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SOURCE:  DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The United States supplied Ukraine with 155-mm M777A2 towed howitzers but without digital computer systems that might have affected its accuracy as usual after initial success, Russian forces were able to counter the latest addition to the Ukrainian firepower and have destroyed nearly 15 M777A2 with counter Artillery firing, some units of M777A2 have also suffered minor damages in drone attacks but can’t be repaired due to use of lightweight material like Tiantinium that are not easy to repair.

High-ranking Ukrainian officials have confirmed that M777A2 offered them a precise firing solution but it is difficult to repair on the battlefield and even minor breakdowns can’t be fixed without getting specialized personnel involved in its repair which is not the ideal situation for unit members might want to be in the middle of the war.

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SOURCE: DINESH BEHARA/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

It’s been more than 120 days since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Many geopolitical pundits, defence experts, administrators, veterans, etc., have opined their thoughts on the ongoing fight. Some of the major observations are on Battle Tanks, Combat drones, and MANPADS.

Some say Tanks are now obsolete in modern warfare since they are at the receiving end of the destruction, which is evident from the devastation of tanks in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.  Around 432 Tanks, Armored fighting vehicles, Infantry fighting vehicles, and self-propelled anti-tank missile systems of Armenian forces were either destroyed, damaged, or captured compared to just 158 of Azerbaijan[1].

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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

French engine giant Safran and India’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) are giving final touches to the ongoing negotiation for the joint development of a 110-kN (kilo Newton) engine to power India’s 5.5-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) jet, where India will be investing nearly €1 billion into the program but will still end up sharing Joint Intellectual Property (IP) rights with France for the engine.

Intellectual Property (IP) and Transfer of technology (ToT) for the core of the engine have been the bone of contention between Safran and GTRE in all talks that have been going on for a while now. While India has been assured ToT for the Core engine that includes the right to carry out improvements and up-gradation of the critical components throughout engine service life in production, Safran will continue to hold Joint IP rights on most of the ToT that will happen on the core engine.

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SOURCE: SHUBHAM DEEP / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

In 2022, China had the largest armed forces in the world by active-duty military personnel, with about 2 million active soldiers. People’s Liberation Army has come a long way in evolving into a capable force and is getting modernized into a leaner and mighty force. The PLA consists of five service branches: the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and Strategic Support Force. Further it has been divided into five theatre commands- Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern, Central.

China’s Western Theatre Command (WTC) oversees the Xinjiang and the Tibet Autonomous Regions, as well as the border with India, making it the largest geographical area under one command in the PLA. The headquarter of this command is situated in Chengdu. Since it is the largest command that is tasked with tackling the borders with India, it has vast number of weaponries in its arsenal which we can see in their propaganda videos they post to showcase their firepower. Indeed, they have firepower and impressive number of military vehicles to annihilate their enemies. PLA’s Rocket Force is responsible for China’s strategic land-based nuclear and conventional missile forces and operates variety of missiles from hypersonic glide vehicles, ICBM, IRBM, MRBM, SRBM and cruise missiles.

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SOURCE: SHUBHAM DEEP / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The unprecedented growth of Chinese defence capabilities vis a vis their rivals is definitely a proud moment for China. The mass capabilities to manufacture aircrafts of various roles with such tight timelines from scratch which matches or even surpasses global standards according to their belief. Such hype is created and projection of power is shown which makes one think about the mightiness of the Chinese forces.

But one needs to understand as a nation what security threat it has and maintain its force structure to cater the emerging challenges. For China, challenges are created more by themselves and based on their own perception of challenges that could be faced by them they plan their strategies. The disputes with majority of the neighbors of China forces it to show numerical superiorityto keep their enemies at bay. So, they show quantity if not quality. We all can agree that the manufacturing capacity of China is huge. They can almost build anything they want and build it cheaper.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Several weapon marketplaces on the dark web have started listing military-grade firearms such as Javelin and Stinger missiles that several Western countries had sent to support the Ukrainian army in its fight against Russia. Recently mobile google history of a Ukrainian soldier was doing a round where he was trying to find details on how to fire Javelin ATGMs. Western countries might be keen to help Ukraine but the utility of this help is in question now since most of the soldiers have not been trained enough to operate them.

U.S. supplied Javelin ATGM anti-tank missile system is selling for $30,000, NLAW anti-tank missiles for $15,000, and Switchblade 600 Kamikaze Drone for $7,000. Other weapons on offer are Assault Rifles, RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and Sniper rifles that due to poor control will soon be flooding the world over and might end up in hands of terrorist groups in our backyard as seen with the US weapons that were left behind in Afghanistan have started coming into Kashmir as confirmed by the Indian Army.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Rheinmetall’s 130mm tank gun. Note the difference in the size of the ammunition, at left, compared to a standard 120mm round., Rheinmetall

Many had predicted the demise of tank warfare due to the ongoing war in Ukraine but almost after 3 months into the war many reversals are already happening and such a brute stockpile of the Russian Army’s Tank reserves is proving why tanks might be vulnerable to modern weapons their is nothing that can take on brute force in numbers as shown by Russia. for nearly 40 years 120mm gun seems to have been the stable caliber of the main gun seen on all tanks that were manufactured but a drastic shift towards higher caliber of the main gun is starting to take place as Germany’s Rheinmetall company today unveiled its latest main battle tank, the KF51 Panther, armed with a huge 130mm caliber main gun.

