The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is expected to sign a contract with the Indian Navy for the 45,000-ton fleet support ships (FSS) for the Indian Navy in the second quarter of 2020, if all goes well with the ongoing negotiations.

RAdm LV Sarat Babu, CMD of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, told Financial Express Online in an exclusive interaction that, “The Turkish Shipyard turned out to be L1 and technically qualified for the FSS project for the Indian Navy and is technically qualified. It was down selected from among three companies which had made the cut earlier.” Continue reading


India signed the LEMOA or the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the United States in August 2016. A similar agreement with Russia is likely in the next two months.

The Reciprocal Logistics Support Agreement (RLSA) is being readied and could happen in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is expected to be in Vladivostok for the East Asia Summit in September. The RLSA will be a tri-service agreement, meaning that the Russians could not only use ports like Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam for refuelling but also, airports after the agreement is signed. India, of course, could do the same, when it came to Russian ports and airbases. Interestingly, global warming makes the signing of the agreement with Russia, one of India’s closest defence allies, more imperative. Continue reading


Although Pakistan’s decision to open up its airspace for civil traffic must have come as big relief to the Indian airlines that suffered huge losses because of the airspace closure by the north-western neighbour, it also is undeniably true that the Imran Khan government is already reeling under huge economic losses, worsened by the airspace closure and ensuing mounting expenses.

Pakistan on Monday night opened its airspace for all type of civil traffic, thereby lifting a ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use most of its airspace following the Balakot airstrikes in February. Late on Monday night, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice to airmen NOTAM, stating “with immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (air traffic service) routes”. Continue reading


China has gifted a warship to Sri Lanka, in the latest sign of its deepening military cooperation with the strategically located island nation in the Indian Ocean. Also, China’s rolling-stock manufacturer has announced that it would shortly deliver nine “new type” of diesel trains to Sri Lanka.

The China-gifted frigate ‘P625’ arrived in Colombo last week. The Type 053 frigate was commissioned into China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy in 1994 as the Tongling. The 2,300-tonne warship was decommissioned by the PLA Navy in 2015. The warship has now been gifted to the Lankan Navy. Continue reading


People in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) are facing immense difficulties due to the consistent increase in inflation rates and heavy pay taxes implemented by Islamabad for benefits that residents here never enjoy.

While Pakistan has been witnessing economic challenges in recent days owing to its incompetent policies, this occupied region, which is already marginalised, has borne the major brunt of unfair taxes and high inflation. Locals of this region have accused the establishment and Prime Minister Imran Khan of being apathetic towards their plights and making tall claims of bringing prosperity. Continue reading


Two decades ago the Indian Army faced an unprecedented challenge, tasked to achieve the near impossible – recapture the peaks occupied by the Pakistan Army at an average altitude of 17000 feet in the Areas of Mushkok, Drass, Kaksar, Kargil and Batalik.

In a bold, ambitious and strategic masterstroke, Pakistan Army spearheaded by the Special Services Groups (Special Forces) and the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) infiltrated and occupied heights dominating the Zojila – Drass- Kargil – Leh national highway (NH1A), lifeline for sustenance and survival of Kargil and Ladakh regions as also the army deployment. Zozilla pass one of the two connecting Ladakh to the mainland usually opens for 100 days a year from 15 June to 15 October. Hence any disruption of NH1A would effectively cut off Kargil, Leh and the Siachen Glacier as also bring Kashmir back into international focus and center stage, this being Musharraf’s aim. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday reviewed the setting up of a factory for the production of AK-203 assault rifles in Uttar Pradesh.
According to a statement, it is a joint venture between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) of India and Rosonboron Exports and Concern Kalashnikov on the Russian side.

“Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the operationalisation of newly dedicated joint venture, Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh for the production of AK-203 assault rifles in a high-level meeting today,” the statement read. Continue reading


India is hoping the UK will approve its request to interview Jabir Siddiq, aka Motiwala, considered one of Dawood Ibrahim’s closest aides, because it believes this will help get some insights into the drugs and extortion operations the main accused in the 1993 Mumbai terror attacks still runs in the country, and perhaps even provide some proof of the fugitive’s presence in Pakistan.

According to Jabir’s dossier with Indian security agencies, which has been reviewed by Hindustan Times, he is the only one of Dawood’s associates who is a trustee in the Karachi-based Islam Baba Trust, where Ibrahim, his wife, his son and two sons-in-law are trustees. This trust is described by the Indian national security establishment as a religious front to manage properties of the D-company. Continue reading


The top court of the UN will on Wednesday announce its verdict on India’s petition challenging the death sentence given to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court for alleged involvement in spying.

