The Air Force is keen to make the indigenous Astra missile its standard long-range weapon for fighter aircraft and is promoting its integration on board the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as well as other platforms, top officials have told ET. The LCA will not bear Meteor — beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) — that is standard on the Rafale fighter jets, with the French side expressing its reluctance to integrate the weapon with an aircraft equipped with an Israeli-origin radar and the Air Force determined to bring down the heavy imports bill by selecting a home-grown option.

“We are not even looking at the French option. We want to promote the indigenous system and have it equipped across all our platforms. The Astra development programme has been satisfactory,” a top official said. Continue reading


Six Indian parliamentarians toured the UK’s brand new aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, on 16 January 2020 as part of the UK-India Chevening Parliamentarian Fellowship Programme. HMS Prince of Wales is one of two Royal Navy aircraft carriers and was commissioned on 10 December 2019. Its sister aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will operate in the Indian Ocean Region on her first operational deployment in 2021.

The parliamentarians are in the UK for a week, focusing on five UK-India priorities: climate change, public healthcare, parliamentary democracy, finance, and defence and security. They were also hosted in the House of Lords, met the Chief Executive of University College London Hospital, and discussed cybersecurity at the University of Portsmouth. Continue reading


The Sukhoi 30-MKI fighter aircraft equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will give the Air Force the lethal capability to strike targets at grounds from greater distances and will be deployed in northern sectors as per the threat analysis, said Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

Talking to on Monday, about whether the fighter aircraft will be deployed on borders of China and Pakistan, Bhadauria said, “We will deploy… as per our threat analysis and plans. I would not say where, but we would deploy in the northern sectors. Tasking would be as per the requirement.” Continue reading


The 222 Tigersharks squadron with Sukhoi Su-30 MKI super-manoeuvrable fighter aircraft were inducted into the Indian Air Force Station in Thanjavur on Monday. Speaking after the induction, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat said the resurrection of Squadron 222 highlights the integration of Armed Forces.

“Sukhoi fighter aircraft equipped with BrahMos (missile) will become a game changer for our armed forces,” he said. “With the squadron, the security of our maritime domain has been enhanced extensively,” he said, adding that the squadron can also perform tasks in support of land forces. “It can protect vulnerable areas and any other task may be assigned,” Bipin Rawat said. Continue reading

SOURCE: Tribune News Service

The Indian Air Force is preparing to ferry its Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters to Russia for major overhaul and life extension, following which its vertical heavy-lift capability will get a substantial boost. The resurrected Soviet-origin helicopters will operate along with the IAF’s new American CH-47 Chinooks that are also employed in the heavy-lift logistics role for airlifting men and equipment.

At present, the IAF has three Mi-26s, the world’s largest and heaviest helicopters. These are based at Chandigarh with the 126 Helicopter Unit, also called Featherweights. The same unit also operates the Chinooks. In service since 1985, the first Mi-26 was grounded in 2013, followed by the other two in 2014 and 2017 on the expiry of their stipulated technical life. Although the IAF set into motion the process to give fresh lease of life to these grounded flying machines around four years ago, the plans remained mired in bureaucratic machinery. Continue reading


The World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland this week is unlikely to be spared of the war of words between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is travelling to Davos to attend the WEF and he is likely to use the forum to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government in New Delhi for its August 5, 2019 decisions on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Khan is also likely to use the opportunity to slam New Delhi for the detention of a large number of political leaders and activists and restrictions imposed in J&K.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Government of Pakistan confirmed on Monday that it had plans to raise the issue of J&K at the WEF in Davos. Continue reading


Russia on January 17 said it has started production of S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems for India and all the five units will be delivered by 2025. Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin also said that a contract will shortly be finalised for joint production of Kamov light weight multi-role military helicopters for India.

At a joint press conference with Russian Ambassador Nikolai Kudashev, he also said that Indian Armed forces will receive the first batch of 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles this year which will be produced in India under a joint venture. Babushkin said Russia and India have “successfully found solutions” to the payment issues and the focus this year will be to implement mega deals in the defence sector. Continue reading


Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro will on Friday begin a four-day visit to India, primarily as chief guest on Republic Day and also to explore ways to boost trade ties at a time both the large economies are hit by slowdowns.On his first visit to India after assuming power, President Bolsonaro will be accompanied by seven ministers, top officials and a large business delegation.

