R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), talks about the Rs 39,000 crore mega order drive cleared by DAC, expansion, CapEx, order book, Atmanirbhar Bharat and repair and overhaul segment during an exclusive interview with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business. Edited Excerpts:

Q: Tell us about the big news about the government’s mega order drive of Rs 39,000 crore? Break down the orders that will come to HAL and how you plan to execute them?

A: Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has given its clearance to Rs 39,000 crore of which Rs 11,000 crore will be spent in buying 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft. Besides, they are also buying MIG-19 and generally, it is coming straight from Russia and we will have some contribution to an extent in it when they will be upgraded. There will be a contribution of HAL in its upgradation.

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Confirming that Indian and Chinese troops are disengaging at LAC as per the consensus reached by the military commanders, Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong Friday called for the two countries to have timely strategic dialogue, enhance mutual trust and to shun suspicion and friction in bilateral ties. In comments which seemed aimed at soothing frayed nerves here, Sun called for India and China to meet each other “half way” at a time they were faced with a complex situation. He said the two countries should be partners and not rivals.

Even as India and China held another round of diplomatic talks Friday to discuss the ongoing disengagement at the border, Sun here sought to “clarify some fundamental points” with a statement on the border situation. He claimed doubts raised here, against the backdrop of developments in the Galwan valley, about the consensus reached earlier between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping were disrupting bilateral ties. Continue reading


In an 18-minute message on YouTube today, China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong spoke near non-stop about peaceful relations, historic ties and the need to focus on the positives of the India-China partnership. This, he said, was to ‘implement consensus and handle differences properly to bring China-India relations back on the right track’.

The Ambassador’s message, perhaps the most conciliatory in over two months of a historic low in relations, comes in the wake of the first baby steps of a delicate disengagement between troops at four friction points in eastern Ladakh. But it’s also an opportunity to document the extent of the unprovoked Chinese mobilisation in that area, that has prompted the ongoing standoff and brought the two countries into their most hostile posture in nearly half a century. Continue reading


Truecaller has expressed its disappointment over the Indian Army’s recent decision to include Truecaller in the list of 89 apps that it has banned for the army personnel. A Truecaller spokesperson in a statement said that the app is of Swedish origin and considers India its home. “We also have immense respect for the Armed Forces and we stand in solidarity with them and the Indian government. We would like to reiterate that Truecaller remains safe to use, both for our citizens and for our esteemed armed forces personnel,” the statement said.

The statement said that Truecaller sees no reason to be on the list and would like to investigate the matter further. This will be done by reaching out to the government to understand the issues behind the ban of the app, Gadgets 360 noted. Continue reading

SOURCE: The Tribune

Kargil National Conference leaders have pleaded strongly that their Shia Muslim-dominated district should be restored to Kashmir and the special status and statehood of Jammu and Kashmir renewed. They have asked for overturning the division of the former state that was split into two union territories last year. J&K was stripped of its special status under Article 370 and it was split into the two union territories.

National Conference leaders were unanimous in their demand for the restoration of their geographical, political and historical links with the Muslim majority Kashmir. The leaders said they had “serious reservations about their status, culture and opportunities in the UT of Ladakh.” It was this grand old party of Kashmir that had negotiated the terms of Article 370 in the light of the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh by which J&K acceded to India. Continue reading


IT WAS THE day after Valentine’s Day in 2012. The 11-member crew of the fishing boat St Antony had biryani left over from the previous day for lunch; they had cooked biryani to celebrate “lover’s day”. Valentine Jalastine, 50, did not join the crew for lunch; he was fast asleep after pulling an all-nighter behind the wheel. He woke up at around 3pm, had lunch and took the helm again. “Jalastine asked me to take a break from steering,” said Freddy Bosco, owner of the vessel. “I was reluctant as he would have to be up again that night. But he insisted and I went to sleep.”

That decision saved Bosco’s life. For, barely an hour later, Jalastine was shot dead, allegedly by the security detail onboard the Enrica Lexie, an Italian oil tanker. “I woke up hearing a loud sound and saw Jalastine collapsing before me. There was blood all over,” recalled Bosco, 39. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday held a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart Mark T Esper during which India’s border row with China in eastern Ladakh and the overall security scenario in the region figured prominently, people familiar with the development said.

Singh and Esper also deliberated on ways to further boost bilateral defence and security cooperation, they said, adding the telephonic conversation took place at the request of the US side. China’s aggressive posturing along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh was discussed, and Singh apprised the US defence secretary about India’s position on the row, they said. Continue reading


Two Army soldiers and a porter sustained minor injuries after the truck they were travelling in fell into a gorge near the Joshimath-Malari border, informed SP Chamoli Yashwant Chauhan.