The tank reportedly weighs around 65 tons which makes it lighter by 5 tons when compared to its predecessor which was armed with a 120mm caliber main gun. Switching to a 130mm smoothbore caliber main gun reflects a broader interest in moving to increased-caliber tank armament. The company claims that projectiles fired from a 130mm will be 50 percent more effective than the 120mm gun and will also offer a much longer range.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

China has repeatedly stressed that the cooperation between the United States, Britain, and Australia on the nuclear submarine program not only poses a serious nuclear proliferation risk, it also affects the international nuclear non-proliferation system, intensifies the arms race, and undermines regional peace and stability.

At present, Pakistan’s undersea nuclear capability is currently limited to a single submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM), the Babur-III, but in 2018 Pakistan vowed to counter India’s successful launch of a nuclear-powered submarine, a move that it calls has thrown off the delicate military balance between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

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SOURCE: TUSHKAR SHIRODKAR / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG.

Recently Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (Retd) who is Chairman & Managing Director of India’s premier submarine building shipyard, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) speaking to the media just confirmed the sorry state of affairs in the Indian shipbuilding industry and why no Transfer of Technology (ToT) is not good enough and ToT is a scam to rake up some extra money in the name of ToT.

After Two Transfer of Technology (ToT) for two submarine classes under which it manufactured 8 submarines (6 Kalvari-2 Shishumar-class) over 40 years, MDL MD just confirmed that the ToT of these submarines was not adequate for India to develop its own, and manufacturers often in name of ToT ensure that many of the core techs in weapons fire control mechanism or the sensor suite are protected so keep dependency intact for all future upgrades and modernization till the ships are active in the Indian Navy.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Astra MK-1 can only achieve an operational range of up to 60 kilometers and is too bulky. The Air Force wants the missile’s weight reduced by 50 kilograms, this claim was made by an unnamed air force official in a report filed by DefenseNews.com after India’s Defence Ministry contracted to state-run Bharat Dynamics Limited to supply locally developed Astra MK-I air-to-air missiles.

This claim has rattled the Indian defense community and many wondered if it was a planted hitjob against the missile system has it ended the country’s dependence on foreign beyond-visual-range weapons in long term. Many pointed out inaccuracies in the article where it claimed that the missile which weight 154kg (as per Brochure) and 160kg as per the article needs a 50kg weight reduction which could mean 33% more weight reduction.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Israel and the United States are considered pioneers in bringing low-cost air power with the introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles and drones that are armed with miniaturized payloads to take out targets in areas that have weak air defense. One of the drawbacks of these platforms was that these platforms were costly and came with many strings attached and were offered to very limited countries which often meant countries having a not-so-good relationship with them often were refused supplies that meant that it was out of reach of many countries.

Chinese companies brought down the cost of these UAVs to acceptable levels and with no strings attached it meant countries with questionable records and wars this became an instant hit. Chinese products like Chengdu Wing Loong II and Rainbow CH-4B became instantly popular due to affordability but the Chinese shot them selfs on the foot due to poorly built quality and technical issues associated with these drones that made them hangar queens rather than strategic assets.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

After the Indian Navy reduced its requirements for Carrier Borne Multirole Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF) tender from 57 to just 26, the Indian Air Force is also looking at reducing its requirements under the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) tender to just 57 from 114 units, which will be seen as a clear sign and as a major boost to the development of the indigenous fighter programs that are underway in the country.

India’s Tejas Mk2 already has entered the fabrication stage with a rollout planned this year and the first flight planned sometime in 2023. Tejas Mk2 which has a maximum take-off weight of 17500-ton can be classified as a Medium Weight fighter jet that will fill the void left by the Mirage-2000, Jaguars, and Mig-29 fleet when they are retired from service from 2035 onwards. The void left by the reduction in the squadron strength numbers due to reducing of jets under the MRFA tender is likely to be filled now by the Tejas Mk2 that will enter production in 2028-29 with 150-200 units to be procured over 10 years.

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SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

DRDO is developing a 150-ton Vehicle for Defence Application (Veda) that will be used to put defense satellites into orbit after the Indian armed forces suffered delays in the launch of four dedicated navigation satellites of the Indian armed forces due to misplaced priorities of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) that had put their launch in the backburner said a report of the “New Indian Express”.

Indian Armed forces depend on the civilian-administered ISRO for launches of its defense satellites into orbit and have to make payment of expenses for each launch to them, yet are often sidelined. DRDO developing a Road-mobile VEDA might help in reducing its dependency on the ISRO but also boosts its launch capacities in the defense satellite capability into orbit.

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SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Last week, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper revealed new details of Tokyo’s ambitious plans to offer fighter jets and other lethal weapons to India and 12 other countries for the first time. While the article didn’t mention what is on the offer but Japan’s fighter jet developmental program revolves around domestically developing a sixth-generation F-X stealth fighter with International partners.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) plans to build a next-generation fighter to succeed Japan’s outgoing F-2 aircraft. F-X development timeline foresees the construction of a prototype in 2024, with a first flight to follow in 2028 with entry into service following in 2035, which is the same development timeline that India’s kept for its ambitious 5.5Gen AMCA fighter program.

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SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The present Japanese government is planning to allow the export of lethal weapons to 12 countries to counter the growing footprints of the Chinese military in the subcontinent. India, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy are among a select few countries that under new defense export control regulations will be allowed to purchase Japanese-made weapons systems from 2023 onwards.

A few years back, the Indian Ministry of Defence had requested their counterparts in Japan to offer their S?ry? class of attack submarines developed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Indian Navy under the Project-75I program where it plans to acquire six new conventional diesel-electric submarines for its fleet.

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