Commemorating 20 years of the Kargil War, the IAF Monday turned the Gwalior air base virtually into a conflict theatre, with dramatic reenactment of some of the milestones of the operation in 1999. In a symbolic ‘recreation’ of the Tiger Hill attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Drass-Kargil area, the air force used the Mirage 2000 aircraft and explosives were blown up on a ‘model hill’ to recreate the crucial events of the war. The chief guest for the event is Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

The IAF has planned several activities at the air base to commemorate the 20 years of the war and the symbolic ‘recreation’ of the Tiger Hill attack was one of them. Five Mirage 2000, two MiG 21s and one Sukoi 30 MKI were on static display at the base. Continue reading


When the indistinct radio first started filling in the police control room of Srinagar on the chilly afternoon of February 14, it appeared to be a usual attack on the paramilitary convoy. The ready patrolling party of the Special Operations Group (SOG) rushed their Rakshak—an armoured car—and jumped near the scene. This reinforcement party was the first to sense the gravity of the attack.

While running towards the bus, which was still burning, they were actually passing over human flesh. Small parts of human remains were scattered all over the highway tarmac. Continue reading


Four terrorists belonging to the Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), two of them postgraduates, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. A joint contingent of police, CRPF and Army had laid siege around Panzar area of Shopian in south Kashmir in the early hours, after they received inputs that a group of terrorists whose ideology was similar to that of the Islamic State was hiding in the area.

As the security personnel started house-to-house searches, they came under heavy fire from terrorists hiding in an apple orchard in the area.The fire was returned by the troops and in the ensuing gunfight, which continued for nearly four hours, four AGH terrorists were killed. Clashes broke out between local youth and security personnel after the former marched towards the encounter site and pelted stones at the forces. Continue reading


Baloch activists have been working overtime to expose Pakistan’s atrocities in the Balochistan region of the country and have once again put up a number of posters in London. At a time when England is hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup, some of the posters were also seen just outside the Lord’s Cricket Ground which forced Pakistani fans to tear them apart after their team’s match against South Africa on Sunday.

Pakistan has repeatedly seen red each time Baloch activists have upped their attempts at highlighting Islamabad’s atrocities. Public advertisement spaces have been rented in London and other parts of England even in the past to put up these posters which decry the situation in Balochistan. With fans thronging England for the marquee cricket tournament, the Baloch activists may now have specifically targeted advertisement spots close to cricket stadiums. Pakistani cricket fans though are not too pleased and many of them were seen tearing these posters after their team’s crucial match against the Proteas. Continue reading


Air force Veterans and Senior Aerospace scientists and engineers in the country have again pushed Government of India to prepare a remapped road-map for the continuation of the Kaveri engine and pooling together multiple agencies in the county and their talent pool to make sure the program is a success this time after spending nearly 3000 crores in the program and 30 years without any viable production-grade product at hand.

Chorus in the military and scientific community has been growing for a while now after French Aero-engine maker ” SAFRAN ” cleared the Kaveri engine for flight test and integration into an old retired LCA-Tejas fighter prototype after carrying out a Technical Audit of the program but the program has not seen much progress since then, as Kaveri engine at the current stage, it is not capable to achieve the desired thrust which is required to power 83 Tejas MK-1A fighter jets ordered by the IAF. Continue reading


INDIA HAS scrapped a $500-million deal with Israel for the purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from defence contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems after indigenous developer Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) claimed that it could deliver an alternative within two years.

Government officials associated with the approval of the deal said Israel has been informed about the contract being abandoned in favour of DRDO, which claimed that it was developing a similar missile at a lower price in partnership with VEM Technologies Ltd. Continue reading


India is lining up defence deals worth around $10 billion for the US over the next two-three years despite ongoing trade disputes and immigration concerns, even as New Delhi and Moscow have worked out a payment mechanism to get around Washington’s sanctions regime against acquisition of Russian weapon systems.

The latest deal being finalised by India under the foreign military sales programme of the US is for the acquisition of 10 more Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft for over $3 billion, defence ministry sources said. “The procurement case for the 10 P-8I aircraft was cleared by an MoD committee last week. It will now be sent for approval to the Defence Acquisitions Council headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh by August. These 10 P-8Is will be more advanced than the 12 such aircraft already procured by India,” a source said. Continue reading


Minister of state for atomic energy Jitendra Singh said the “Modi government has earmarked an exclusive budget, approximately Rs 10,000 crore per year, for 10 years for the nuclear plant expansion programme”.In an interview to TOI, Jitendra Singh said the Modi cabinet’s key decision in its first term to allow JV with PSUs has helped Department of Atomic Energy (DoAE) overcome the financial constraint. “Being a sensitive subject, we could not involve private players. With the nod for JV, PSUs provide funds and DoAE provides them expertise for N-plant set-up.”