He further informed that they have been taken to an army hospital in Joshimath. Yashwant Chauhan said, “The army vehicle was going from Joshimath to Malari fell into a deep ditch near Tamak. A porter and two army personnel sustained injuries in the incident and they were rescued by police and army personnel, who took the injured to an army hospital in Joshimath.” Continue reading


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a chargesheet against six persons, including an ISIS terrorist, for their alleged involvement in the killing of a police official in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu as part of waging a violent jihad, an official said.
The six men are Abdul Shameem, 30, and Y Thowfeek, 27, of Kanyakumari; Khaja Mohideen, 53, and Jaffar Ali, 26, of Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore; Mahboob Pasha, 48, and Ejas Pasha, 46, of Bengaluru.

They have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act, an NIA spokesperson said. Continue reading


In the wake of the recent violent clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh, the parliament’s PAC on Friday decided to review the construction of border roads at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and procurement of high-altitude clothing for the armed forces, and may call the Defense Secretary and other top officials to be briefed on the same.

Friday’s meeting of the 22-member Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was attended by 17 out of the total 20 members. Its two seats are vacant. Members of the PAC, in which BJP enjoys majority and is led by senior party leader Bhupender Yadav, thwarted Chowdhury’s attempt to select the PM Cares Fund for examination saying its amount was not sanctioned by the parliament and therefore it cannot be taken up by the committee. Continue reading


South Korean aerospace and defense company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) issued an image of the first KF-X fuselage, which is undergoing assembly in the company’s Sacheon factory. KAI says that the prototype of its Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) multirole fighter aircraft will be rolled out in April 2021 with the first flight planned in 2022.

The first mass-produced KF-X aircraft, which comes in Block 1, between 2026 and 2028 will be equipped with limited air-to-ground weapons in addition to air-to-air weapons and No Internal Weapons Bay and slowly in the Block 2 KF-Xs, which will be series-produced from 2029, will come to a host of 5th generation fighter capable of performing full air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions. Continue reading


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has often been in the news for the wrong reasons, be it the long project delays, quality issues or labour problems. But the aircraft-maker—India’s only one—is trying to shed that image. With an order book of Rs50,500 crore and a number of big projects in hand, HAL is all set to take on the multinational giants that have been looking for a piece of the Indian aerospace and defence pie.

“Our current production projects include Su-30 MKI aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Dornier Do-228, Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv, Chetak helicopter, and engines and aerospace structures to fulfil the requirement of our customers, mainly from the defence services,” said R. Madhavan, chairman and managing director of HAL. “HAL is also undertaking upgrade programmes of Mirage 2000 and Jaguar DARIN-III.” Continue reading

SOURCE:  Boeing Pr

Boeing has completed delivery of all new AH-64E Apache and CH-47F(I) Chinook military helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The final five of the 22 Apache attack helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station, Hindan. Earlier in March, Boeing handed over the last five of 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF.

“Customer centricity, commitment to the modernization and mission-readiness of India’s defence forces are key values to our partnership with India,” said Surendra Ahuja, managing director, Boeing Defence India. “With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” Ahuja added. Continue reading


The trailer of SonyLIV’s upcoming original web series Avrodh: The Siege Within is out. It promises to showcase a different side of the 2016 surgical strike conducted by the Indian army on terror launch pads across Line of Control (LoC).

Starring Amit Sadh in the lead role, the web series is based on a chapter from India’s Most Fearless, a book by Rahul Singh and Shiv Aroor. The trailer opens with Neeraj Kabi, who presumably plays National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, stating that though every Indian knows about the surgical strike, many do not know the ‘real’ story behind it. The rest of the video shows how Indian soldiers prepared to avenge the Uri attack. Continue reading


The 16th battalion of Bihar regiment, or 16 Bihar, whose soldiers fought off numerically superior Chinese troops at the cost of their own lives in the remote Galwan Valley on June 15, is moving out of its forward location in eastern Ladakh after completing its two-and-a-half-year tenure near the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), people familiar with the developments said on Thursday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The infantry battalion’s 37-year-old commanding officer, Colonel B Santosh Babu, was among the 20 Indian soldiers killed in a seven-hour deadly conflict near Patrolling Point 14 in Galwan Valley, where outnumbered Indian troops inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Beijing has not disclosed the number of fatalities it suffered. Apart from 16 Bihar, soldiers from 3 Punjab, 3 Medium Regiment and 81 Field Regiment were involved in the first deadly conflict between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC in more than five decades. Continue reading