, including Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Continue reading


Pakistan on Monday took exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks about India’s nuclear capability, terming them “highly unfortunate” and said such nuclear brinksmanship should be discouraged.

Pointing out that Modi referred to the night of February 27 and missile-related threat from India as ‘Qatal ki Raat’ (the night of murder), a Foreign Office (FO) statement said, “It clearly contradicts the position of Indian officials, who had tried to give an impression that there were no such plans of India and instead had blamed Pakistan for ‘whipping up war hysteria’.” Continue reading


Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the terrorist blasts in Sri Lanka, as investigations into Sunday’s coordinated attacks that killed 321 people intensify.

The group’s Amaq News sent a tweet citing a ‘security source’ as saying the attacks were the work of ‘fighters of the Islamic State.’Interpol has joined the investigation to help identify potential international connections, with attention also focused on a second extremist group known as Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. Continue reading


The February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama, in which 44 CRPF soldiers were killed, has led to a delay in a comprehensive exercise being carried out by the Indian Army to restructure the organisation of its fighting formations.

The attack and the deployment in the state after it, has delayed testing of Integrated Battle Groups (IBG), a senior Army officer said on Monday, on condition of anonymity. “There is a delay till the time the precautionary deployment along the Western Border with Pakistan is not lifted,” added the official. IBGs will comprise of all the elements needed for fighting a full-scale war on any chosen terrain. According to the official, the idea is to apply these changes at a brigade level with specific changes, according to the terrain. Each brigade has an average of 3,000- 4,000 troops. Continue reading


Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, interacted with the officers of the Indian Navy at Naval Commanders’ Conference here to discuss the security challenges faced by the country.

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Navy Chief-designate Vice Admiral Karambir Singh and Director General Coast Guard Rajendra Singh, were present at the conference. The meeting took place a couple of days after eight coordinated bomb blasts shook Sri Lanka leaving 310 people dead and more than 500 injured during Easter celebrations on Sunday. Continue reading


The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi telling him to respond to the contempt petition for attributing remarks to the top court in the Rafale case. The notice was issued after a request from Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer Abhishek Singhvi who urged the judges to close the contempt case against him after his explanation yesterday.

In his affidavit filed on Monday, Rahul Gandhi had clarified his remarks in connection with the top court order related to the review of Rafale case, insisting that they were in the heat of the moment during a campaign and not meant to obstruct administration of justice or scandalise the court in any manner. Continue reading


Ten days after he filed a statutory complaint to defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman against his supersession, Vice-Admiral Bimal Verma will on Tuesday come face-to-face with the junior officer, Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh, who was named as the next navy chief by the government last week, officials familiar with the matter said.

The two top admirals are among the battery of senior navy officials who will attend the biannual Naval Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi from April 23 to April 25. Continue reading


State-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has confirmed that the developmental trial phase of long-delayed Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile is officially over and the DRDO has approached Indian Navy and Indian Army to come up with their own specific variant requirements, which will enable the missile system to enter production in next three years.

Indian Navy has asked, DRDO for a Ship-based Nirbhay Sub-Cruise missile variant with a range in excess of 1500 km and could prefer a range close to 2000 km, which DRDO is currently studying by making available extra onboard fuel in the missile and by also improving fuel burn ratio but Indian Army has come up with new requirements which can take more developmental time. Continue reading


Indian Navy successfully carried out testing of Sahayak Air Droppable Containers, developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam in collaboration with Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra. The containers can be air-dropped to enhance Navy’s operational logistics capability at sea. With capacity of up to 50 kg, these containers can carry spares for ships up to 2000 km away from the coast.

The trials were undertaken into the Arabian Sea on 8 January 2019 from an IL-38 aircraft off the coast of Goa. A test payload of 50 kg was dropped in the container, which descended to the sea with the help of a parachute. Speaking after the trials, a naval spokesperson said: The containers would reduce the requirement of ships to be close to the coast for collecting spares and stores, thereby increasing the duration of their deployment. The Sahayak containers would enhance navy’s operational logistics capability. Continue reading


Indian security agencies have sounded a red alert in Tamil Nadu, warning that the perpetrators of the dastardly terror attacks in Sri Lanka may flee via sea towards the coastal state. The Coast Guard and Navy have been put on high alert and mobilized.

Sri Lankan police have arrested 24 people in connection with the series of suicide bombings targeting hotels and churches, all allegedly associates of National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), a group allegedly funded and supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Sources say ISI has been using Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK) as a proxy to radicalize unemployed Muslims youths in Sri Lanka and coax them to join the NTJ. A strong presence of NTJ members in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have caused security apparatus in these states to be beefed up. Continue reading

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