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Space exploration is on the cusp of a new era, and two leading companies are joining forces to propel it forward. Bellatrix Aerospace, a rising star in the industry, has announced a collaboration with Arianespace, a European launch services provider, to develop a powerful new engine.

The centerpiece of this collaboration is a 35 kN thrust methalox engine. This innovative engine utilizes a combination of methane and liquid oxygen (lox) as propellants, offering several advantages over traditional fuels. Methane is not only cleaner-burning but also readily available, making it a sustainable choice for future space missions.

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CREDIT Damien Symon @detresfa_

The Chinese oceanographic research vessel, XIANG YANG HONG 03, has docked in Male, Maldives for the second time this year, raising eyebrows in the region. This follows the completion of another survey mission in the Indian Ocean, according to sources.

The XIANG YANG HONG 03 previously called at Male in February 2024. While officially for crew rotation and resupply, the vessel’s activities have been met with suspicion, particularly due to its past operations near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands without broadcasting its position.

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SOURCE: AFI

Indian Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi recently undertook a significant visit to several key defense manufacturing facilities, reflecting the nation’s commitment to self-reliance in defense production. His visit encompassed Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited, the Ordnance Factory Project in Korwa, as well as prestigious academic institutions like IIT Kanpur and the Adani Ammunition Complex.

At the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited facility, Lt Gen Dwivedi observed the production of assault rifles, crucial equipment for the Indian Army’s operational readiness. This facility’s contribution to providing state-of-the-art battlefield equipment aligns with India’s strategic goals of bolstering its defense capabilities through indigenous manufacturing.

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SOURCE: AFI

India achieved a significant milestone in its defense capabilities with the successful test firing of a new version of a medium-range ballistic missile on Tuesday, April 23. The Strategic Forces Command executed the test, although neither the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) nor the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the specific missile tested, sparking speculation regarding the introduction of a new variant.

According to sources cited by idrw.org, the missile under scrutiny could potentially be an enhanced iteration of the land-based variant of the Sagarika, also known as the K-15 or B-05. The Sagarika, originally developed as a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) by DRDO, underwent rigorous user trials in 2018 when it was test-fired consecutively from the Arihant class of submarines. These trials hinted at further advancements in the missile’s capabilities.

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SOURCE: AFI

India successfully test-fired a new air-launched ballistic missile in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on April 23rd. The missile, known as ROCKS (or Crystal Maze 2), boasts a strike range exceeding 250 kilometers and is designed for enhanced air combat capabilities.

ROCKS provides the Indian Air Force (IAF) with a significant advantage by allowing them to engage targets from a safe distance beyond the reach of enemy air defenses. India plans to manufacture nearly 100 units of the missile indigenously through a Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement with Rafael, an Israeli defense contractor. Kalyani Group is a potential candidate for local production.

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India and the European Union are gearing up for their next round of bilateral security and defence consultations, expected to take place in New Delhi in early May. This upcoming meeting signifies a growing strategic partnership between the two sides, with space security and defence industry collaboration emerging as key areas of focus.

Sources familiar with the discussions reveal that the agenda will expand beyond the initial topics covered during the first consultations held in 2022. Back then, the dialogue centered on security concerns in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and India’s neighborhood.

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A recent incident involving well-known Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has sparked controversy and raised eyebrows across social media platforms. In a video clip shared widely, Mir is seen criticizing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what he believes to be disparaging remarks towards the Arab community. However, the crux of the matter lies in a misunderstanding on Mir’s part, where he confused the term “urban naxal” used by Modi with “Arab nasal.”

The incident unfolded during Modi’s speech in Rajasthan’s Barmer, where he reportedly mentioned the term “urban naxal.” However, in his critique, Mir mistakenly interpreted it as “Arab nasal,” attributing it to Modi’s alleged derogatory remarks towards the Arab race. Despite the apparent misunderstanding, Mir adamantly insists on his interpretation in the video clip, unaware of his error.