Almost five months ago, The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) reserved its verdict in the matter after hearing oral arguments by India and Pakistan. ICJ president Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read the court’s decision in a sitting at 3pm (6.30pm IST) on Wednesday. Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani authorities on March 3, 2016 in Balochistan on charges of espionage and involvement in subversive activities. India was informed about the arrest on March 25, 2016 and Islamabad has not offered any explanation for this delay. Jadhav was sentenced to death in April 2017 after a secret trial by a military court. Continue reading


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists found helium pressure loss from the gas bottle in the cryogenic engine of the third stage of GSLV MKIII M1 launcher to be the main villain behind the mission being deferred 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the scheduled launch at 2.51 am on July 15.

The helium was meant to provide pressure to the oxidising fuel in this most crucial cryogenic stage engine of the launcher carrying Chandrayaan-2 in its final phase before releasing the spacecraft into the initial earth orbit. Although they have found the technical snag “simple enough” to rectify now, what has foxed them is the reason for the occurrence of the snag, which is yet to be verified. Continue reading


Two Rohingyas, who sneaked into India ostensibly in search of jobs, were arrested in Tripura.Md. Salim (21) and Jahangir Alam (20) were arrested from West Tripura district on Monday. The arrest was made after the locals had informed the police about the suspicious movement of two individuals. The police recovered refugee cards from the duo’s possession.

The police said the accused persons admitted to have spent time at a Rohingya refugee camp in Chittagong area of Bangladesh. Over the past few months, several Rohingyas were arrested in the Northeast, mostly in Tripura. The refugees often use the Tripura corridor of the international border to sneak into India. Given the illegal influx, the Centre had earlier sent an advisory to the BSF and the states in the Northeast to be on a high alert. Continue reading


The construction of the Kartarpur Corridor for the easy access of Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan has raised security concerns in the Indian establishment. The attempts by certain organisations in the neighbouring country to stoke pro-Khalistan sentiments among Sikh pilgrims from India is not lost on the Indian government.

On Sunday, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that India had submitted a dossier to the Pakistan officials during the second bilateral meeting on Kartarpur corridor at Wagah in connection with this matter.The dossier highlighted reports that Pakistan-based organisations or individuals may attempt to “disrupt the pilgrimage and misuse the opportunity to play with the sentiments of the pilgrims.” Continue reading


The United States has raised a global row over Russia’s sales of its S-400 long-range air defence missiles, first to India, and now to Turkey. Both countries — Turkey, a NATO ally and India, at the threshold of major non-NATO ally status — shrugged US concerns off to buy the controversial missile. New Delhi signed a $5.2 billion deal to buy five units of the missile system last October, setting up a special banking mechanism to pay for it in euros, rather than dollars to bypass US financial channels and ongoing US sanctions on Russian firms.

It went ahead with the purchase despite US’ counter-offers of systems like the Patriot PAC-3 and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) and veiled warnings of “consequences” to the purchase. A senior Russian defence industry official in St Petersburg termed US opposition to the sale “commercial rather than diplomatic”. Continue reading


Indian Air Force chief BS Dhanoa on Tuesday asserted that the February 26 raid on a terror base in Pakistan’s Balakot demonstrated the Air Force’s capability to carry out precision strikes from a standoff distance. Speaking at a seminar on 20 years of Operation Safed Sagar, the code name for the IAF’s action during the Kargil war, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said the Balakot strikes proved that the IAF had the capability to carry out operations across the full spectrum of operations and this was achieved through “long planning and induction” of platforms.

“That’s the big change that has taken place over the years,” he asserted, crediting his predecessors for laying the foundation for enhanced capabilities. Continue reading


There is shortage of certain Russian-origin spare parts of AN-32 transport aircraft due to strained relations between Russia and Ukraine, the government said Monday.In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said the Indian Air Force (IAF) has 98 AN-32 aircraft and none has outlived its operational life.

“More than half of Indian Air Force’s AN-32 aircraft have been upgraded with structural upgrade as well as installation of advanced avionics such as radar, radio sets, navigation system etc and the remaining are under upgradation in a phased manner. The serviceability of the fleet has been at par with other fleets,” he said. Continue reading