The Centre plans to set up 29 airstrips on National Highways at strategic locations for emergency landings by fighter aircraft, according to the transport ministry. The proposed strips have been planned on highways and roads near the international border in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Manipur and West Bengal. Three are planned on highways connecting Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh — all Maoist-affected areas. Emergency strips are also planned in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The ministry of road transport and highways, in 2016, announced the formation of an inter-ministerial joint committee with the ministry of defence and the Indian Air Force (IAF) to look into the feasibility of setting up these strips and to arrive at the technical details. IAF and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) were tasked with the site survey and inspection. Continue reading


It should have been a new beginning in India-Nepal relations, more momentous than in 1996 when New Delhi tried to take its sense of responsibility to its immediate neighbors after Inder Kumar Gujral became foreign minister. India agreed to renew trade with Nepal and a transit treaty that was more favorable to Nepal than ever before (India later reneged).

In one diplomatic farce after another in the neighborhood after he became prime minister of India in May 2014, Narendra Modi expressed his disposition to resolve the outstanding issues between India and Nepal in his last visit to the Himalayan country on May 12, 2018. Agenda item No 12 of the joint statement issued by the two countries’ foreign ministries at the end of Modi’s visit categorically stated that all of the outstanding issues between the two countries would be fixed by the end of September 2018. Continue reading


For India’s first manned mission to space- the Gaganyaan space mission, with the air force getting ready to identify a number of ace pilots to undergo a number of tests, including psychological assessments, the astronauts will be chosen this year.

While a formal request for astronauts is pending, the IAF is in contact with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the selection will be completed by the end of this year. The mission has an ambitious launch date of early 2022 – before India celebrates its 75th Independence Day – preparing for a tight schedule to identify and train the first set of astronauts. Continue reading


An entire chapter of the recent NIA chargesheet in the Nagrota Army base attack case is dedicated to the heroics of Dino. It was he who helped the investigating agency find the route taken by three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists to reach the base on 28 November 2016, and piece together the details of the deadly attack that claimed the lives of seven soldiers.

Dino, a Labrador, is a canine soldier of the Indian Army and a highly-skilled tracker dog. He sniffed the socks of one of the slain terrorists and traced the route they had taken through bushes, right up to the highway about a kilometre away. But Dino is hardly the only one — canine soldiers have always played a crucial role for the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir, tracking down terrorists, sniffing out infiltrators at the LoC, and even alerting troops just before attacks. Continue reading

SOURCE: Pune Mirror

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in association with the Society of Indian DefenceManufacturers (SIDM)/Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) are organising a ‘Defence Industry Stakeholders Seminar on Thursday at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Ojhar Township at Nashik in Maharashtra.

The officials from MoD said a number of DPSUs, shipyards, DRDO and the Indian Armed forces will be exhibiting equipments for indigenisation. The officials added that in the last four years, the MoD has made many policy and procedural reforms to galvanise indigenous defence production in the sector. Some of which are DPP (Defence Procurement Procedure) 2016 favouring Make In India, simplifying of Make II Procedure to encourage suo moto proposals by industry, the Draft Defence Production Policy 2018, Technology Perspective Capability Requirement 2018, amendments to DPP 2016 in May 2018 and the policy encouraging exports in defence sector. The reforms have paved the way in creation of defence manufacturing. Continue reading


The public sector entity Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed and developed light combat helicopter (LCH) has successfully carried out air-to-air missile firing on a moving aerial target.

“This is the first time in the country that a helicopter has carried out air-to-air missile engagement. None of the helicopters with the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability. With this, LCH has successfully completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction,” HAL chief R Madhavan said.

Continue reading


Russia’s state-run United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the maker of Su-35 and MiG-57 fighter jets, is now tapping Indian market with its Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft, which can be used as a cargo or a passenger airplane by the corporate sector. “As India is now discussing the need to expand regional connectivity, we believe our Be-200 jet will fit into the new strategy very well as it can take off and land on water so it does not necessarily needs to be based at the airports,” Sergei Ganin, Head of R&D Center of Beriev Aircraft Company, a unit of UAC, told BusinessLine.