He said Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K do not have any N-plant. Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) will be the first-ever N-plant among the five states. The plant in Haryana “will be up and running in 2 to 3 years” and provide cheap electricity to northern cities. GHAVP, which will have two units of 700MW capacity each, will cost Rs 20,594 crore. The plant, for which land acquisition is complete, will provide employment to 2,000 people. Continue reading


Why is India ordering $700 million worth of missiles from Russia? One reason may be humiliation over Pakistan using long-range air-to-air missiles to shoot down an Indian fighter last February. Yet the purchase comes amid reports that of problems with Russian missiles.

“Close to 300 short-range air-to-air missiles, the R-73, and 400 medium-range air-to-air guided missiles, the RVV-AE, also known as the R-77, have been ordered,” according to Indian newspaper The Print.The choice of the R-77 is interesting. It is the Russian equivalent of the radar-guided U.S. AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile). First introduced in 1991, the AIM-120 is a beyond-visual-range weapon: it is listed by the U.S. Air Force as having a range of 20-plus miles, though an extended-range version under development would considerably increase the missile’s reach. Continue reading


Concerns are growing in the Trump administration over Turkey and India’s adamant decision to buy the Russian-made S-400. Indian military observer Rakesh Krishnan Simha and UK-based geopolitical analyst Adam Garrie have shared their views on whether Washington will make New Delhi an offer it won’t be able to refuse in order to nix the S-400 deal.

While Turkey has made its mind up on purchasing Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defence systems regardless of Washington’s threats, the Trump administration has increased pressure on India, warning it against acquiring the advanced anti-aircraft weapon and citing sanctions under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo official visit to the country. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Daily Star

The picture is crystal clear. Human activity will soon drive the climate crisis all across our planet to the tipping point unless we rapidly transform the ways in which we produce and consume energy. While renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures can help dramatically cut emissions of greenhouse gases, they are not the panacea for the climate change related problems that we have created.

The scope and impacts of climate change, therefore, demand that we consider other possible low or zero greenhouse-gas-emitting sources of energy, including nuclear power. Indeed, nearly every major authority on climate change, including the International Energy Agency and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Fourth Assessment Report), has said that to achieve deep decarbonisation, nuclear energy must be part of the solution. Continue reading


The Narendra Modi government’s decision to set up a Defence Space Agency (DSA) with command over the space assets of the Army, Navy and Air Force is the most significant development in India’s defence establishment since the operationalization of the nuclear arsenal around 15 years ago. It is not Star Wars yet, but space has undoubtedly become a military theatre. The US, Russia, China and, since March, India, have shown that they have the capability to physically destroy satellites in orbit. Like it or not, the post-Cold War space arms race is underway.

What should be India’s objectives in this new game? Before we answer that question, it is important to recall the exceptional route India took to get here. The US, Russia, China and Europe developed space capabilities for military purposes first, and then put those technologies to civilian use. Barring Europe’s Ariane rockets, their extant satellite launch vehicles are derived from their respective intercontinental ballistic missile designs. Continue reading


While India has not yet responded officially, or even unofficially, to Pakistan’s allegation that it has politicised the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) process, the government seems to believe Islamabad’s criticism is a bit rich given its own outreach to the top political leadership of various countries to prevent Pakistan from being blacklisted by the global watchdog on terror financing.
Reacting to India’s

statement on Saturday calling for verifiable and irreversible action by Pakistan against terrorism, Pakistan had accused India of politicising the FATF deliberations and expressed hope that the members would reject India’s “malicious campaign”.India is hoping though that the FATF members will ensure Pakistan implements the FATF Action Plan fully within the September 2019 time limit by taking credible, verifiable, irreversible and sustainable measures to curb terror funding and terrorism emanating from territory under its control, and not use what India sees as a false ploy of politicisation of the FATF process.

Continue reading


Two out of the three main intractable conflicts in the world have nearly gone to war. The Korea/China vs. Japan dispute is simmering. Out in our parts, Pulwama led to Balakot, which led to Rajouri. Ten Indian missiles were reportedly pointed at targets in Pakistan but Modi refrained from pulling the plug. The Saudis and the Emiratis, with whom he enjoys excellent relations, had a benign influence on him. A possible nuclear Armageddon was thus avoided in the subcontinent. Or maybe just postponed?

Then there is the Shia-Sunni fight. The fight is also between the Christians and the Jews, as evidenced by the Nazis railing against the Jews in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA whom Trump cozied up to by calling them very fine people. Still, after the horrors of the last century, the Judeo-Christian conflict has tamped down. Continue reading


The defence forces have high hopes from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that she will loosen the purse strings to meet the challenging requirements of modernising the armed forces as she gets down to preparing the first Budget of Modi 2.0.

Before becoming Finance Minister, Sitharaman had handled defence and security experts feel that she is well versed with the expectations of the armed forces. While the three services have lined up some big ticket purchases, experts feel that the Finance Minister will have little room for manoeuvring considering the overall fiscal situation. Continue reading