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SOURCE: AFI

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sets its sights on a historic milestone: landing the first Indian astronaut on the Moon by 2040. This ambitious plan marks a significant step forward in India’s lunar exploration ambitions.

ISRO chairman S. Somanath has outlined this goal, emphasizing the crucial role of the upcoming Gaganyaan mission. This mission, slated for launch sometime between 2023-2024, aims to send a crew of Indian astronauts into low Earth orbit for a few days. The success of Gaganyaan will provide invaluable experience and pave the way for the more complex lunar mission.

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SOURCE: AFI

India’s military is making a strong push towards self-reliance in defense production, with a particular focus on ammunition. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande highlighted this strategic shift during a recent address.

General Pande revealed that the Indian Army’s ammunition inventory currently boasts 175 variants. Notably, 134 of these variants are produced indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and public sector defense companies (DPSUs). This indigenous production is being further bolstered by the onboarding of private companies.

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SOURCE: AFI

Dhruva Space, a Hyderabad-based company pioneering full-stack space engineering solutions, has successfully secured ?123 crore in its Series A funding round. This marks a significant milestone for Dhruva Space, propelling them towards their goal of becoming a major player in the Indian space industry.

The funding round saw participation from a distinguished group of investors, including the Indian Angel Network Alpha Fund, Blue Ashva Capital, Silverneedle Ventures, BIG Global Investment JSC (BITEXCO Group), IvyCap Ventures, Mumbai Angels, and Blume Founders Fund. Dhruva Space expresses their deep gratitude to the investment community for their belief in the company’s vision.

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In recent years, India has emerged as a frontrunner in developing counter-drone technologies. This rise can be attributed to a confluence of factors, with the 2021 drone attack on the Jammu Air Force Station serving as a stark wake-up call.

The 2021 drone attack on the Jammu Air Force Station, the first of its kind in Indian airspace, exposed a vulnerability in India’s defense system. This incident served as a catalyst, prompting significant investments in research and development (R&D) for counter-drone technologies.

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SOURCE: AFI

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is poised for a critical milestone in its ambitious Gaganyaan human spaceflight program – the integrated airdrop test of the crew module. As reported by ISRO chairman S Somanath, the test is scheduled for launch from Sriharikota on April 24. This crucial experiment aims to validate the functionality of the crew module and its critical components, particularly the parachute system, ensuring a safe return for future astronauts.

This upcoming test marks the second major milestone following the successful TV-D1 mission conducted last year on October 21st. The TV-D1 mission focused on demonstrating the spacecraft’s Crew Escape System’s abort capabilities.

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SOURCE: AFI

CREDIT Mrcool@Mrcool63040811

India has issued new Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) previously issued for May 1, 2024 to May 3,2024. This NOTAM restricts airspace over a 985-kilometer area, hinting at a possible ballistic missile test.

It’s important to note that due to the secrecy surrounding military activities, the exact nature of the test cannot be definitively confirmed from this information alone. However, the designated airspace closure is a strong indicator of a potential ballistic missile launch.

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SOURCE: AFI

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has unveiled a new name for its highly anticipated Next-Gen Launch Vehicle (NGLV) program – Surya, the Sanskrit word for Sun. This powerful new launch vehicle promises to revolutionize India’s spacefaring capabilities.

Surya will be propelled by a game-changing LOX-Methane engine, the LME 1000. This engine boasts the ability to deliver a staggering 32 tons of payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), nearly triple the capacity of ISRO’s current workhorses.

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Local Kashmiri media reported that a drone-like object was discovered near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Mendhar, Poonch district, Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. Officials stated that around 3:15 am, the object was spotted fallen and damaged near the fence, ahead of Government High School Dharati in the Balakote Sector.

An examination of the debris by experts at idrw.org, suggests it might be a landing gear component potentially belonging to an Israeli Searcher Mk II UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). India acquired Searcher Mk II UAVs sometime after 2000.

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