Indian Air Force presently is going through its most difficult of the times where it will be retiring more aircraft than what it will be inducting causing imbalance in Squadron strength. Air Force currently operates 35 squadrons even though the sanctioned strength is 42, this will further drop to below 30 Squadrons in the next two years while delays in MMRCA 2.0 means IAF will be inducting only 30 Sukhoi-30MKI and 36 Dassault Rafale in next three years while it retires all its MiG 21 and MiG 27 Squadrons in this period.

Let me first explain the above Chart to understand how still IAF can manage to get back to its sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons by 2030 for the first time in nearly 40 years after reaching its peak in the early ’80s. Original order of Sukhoi-30MKI which was 272-9 (Crashed) + 18 follow up orders will take the Type strength to 281 aircraft which will translate into 15.61 Squadrons. Continue reading



In the midst of renewed momentum in peace initiatives in Afghanistan, India Thursday said care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any “ungoverned spaces” where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India, as a close neighbour and important stakeholder in Afghanistan, was closely monitoring developments relating to peace and reconciliation process in the country.

He said India on Friday will exchange views with the Special Representative from Germany who is responsible for intra-Afghan dialogue. Kumar was replying to a question on Afghan peace process during a weekly media briefing. Continue reading


The Rafale aircraft will provide the Indian Air Force strategic deterrence and requisite capability to engage targets at long ranges, the Defence Ministry said, adding the training of the first batch of officers and technicians is underway with the French Air Force.

In its 2018-19 annual report, the ministry said the French-make aircraft will provide India strong weapons and systems capability edge over the country’s adversaries.India has signed an agreement to purchase two squadrons (36) of the twin-engine multi-role aircraft and decided to base one each on its western and eastern fronts with Pakistan and China. Continue reading


Spear-heading India’s outreach to the Middle East in defence cooperation, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) will train the United Arab Emirates (UAE) troopers.

As part of the programme a 20-member UAE contingent reached the IMA on Wednesday, IMA spokesman Lt Col Amit Dagar said on Thursday.The 7-week training, between July 18 and August 31, would involve various drills, the bedrock of discipline in the armed forces, Lt Col Dagar said. Continue reading


The Indian Navy has placed an order with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a new dedicated military satellite for communications between its warships, aircraft and shore-based units, with a launch expected within a year. The Rs 1,589 crore order for a new military satellite—named GSAT 7R—will include launch cost and procurement of necessary infrastructure on ground. The satellite is expected to eventually replace the first dedicated Indian military satellite, the GSAT 7, which was launched in 2013.

The order for the satellite was placed on June 11, with officials saying the newly-sanctioned triservices Defence Space Agency is likely to get several new assets in the coming months for communication as well as surveillance. Continue reading


Indian warships escorting merchant vessels in the Persian Gulf will remain deployed for the longer term, officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, as tensions between Iran and Western powers rise.

But the two ships, backed by surveillance aircraft, will not be part of a military coalition that the United States is assembling to safeguard the waters off Iran near the Straits of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil moves, the two officials said.Since June following attacks on tankers that the United States blamed on Iran and Iran-aligned fighters, a charged Tehran denies, the navy ships have been escorting Indian-flagged vessels in and out of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Continue reading


A day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in favour of India and asked Pakistan to provide consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, Islamabad said that the access will be provided according to Pakistani laws. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) further said that Jadhav has been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. “Pakistan will grant consular access to him according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” it further said.

“Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” MOFA said in a statement on Thursday evening. Continue reading


Over two years after the Sino-Indian standoff, the Indian Army is still monitoring Chinese activities in Doklam and is adequately prepared to respond to any contingency, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has said. In its annual report for 2018-19, the MoD also said that Pakistan should take a credible and irreversible action to curb terror emanating from its soil and dismantle the infrastructure operated by the terror groups.

