The Russian navy has introduced into service the Kamov Ka-31R “radar picket” helicopter, a refined version of the Ka-31 (NATO reporting name Helix-B) that is already in service with the Indian and Chinese navies. A mouthpiece of the Russian defense ministry, the Zvezda (“Star”) media company, broadcast a TV program about the Ka-31R having become operational with the navy’s Black Sea Fleet. It filmed a helicopter with registration 34166, side number 90, at the Kacha aerodrome near Sebastopol. This machine also appears flying over the Crimean peninsula and making a touchdown on the Marshal Ustinov, a Project 1164 guided-missile cruiser.

In a televised interview, Lieutenant Colonel Igor Nekrasov said: “Its primary function is to detect targets and provide targeting information on sea-going targets, as well as aerial ones, including manned and unmanned flying vehicles, cruise missiles, and so on.” The broadcaster added that the Ka-31R’s radar is so powerful that it can cover the whole of the Black Sea’s surface. It further said that Side 90 had recently been handed over to an aviation unit (believed to be the 318th Independent Air Regiment) reporting to the command of the Black Sea Fleet and that a new squadron had been formed in that regiment to operate such helicopters. Continue reading


ENGINEERING firm Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with Turkey for the production of nuclear mini-reactors, sparking fears that the British company and its international consortium partners are helping pave the way for Ankara to develop a nuclear bomb.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said that its overseas holding EUAS International ICC had signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Turkish government to “help develop low-carbon energy systems opening an exciting new chapter in the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey.” Continue reading


South Korea scrambled fighter jets on Wednesday after a Chinese military aircraft trespassed into the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone, or KADIZ, according to Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff. The Chinese Y-9 surveillance aircraft strayed into South Korea-claimed airspace for 35 minutes without submitting prior notification, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

Air defense zones are unofficial airspace that does not overlap with territorial airspace. The Chinese aircraft did not enter South Korean territorial airspace, according to the report. The Y-9 was first detected west of the Korean Peninsula at 9:35 a.m., in an overlapping area between KADIZ and Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, or JADIZ. Continue reading


The keel-laying ceremony of 2nd ship of Type 054 A/P held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, making a significant milestone in induction of cutting-edge Frigate for Pakistan Navy. During the ceremony Keel laying protocols were signed by both Pakistani and Chinese sides. Chief Naval Overseas (China), Commodore Azfar Humayun graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

The 054 A/P Frigates are technologically advanced and major platforms which will strengthen Pakistan Navy capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace & stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region. The Type 054A frigate is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It is a development of the Type 054 frigate, using the same hull but with improved sensors and weapons. This ship has a crew of 165 sailors including officers. Continue reading


A Sikh place of worship in the Afghan capital was targeted by suspected suicide bombers on Wednesday morning, triggering a gun battle with security forces, according to media reports. The attackers targeted a ‘dharamshala’ in Shor Bazar area of Kabul, which has a sizeable population of the Hindu and Sikh minorities. Some reports said the attack began at about 7.45 am Afghan time.

Suicide bombers had entered the dharamshala in Shor Bazar and were fighting with security forces, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian was quoted as saying by leading Afghan news channel Tolo News. “More forces are arriving at the area,” he said. The Afghan security forces had cleared the first floor of the Sikh place of worship and rescued a “number of people” who had been trapped inside the building, Arian said. Efforts were on to rescue other survivors, he added. Continue reading


Russia is currently building fourth-generation submarines and designing fifth-generation. Little is known about the new submarines, but it is clear they will eliminate problems encountered by modern nuclear submarines, online publication writes.

There is little open information on the latest Husky-class fifth-generation submarines. Their characteristics can be only imagined. In particular, the underwater displacement is likely to comprise 12-13 thousand tons. They will have a two-section construction and the crew will number close to 90 men. They will be smaller than the current Yasen-M-class SSGN of project 885M. It will increase the maneuverability and stealth characteristics of new submarines. Continue reading


The Chinese air force is moving to standardize the paint schemes of its aircraft, introducing new regulations requiring use of common paints and colors to reduce the fleet’s visibility both to the human eye and to radar. According to the new regulations, aircraft in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) will begin to use common “low observable” paint schemes that will reduce their visibility on enemy radars as well as to visual observers, the Global Times reported earlier this month, citing the PLA Daily.