“President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be paying a state visit to India from January 24-27 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be the chief guest at India”s 71st Republic Day Parade on January 26,” the External Affairs Ministry said. President Bolsonaro, a former army captain, won a landslide victory in Brazil’s presidential election in October 2018 and took the reins of the country in January last year. “This visit is expected to further enhance and strengthen the multi-faceted ties between India-Brazil,” the ministry said. Continue reading


An Indian Army jawan and a Special Police Officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir Police have lost their lives during the encounter in Pulwama’s Awantipora. One terrorist was also neutralised in the fierce gunbattle that started on Tuesday morning.

According to the initial reports, the encounter between terrorists and security forces took place in Satpokhran Khrew area of Awantipora. According to inputs received, the encounter broke out on in a dense forest area in south Kashmir today morning after security forces received inputs of the presence of at least 2-3 terrorists in the region. Continue reading


The Narendra Modi government has unveiled a number of initiatives over the last week, all pointing to the culmination of one big goal: The likely visit of US President Donald Trump to Delhi later in February. First, there was the visit of a group of envoys, including US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, to Jammu and Kashmir a fortnight ago. It is believed that the envoys, including Juster, found the situation in Kashmir far less critical than what they had expected it to be.

Second, New Delhi restored internet services on pre-paid mobile phones in some parts of the union territory, and also seemed to address the concerns raised by the US State Department by releasing some political leaders who have been under “detention” since August 2019. Continue reading


Royal Nag Aviation (RNA), a city-based life-size aircraft restaurant model making company, is finding many buyers from far and wide, a company official said on Saturday.”We got orders from Rajasthan, Dehradun and Vadodara for making aircraft shaped and themed restaurants and bars,” RNA Chief Executive Naresh Kumar Ganesh to IANS.

Established in 2013, RNA crafts multiple aircraft models such as Cessna, Hansa, Beechcraft and the widely popular Airbus A320, which cost ?1.9 crore including the freight charges.”Many of our aircraft models are used for training purposes. We make smaller aircraft, more than 100 such models are all over India. Two-seater, 4-seater and 6-seater aircraft… Bengaluru itself has 15-20 such small models,” said Ganesh, who uses glass fibre, aluminium and steel to build the models. Continue reading


Smartphones running on new Qualcomm chipsets will be using Indian regional satellite navigation system NavIC within the Indian region and neighbouring countries. This means when people will use their smartphone to travel from point A to B anywhere in India, the receiver inside the phone will turn to the constellation of seven NavIC satellites which will be sending radio signals to each other and then to the receiver allowing it to determine the location and time at any point.

“ISRO is satisfied with the efforts of Qualcomm towards incorporating NavIC and we urge OEMs to leverage it for future handset launches in India. The availability of NavIC across multiple mobile platforms will help enhance the geolocation capabilities of smartphones in the region and bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to Indian consumers for their day-to-day use,” Dr. K Sivan, chairman, ISRO said in a press statement. Continue reading


Despite the social media having been deluged by displaced Kashmiri pandits’ video clippings vowing to “return and die” in the Valley, the community on Sunday appeared to be plagued by self doubts over the prospects of their return. They demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should settle the community living as “refugees in their own country” for the past 30 years at one place in the Valley.

In the backdrop of Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film Shikara on exodus of Kashmiri pandits, to be released in February, several Kashmiri pandits have taken to social media to express their love and willingness to return to their homeland in the Valley to “live and die” there. “Haji Sahib, we will come back. We will live and die in Kashmir. Our ashes will be immersed in river Vitasta in Kashmir,” is one such video clipping among many similar ones doing the rounds on social media. Continue reading


Indian Air Force (IAF) and India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will soon ink a deal for the purchase of additional 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters at upcoming DefExpo 2020 to be held next month in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh said a reliable sources close to along with a deal for 83 LCA-Tejas Mk1A jets.

HAL was pushing for the order of an additional 72 Su-30MKI fighters with IAF, but Indian Air Force is reluctant to place new orders in such a large number and has decided to procure only 12 jets to replace 9 jets which were lost in accidents from its induction in 2002. This 12 additional Sukhoi’s will help the Indian Air Force to maintain and take fleet strength over the original 272 Su-30MKI fighters. Continue reading


Ark Films, hat specializes in Films, Commercials, Visual Effects, Motion Design, Story Writing, a few days ago dropped a short film based on the Balakot strikes ” END RUN ” which has entered Film-fare short film awards for the year 2020 based On Feb. 26 pre-emptive airstrikes by Indian Mirage-2000s on Terror facility in the Balakot.

The film starts with Indian Mirage-2000 aircraft returning after conducting a pre-emptive strike on terror camps near Balakot, Mirage-2000 Pilots been told about chase from F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan Air Force on their tail at long range while Indian warplanes are heading towards Line of Control (LOC). Continue reading