The company has been in talks with India’s corporate houses and government agencies for its amphibious jet and is planning to showcase the capabilities of Be-200 at the Aero India Show in Bangalore next month, said UAC officials, on the sidelines of the Global Aviation Summit. Continue reading


Indian border troopers posted along the China border in Leh have been using networks supplied by Chinese telecom operators, India’s intelligence agencies have warned the government. It is understood that due to the difficulty of Indian mobile operators in penetrating the higher reaches of the India-China border, soldiers are left with “no choice” but to “manually switch” to Chinese telecom service providers, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The poor network coverage of Indian operators in Leh and surrounding areas is an “open secret.” The coverage capability gets worse at the border outposts, which are located at even higher altitudes and in absence of any significant telecom infrastructure on the Indian side. Continue reading


Pointing out that the combat aircraft strength of Indian Air Force has gone down in recent years due to obsolescence, former IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Arup Raha on Wednesday said the political parties in the country should sort out the ongoing disputes over the Rafale fighter jet deal so that the procurement process is not delayed any further.

“We know that the combat aircraft strength of the Indian Air Force is coming down because of obsolescence. We are retiring some of the old aircrafts like the MIG-21 and MI-22. So we need sufficient number of replacements. Rafale is one component of our capability,” Raha said on the sidelines of a seminar on cyber security organized by BCCI and CENERS-K here.

Continue reading


The Indian Space Research Organisation Wednesday said its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will launch the Kalamsat payload and Microsat-R satellite from Sriharikota on January 24. PSLV is a four stage launch vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages.”The PSLV with 2 strap-on configuration has been identified for this mission and the configuration is designated as PSLV-DL. PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV,” ISRO said.

It will be launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota. Continue reading


Political leaders come in all shapes and sizes. United States President Donald Trump was a real estate developer. Former British prime minister David Cameron was a public relations executive. And Iceland’s former prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir was an airline stewardess.

So we shouldn’t dismiss Imran Khan, Pakistan Prime Minister, as a lightweight just because he was a cricketer. Khan’s background isn’t the problem. His credibility is. Shortly after being elected PM, Khan promised to build a ‘Naya Pakistan’. India has reacted cautiously. Old wine in a new bottle is the consensus. Continue reading


Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan Wednesday said India’s objection on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor was of a political nature. The real pain for India was that Pakistan would become a hub of world trade and economic activities after the completion of the CPEC project and would be connected with many continents through Gawadar Port, he said while delivering a lecture on CPEC to officers and executives of State Bank of Pakistan here.

CPEC would help highlight the Kashmir dispute at international forums besides socio-economic uplift of the people in the region as India had accepted Kashmir as disputed territory by raising objection against the project, he added. Continue reading


At the base of all of Pakistan’s current problems, both domestic and foreign, lies its inability to define its identity. The issue whether it is a Muslim state, an Islamic state, or merely a Muslim offshoot of India remains unresolved to this day.

A tension
As Princeton scholar Muhammad Qasim Zaman’s recently published book Islam in Pakistan: A History clearly demonstrates, the tension between the modernist concept of a Muslim state and the traditionalist and Islamist concepts of an Islamic state continues to hound Pakistan. As far as the leading lights of the Muslim League, above all Muhammad Ali Jinnah (picture), were concerned, Islam was strictly of instrumental value to them. It was used to mobilise Muslim opinion in British India to serve the political goals of the League leadership, first parity with the Congress, and when that failed, partition of the country. After the creation of a Muslim majority state, Islam became useful to them as a unifying myth that could hold the country together and act as the principal antidote to ethnic nationalism, especially in East Bengal and the North-West Frontier Province. Continue reading


A host of country’s air defence capabilities will be showcased during the Republic Day celebrations here, including a ‘vic’ formation of An-32 aircraft, whose lead plane will be flying using a mix of traditional and biofuel for the first time during the parade, a senior IAF official Wednesday said.

The ‘vic’ formation is devised for military aircraft and comprises three or sometimes more aircraft flying in close formation with the leader at the apex and the rest of the flight en echelon to left and right, the whole resembling the letter ‘V’.This formation will follow the swashbuckling main flypast which leaves the crowd at the ceremonial boulevard spellbound every year on January 26. Continue reading


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is gearing up to carry out a fly-past on the inauguration of the National War Memorial here on January 25, a day before the Republic Day celebration at the Rajpath on January 26.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the memorial on January 25.A senior Air Force official said on Wednesday: “For the inauguration of National War Memorial at the India Gate, we are planning to fly past three helicopters and also a fly-past by SU 30.”

For the first time in the Republic Day parade, AN 32 helicopter will fly with 10 per cent bio-fuels. The officer said that using bio-fuel will lessen the import bill. Continue reading