India and China witnessed a 72-day standoff at Doklam in August 2017. “(But) the Indian Army is continuously monitoring Chinese activities in the area and is adequately prepared to respond to any contingency,” the defence ministry report said. Adding that the situation along the India-China border is ‘peaceful’, the report further added, “There are a few areas along the border where there are differing perceptions of the Line of Actual Control. Both sides patrol up to their respective perceptions of LAC.” Continue reading


Pakistan will grant consular access to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav according to the Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out, the Foreign Ministry said in a late night statement. The ministry also said that Kulbhushan Jadhav had been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention on consular relations.”Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Kulbhushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” it said. Continue reading


A 23-page dossier handed over to Islamabad on July 14 by Indian delegation during the Kartarpur Corridor talks at Wagah Border details how pro-Khalistan groups have free run within Pakistan. In the meeting, Pakistan promised that it would not allow any anti-India activity.

The dossier gives details of anti-India activity in Pakistan, especially to target Sikh devotees. The document also details that several pro-Khalistani groups including Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which was recently banned in India, are freely operating in Pakistan. The document also contains pictures of pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla meeting Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, designated as a terrorist by the United Nations. Continue reading


In a step forward towards deploying women officers on board naval ships, the recently issued tender for cadet training ships has facilities catered for women aboard, a Navy source said on Thursday.“This is the first tender to be issued with design inputs incorporated for separate facilities for women officers. Such design changes will be part of all future warships to be procured by the Indian Navy,” the source told The Hindu.

In February this year, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for three Cadet Training ships for the Navy, which would be utilised to provide basic sea training for “officer cadets including women officer under trainees.” Continue reading


Three days after the launch of India’s second mission to the moon was aborted 56 minutes from take-off due to a technical snag, the Indian Space Research Organsation (Isro) announced that the glitch has been corrected and Chandrayaan 2 is ready for launch on July 22 at 2.43pm.

The new launch timing, however, will leave no margin for error due to a shorter window period, according to a senior official from the space agency who asked not to be named. “July 15 was ideal for the launch of the Chandryaan-2 mission as there was a 10-minute window period, which gave us room for adjustments in the complex mission. Now, all the launch windows are just of one minute, so everything has to be right and the satellite has to be launched precisely at the planned time,” he said. Continue reading


India on Thursday called on Pakistan to immediately release Kulbhushan Jadhav, on death row following his conviction on charges of espionage, in view of the International Court of Justice’s ruling, asking for a review of the former naval officer’s sentence. The Hague-based top court of the United Nations declared on Wednesday that Pakistan had violated Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and called for an effective review and reconsideration of the death sentence given to him by a military court.

In a statement made in both houses of Parliament, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said Jadhav was innocent of the charges levelled against him and a forced confession without legal representation and due process wouldn’t change this fact. Continue reading


The Indian Army has approved the opening of a new trading point with China at Dumchelle in Ladakh, the third such along India’s disputed, albeit peaceful 3,488-km border with China in a confidence building measure ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s October visit.

Although the Indian Army’s spokesperson did not respond to queries, three officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that the army has cleared the opening of the post, and that it is up to the government now. Hindustan Times learns that the trading post could open as soon as the end of the year and that work has already started on the customs check point and the road to it. The only thing left is for the Cabinet Committee on Security to sign off. Continue reading


Indian Air Force fighter pilots, including one of India’s first female pilots in this stream, examined and tested a cockpit simulator of the F-21 fighter aircraft of American aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin, here on Tuesday. Lockheed Martin has been pitching its F-21 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) requirement of 114 jets. It is among other top contenders in this field vying for the project. The others are Boeing’s F/A-18, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian aircraft MiG 35 and Saab’s Gripen.

Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi was among some of the IAF fighter pilots who examined the F-21’s Cockpit Demonstration Simulator (CDS). Some of the pilots told ET that they ‘assessed’ the CDS and ‘it was good’, while others felt that they had a ‘mediocre’ experience with it. Questions were sent to the IAF on the matter, but it didn’t officially respond. Continue reading

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