The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) plans to arm the Mirage 2000 fleet with potent long-range Meteor missiles has hit rough weather due to high integration cost and lower capability of the fighter jet. The Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile Meteor — part of the Rafale weapons package — has a range of about 150 km and a no-escape zone of 100 km.

Officials at MBDA, the missile’s maker, said they had discussed the matter with the IAF and were informed that the deal was “not viable”. “We are in discussion with the IAF and it could still be an option. Our initial view is that perhaps the most optimal solution will be to bring the next generation MICA on the Mirage platform,” said MBDA’s Ryan Hurril, while briefing a select group of Indian journalists at its facility in the United Kingdom. Continue reading


The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Tuesday successfully test-fired the air-to-air Astra missile with a range of over 70 kilometers. The missile was test-fired from a Su-30MKI combat aircraft that took off from an airbase in West Bengal.

The indigenously-developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) Astra missile has been developed by DRDO and integrated on Su-30 and other air platforms, a previous statement from the research organisation said. Modfications of the SU-30 jets to accommodate Astra missiles has been done by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). More than 50 private and public sector industries have been involved in development and production. Continue reading


An unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV belonging to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) crashed during a trial in an agriculture field in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district on Tuesday.

No casualties were reported in the crash.The incident created quite a scare at Jodi Chillenahalli village as a loud noise was heard after the drone crashed. Soon, large number of people gathered at the spot. Confirming the incident, Chitradurga Superintendent of Police Arun K told news agency Press Trust of India that the UAV crashed in the Areca nut farm this morning. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will fly in the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru on Thursday, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday.

Tejas is a four-and-half generation light combat aircraft developed by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).Last Friday, the Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) had conducted a critical test by successfully executing the first-ever arrested landing at a shore-based facility, INS Hansa in Goa. It had brought LCA a step closer to the goal of operating from an aircraft carrier. Continue reading


US President Donald Trump’s decision to join Prime Minster Narendra Modi for the mega Indian community event “Howdy, Modi!” in Houston on September 22, suggests that he considers Prime Minister Modi to be his friend and ally, a former top Pakistani diplomat said on Monday. “President Trump is signalling clearly that while he may have hosted (Pakistan) Prime Minister Imran Khan, it is Prime Minister Modi that he considers his ally and friend,” former Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani told news agency Press Trust of India.

Mr Haqqani, 63, who has authored several bestselling books on Pakistan, is currently a senior fellow and director at the South and Central Asia department of think-tank Hudson Institute. Continue reading


US President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan soon. He maintained that tension between India and Pakistan had reduced. While President Trump will address Indian-Americans along with PM Modi at the “Howdy Modi!” event in Houston on Sunday, the American president did not say when or where he would meet Imran Khan.

“I’ll see Prime Minister Modi and I will – we’ll – be meeting with (prime ministers of) India and Pakistan and I think a lot of progress has been made there…lot of progress,” President Trump told reporters in response to a question at the White House, without mentioning Kashmir. Continue reading


When Brad Pitt called the International Space Station (ISS) Monday to talk to American astronaut Nick Hague, the conversation turned to the unexpected consequences of weightless life.”The calluses on my feet have basically gone away because I don’t walk on the bottoms of my feet,” said Hague, who is currently living on the ISS with two other Americans, two Russians and an Italian.

“But now I have calluses across the top of my foot, around my big toe, because I’m constantly hanging on things with my big toe,” he added. “That’s incredible to see,” said Pitt, who held the 20-minute video call via split-screen from NASA’s Washington headquarters. Continue reading


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operative Sajjad Ahmad Khan, a close aide of February 14 Pulwama attack mastermind Mudassir Ahmad Khan, for planning terror attacks in different parts of India including the National Capital Region.

Sajjad Khan is suspected to be involved in the Pulwama attack where a Jaish operative carried out a suicide bombing that resulted in the death of 40 CRPF troopers. The attack brought India, and Pakistan, where JeM is based, to the brink of war. Along with Sajjad, NIA has filed charge sheet against three other JeM men — Tanveer Ahmed Ganie, Bilal Ahmad Mir, and Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat. All four are residents of Pulwama. Continue reading


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was seen to be reluctant to extradite controversial preacher Zakir Naik a few months back, on Tuesday claimed that India hadn’t really pressed its extradition request. The 94-year-old Malaysian PM also suggested that this could be because the preacher could be “troublesome for India” as well.

