The unfortunate crash of a MiG 29KUB fighter aircraft on Saturday has once again shone the uncomfortable spotlight on safety norms for airports, particularly garbage disposal around Goa International Airport and construction along the approach path of aircraft. Experts and official sources point out that if a commercial airliner suffered a similar bird strike with both engines flaming out, the damage to life and property could be significantly greater.

“While a Navy pilot can eject, in a commercial airliner what do you do? The only option is to recover the aircraft. During the glide approach if the aircraft loses lift or deviates by just a few degrees, it will bang into a building,” a pilot with a commercial airline said. In an incident that came to be known as the Miracle on the Hudson, an Airbus A320 struck a flock of geese while flying out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport in 2009. Using quick thinking, the pilot decided to ditch the passenger aircraft into the river Hudson saving all lives aboard. Continue reading


On a cold September night three years ago, 100 soldiers of the Indian Army’s Northern Command sneaked across the Line of Control into Pakistan-administered Kashmir. This operation to carry out surgical strikes was unlike one they’d experienced before. Armed with thermobaric rockets, grenade launchers and rifles fitted with infrared imaging systems, they hit six terrorist launchpads simultaneously and made it back without losing lives. All of this was captured live on camera by drones.

The operation was all over the media in India and Pakistan for months. Last year, partial footage was aired publicly. A dramatized account of the operation became a box-office hit in Uri: The Surgical Strike. But what is little known outside army circles and the corridors of power is the role played by a Bengaluru startup in this operation. Tonbo Imaging built the night vision system that guided the surgical strikes. Continue reading


Two Indians, including one from Hyderabad, have been arrested for illegally entering Pakistan through the Cholistan desert in Bahawalpur district. The men have been identified as Prashant Vaindam, a software engineer from Telangana and son of V Baburao, and Durmi Lal from Madhya Pradesh, son of Subi Lal. According to an FIR registered by the Pakistani police and uploaded on the website of a Pakistani media outlet, the Indians were caught by the police around 8 pm on Thursday.

According to the report, local police officials received information that there were two foreigners wandering in Cholistan. Following this, the police reached and arrested the Indians, who were hiding behind a sand dune. Continue reading


The Centre has warned cable television operators in the newly-formed union territory of Jammu & Kashmir from broadcasting any content from private TV channels based in Muslim nations like Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia. As per an advisory issued by the Union Ministry for Information & Broadcasting, an exclusive copy of which is available with India Today TV, cable TV operators have been reminded of their obligations under the Cable TV Rules.

The note reads, It has come to the notice of this Ministry that some private channels which are not permitted by this Ministry are being transmitted by some cable operators on their networks. This is a clear violation of the sub-rules 6(6) under Cable TV Rules under Programme code and needs to be acted upon immediately. Continue reading


To ensure that 26/11 type terror incidents never happen again, several measures have been put in place by various agencies including the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other Central and State agencies.

The Naval Commanders at a recently concluded Commander discussed reviewing procedures to strengthen the Coastal Security framework. With a 7516.6 km coastline, 12 major ports, 184 minor ports involving 13 coastal States/UTs and 1197 island territories, these need protection at all times by Indian Navy with support from Indian Coast Guard. As part of the coastal defence against attack from the seaward side, a new strategy has been adopted with the shipbuilding programme focussed at smaller but faster, highly manoeuvrable agile crafts with better designed capability to operate in littoral waters. Continue reading


For the first time since the defanging of Article 370 on August 5, complete normalcy was restored in Kashmir Valley on Monday with shops remaining open for the entire day and J&K State Roadways Transport Corporation buses plying across districts of the Valley. Informed sources said broadband services were likely to be restored in the Valley by the end of this week. This would completely restore communication links in the Valley.

For the first time in 105 days, shops in the Valley remained opened in the afternoon hours as well. Till a day ago, traders were opening their shops from 7 to 11 in the morning and from 5 to 8 in the evening following threat from militants who had issued posters specifying these timings. Continue reading


Four soldiers died after being trapped in snow for hours after an avalanche hit Army positions in northern Siachen Glacier on Monday. Two porters also died in the accident. The soldiers were a part of a patrolling group of eight; they died due to extreme hypothermia, defence officials said. The avalanche took place at 3 pm in the northern glacier at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

The Army launched a massive search and rescue operation to bring back the trapped soldiers. All the soldiers were pulled out of the debris; seven were critically injured. The soldiers were evacuated by helicopters to the nearest military hospital where they are undergoing treatment. Continue reading


In a move aimed at strengthening the defence ties, French Navy Chief Admiral Christophe Prazuck announced on Monday that the navies of India and France will carry out joint patrolling in the Indian Ocean region next year.