The new colors featured are “sky colors,” the publication said, such as gray, light blue and silver, which help the planes to blend into their backgrounds. The paint schemes will also use a new insignia with a less prominent Chinese flag, which is red and makes planes easier to discern. Continue reading


Pakistan’s efforts to build a 750 km range ground-launched cruise missile Babur II have suffered a set-back with the delivery platform crashing to the ground after two minutes or 14 kilometres in flight from the launch point at Sonmiani test range in Balochistan on March 19.

According to national security planners and Pakistan watchers, this was the second consecutive test failure of the Babur II sub-sonic missile after the previous test failed on April 10, 2018. The second test launch failed while being witnessed by Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Chief of General Staff, Pakistan General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, and top officials of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC) and Strategic Plans Division. Continue reading


China has deployed a fleet of underwater drones in the Indian Ocean. According to Chinese government sources, the drones were launched in mid-December 2019 and recovered in February after making more than 3,400 observations. These Sea Wing gliders are a type of Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (UUV) which can operate for months on end.

The gliders are similar to ones deployed by the U.S. Navy. When China seized a U.S. Navy ocean glider in 2016 the stated reason was to ensure “safe navigation of passing ships.” Taken at face value, it may be surprising that China is now deploying these types of UUV en masse in the Indian Ocean. China has also deployed the Sea Wing from an ice breaker in the Arctic. Continue reading


Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that countries like Pakistan, which are burdened by external debt, should be provided relief in repayment of loans so that they could focus on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Qureshi made this request while talking to his German counterpart Heiko Maas over the phone on Saturday. Besides the situation of economically fragile countries in the context of the pandemic, the communications blockade and lockdown in India-held Jammu and Kashmir and the crippling sanctions against Iran came under discussion.

He told the German foreign minister that united efforts were needed for dealing with Covid-19 that had emerged as a major challenge for the entire world. Continue reading


After US President Donald Trump calling COVID-19 a “Chinese virus” and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blaming China, Russia and Iran for spreading disinformation about new coronavirus, questions are now being raised over whether Beijing can be held legally accountable for covering up initial outbreak and clamping down on real information from being shared.

During a White House briefing on Friday Pompeo said the false information is coming from “places like China and Russia and Iran, where there are coordinated efforts to disparage what America is doing and our activity to do all the things President Trump has set in motion here”. Continue reading


I thank you for what I consider to be a great honour to say a few words on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his birth centenary. It’s a matter of coincidence that Sheikh Mujib’s origins and the descent of the paternal side of my family are from the same sub-division now a district, namely Gopalganj. Sheikh Mujib hailed from Tungipara. My ancestors were based in Ulpur. The distance between the two are a mere 27 kilometres.

I vividly remember that towards the end of 1970, Sheikh Mujib’s party the Awami League won a majority of seats in elections to the National Assembly of Pakistan. However, in March 1971 General Yahya Khan, Pakistan’s dictator, cancelled the scheduled session of the National Assembly to deny Awami League office and Sheikh Mujib the prime ministership of Pakistan. Continue reading


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday demanded that China share more data on the novel coronavirus as Beijing angrily accused him of lying and said Washington was trying to shift blame. It was the latest clash in an escalating feud between the two powers over the global COVID-19 pandemic, which was first detected in the Chinese metropolis Wuhan but has now infected more than 250,000 people worldwide and hobbled life in the West.

Pompeo — who, like President Donald Trump, has enraged Beijing by speaking of the “Chinese virus” — said Beijing had a “special obligation” to scientists due to its early knowledge of the illness. Continue reading


The United States announced Friday it has successfully tested an unarmed prototype of a hypersonic missile, a nuclear-capable weapon that could accelerate the arms race between superpowers. The Pentagon said a test glide vehicle flew at hypersonic speeds — more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5 — to a designated impact point.

The test followed the first joint US Army and Navy flight experiment in October 2017, when the prototype missile demonstrated it could glide in the direction of a target at hypersonic speed. Continue reading


Against the ominous question mark hanging over Myanmar’s remarkable encounter with COVID 19 – no recorded cases to date — it’s easy to view the country’s ethnic conflicts as mere off-stage business-as-usual.

In western Myanmar, an area that brings India and China’s strategic interests face-to-face, that would be a serious mistake. Whatever the toll of the virus in the coming months, the sharp deterioration of the military situation in Rakhine and neighboring areas of Chin state will shape in a far more profound sense both Myanmar’s political future and India’s plans to push back against growing Chinese influence. Continue reading