He also stressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not seek Zakir Naik’s extradition when the two leaders met earlier this month. The Malaysian prime minister’s new stand is contrary to India’s official position that PM Modi did raise Zakir Naik’s extradition and the two leaders decided to let the officials work on the details. Continue reading


It’s a nightmare coming true for oil-hungry countries like India and China that are heavily dependent on imported oil to meet their energy needs. Drone attack on Aramco refinery in Saudi Arabia has shaken the world oil market. It has a direct impact as the crude oil prices have gone up by nearly 15% within two days of the attack.

The price surge is more in case of Brent North Crude, an oil basked that accounts for bulk of India’s imports unlike West Texas Instrument (WTI) that is relevant for the US market. It is not yet clear whether Saudi Arabia will be able to restore the supply to pre-attack level within 10-15 days or it will take more time. If the disruption continues for more than 10-15 days then it will have an impact on the retail price of petrol, diesel and if it drags on for months then it will mark the end of the era of moderate crude prices, two top former petroleum sector officials said. Continue reading


A doctor from a minority community in Pakistan’s Sindh region has appealed for help after his sister, a final year medical student, was found dead in her hostel room in Larkana on Monday. This comes weeks after a video appeal of a Sikh family, alleging abduction and forcible conversion of their daughter, went viral sparking outrage and forcing the Pakistan authorities to act.

Namrita Chandani, who belonged to Mirpur Mathelo, a taluka of Ghotki, was a final year student of Bibi Asifa Dental College, Larkana. She was found lying on a charpoy with a rope tied around her neck while her room was locked from inside. Police said it was early to say whether she committed suicide or had been murdered, reports Pakistan website Continue reading

SOURCE: Tribune News Service

Indian Air Force will reopen the strategically vital air-strip at Vijaynagar—the eastern-most tip of India —and has upgraded landing facilities and to make the air-strip fully operational to land transport planes and special operations planes like the C-130- J and the C-17. This comes after the IAF made all six airfields, called advanced landing grounds (ALGs), in Arunachal Pradesh operational in the past few years.The one in Vijaynagar will be re-opened when an AN 32 transport plane of the IAF lands there on Wednesday. IAF’s Eastern Command chief Air Marshall R D Mathur, Army Eastern Command Chief  Lt Gen Anil Chauhan will be on board the plane, sources told the Tribune.
India shares a 1,100 km-long disputed boundary with China in the far-eastern state. The six ALGs are at Passighat,  Mechuka,  Walong , Tuting , Ziro and Along besides the helicopter landing ground at Tawang.

Continue reading


Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday described as a step in the right direction the Supreme Court’s direction to the Indian government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to restore normalcy in the Valley as early as possible.

Qureshi’s comments came as India’s apex court asked the authorities to keep in mind the national interest while taking the necessary steps on a “selective basis”. The Jammu and Kashmir government, as well as the Centre, should make “every endeavour to restore the normalcy as early as possible”, a bench of the apex court said, adding the “restoration will be on a selective basis keeping in mind the national interest”. Continue reading


Cross-border firing along the Line of Control was reported from Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch on Monday night by Pakistani troops, which used high calibre weapons to fire at two places in the area, the Indian Army said on Tuesday. “Heavy ceasefire violation in two locations in Poonch yesterday (Monday). The Pakistan army used heavy calibre weapons. The Indian Army has retaliated appropriately,” a senior Indian Army official, who did not want to be named, said.

It is not yet clear whether the cross-border firing along the LoC, the disputed border between India and Pakistan, was to support infiltrating terrorist in Poonch, a traditional infiltration route. Continue reading


Forty three days after the reading down of Article 370 by Parliament, Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the decision to integrate Jammu and Kashmir more closely with the rest of the country is an attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to steer India towards the vision of “One India”.

“Today this is a decisive and determined and non corrupt government. Whether it was the decision of air strike or surgical strike, there are a lot of decisions which have to be considered such as — what if there is war? What if something goes wrong? And we decided that we would never compromise with the security of this country,” Shah said while speaking at the All India Management Association event. Continue reading