Speaking to ANI on the sidelines of an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation here, Prazuck said that the joint patrolling could be carried out in the northwestern or southern Indian ocean around the island administered by France. “Region could be the northwestern Indian Ocean or southern Indian ocean around the island which are part of France. The idea is that if you don’t control an area then it will be pillaged and when it is pillaged then it can be contested,” Prazuck said. Continue reading


A surprise awaited the members of the Rajya Sabha as he upper house of parliament opened for its 250th session today. The marshals of the Rajya Sabha, dressed traditionally in Indian attire complete with turbans, were seen in uniforms that closely resembled that of the armed forces. The change did not please the army. Many of its former officers — including former army chief, General VP Malik — tweeted their disapproval.

“Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope @VPSecretariat, @RajyaSabha & @rajnathsingh  ji will take early action,” VP Malik’s tweet read. Continue reading


There were 950 cases of ceasefire violations (CFVs) along the Line of Control (LoC) from August to October this year in which three security forces personnel lost their lives, Shripad Naik, Minister of State for Defence said on Monday. The International border in the Jammu region saw 79 incidents of CFVs, he added.

“Pakistan has been resorting to Ceasefire Violations (CFVs) along the Line of Control. There have been 950 incidents of CFVs along Line of Control and 79 incidents of CFVs along International Border in Jammu region during the last three months (August to October, 2019),” he said in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha. Continue reading


U.S. Army leaders are one step closer to deciding on a supplier for its Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW ) system which will replace trusty 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon used in combat units until now. A Texas-based Textron ammunition company recently unveiled its new 6.8mm cartridge to be used on the NGSW from 2022 and DRDO and Textron officials had a closed-door meeting on possible collaboration on the development of next-gen 6.8mm Cartridge under defense collaboration between U.S.-India, Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

US Army is switching from 5.56mm to 6.8mm rounds and DRDO already has developed a new assault rifle prototype chambered for 6.8×43 mm rounds and it will be ready for trial in the Infantry School located at Mhow soon. Continue reading


Amid a slump in India’s bilateral ties with Malaysia, state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is eyeing the possibility of selling its Tejas fighter jet to the south-east Asian country, ThePrint has learnt. The Malaysian Air Force has shortlisted the Indian jet as a contender for the contract of its 36 new Light Combat Aircraft. If the deal goes through, it will be HAL’s first foreign sale.

While Malaysia has shown interest in the Tejas in the past too, its air force is now likely to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the new contract next year, defence sources told ThePrint. The main contenders against the Tejas include China-Pakistan’s JF-17, South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle, Russian YAK-130 and the BAE Systems’ armed Hawk. The Swedish Gripen, which is in the race for India’s proposal to buy 114 medium multi-role combat aircraft under the Make in India initiative, is also in contention. Continue reading


LCA-Naval Team of ADA has approached Naval Headquarters formally after Two Naval prototypes of the LCA concluded intense series of trials from the Shore-based Test Facility (SBTF) in Goa recently to Naval prototypes can start aircraft carrier trials from the deck of INS Vikramaditya from next month.

Naval Headquarter has set up a review board to study all the trial reports and decide when INS Vikramaditya can be made available for the carrier trials to begin. LCA-Naval Team has asked India’s lone aircraft carrier made available for a month for trials which will see take-offs and landings from the deck of the aircraft carrier in a clean configuration in Phase-I. Continue reading


The head of Russian Helicopters said on Sunday that India was delaying the signing of a firm agreement for purchasing 200 helicopters despite providing all information. Chief Executive Andrey Boginsky also said it would benefit India if the planned order for over 100 rotorcraft for the Indian Navy could be combined with the 200 India is looking to buy for the Army.

Russian Helicopters is owned by state-owned Russian conglomerate Rostec. India and Russia signed a deal in 2015 under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme for the supply of 200 Russian KA 226T helicopters, with Russia to deliver 60 and the remaining to be assembled and manufactured in India. Continue reading


The private sector has been playing a great role in the production of DRDO products. When Dr (former President APJ Abdul) Kalam started work, there were barely 30 partner companies, but now we have more than 1,800, says DRDO chief G Sateesh Reddy. We will offer technologies to private sector for early realisation of products and to support R&D works.
The private industry is vital for self-reliance, says DRDO chief G Sateesh Reddy while inviting companies as development and production partners. In an interview to Manu Pubby, the missile scientist says the next generation AMCA (advanced multi-role combat aircraft) can fly within five years of approval and shares his formula for roping in industry for import substitution. Excerpts:

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