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Pigeons Deemed a Threat to Fighter Jets at India’s Future Rafale Base - Reports
07.07.2019

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Cutting-edge Rafale fighter jets will start arriving at the Ambala Air Base from May 2020 and will be placed into the 17 squadrons there, positioned along the western border with Pakistan.

The Indian Air Force is concerned about pigeons posing a dangerous safety hazard to its combat aircraft at a frontline airbase which is soon to accommodate Rafale jets, reports ANI.
“In recent times, there are some locals who are breeding pigeons in their houses. These are in close vicinity to the IAF airfield. These birds are posing a threat to our fighter jets,” said IAF sources.

A complaint has been registered by IAF officials with the local administration over the flocks of birds breeding near the base in connection with a recent incident involving a Jaguar aircraft.

Apparently, the birds showed no fear of the loud noises as one of them flew directly at the plane’s engine.
IAF sources said they were taking the danger to their combat aircraft very seriously and insist that measures are taken to stop the birds from being bred by resident so close to the air base.
First Rafale to Be Delivered in 2 Months: French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler#Rafale pic.twitter.com/t5epxxlmmS
— IndSamachar (@Indsamachar) July 5, 2019
According to IAF officials, last week, an IAF Jaguar pilot on a training mission had to jettison his plane's fuel tanks after one of the fighter's engines failed after being hit by a bird.

The pilot managed to land the plane safely as small practice bombs dropped by the plane were successfully recovered.

Praising the pilot's composure in a dangerous situation, the air force also released a 48-second video of the jet’s impact with the birds and the pilot’s skilled maneuver that saved the jet, his life and the lives of civilians living in the vicinity of the airfield.

In the video, the fighter plane is seen flying surrounded by a flock of birds a few seconds after takeoff.

India is set to officially receive its first Rafale fighter jets in September this year, with a ceremony reportedly being planned in France to officially hand over the cutting edge combat jets to the air force, reports The Economic Times.

The modern fighters, to be armed with SCALP ground attack missiles with a range well over 300 km, will be flown by Indian pilots in France for at least 1,500 hours as part of the testing and acceptance process.
The magnificent #Rafale at #PAS19 #PAS2019! pic.twitter.com/UalX2dwstG
— Evan Kirstel (@evankirstel) June 17, 2019
As part of the contract, Indian pilots will be undergoing extensive training using the jets in France, initially on simulators.
Rafale fighter jets will start arriving at the Ambala Air Base positioned along the western border with Pakistan from May 2020 and will be installed in the 17 squadrons there.

 

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One Injured in Heavy Exchange of Fire Between India and Pakistan Near LoC
08.07.2019

View attachment 9214
© REUTERS / Mukesh Gupta

New Delhi (Sputnik): A heavy exchange of fire occurred between India and Pakistan on Monday, along the Line of Control (LoC) which divides the two neighbours in the Jammu and Kashmir region, leaving at least one person injured. It was the second major ceasefire violation between the two armies since 6 July.

Officials say the two armies targeted each other's forward posts and villages, along the LoC in the Nowshera sector of the district.

The injured civilian identified as Ram Saroop, a resident of Kalsian Village of Nowshera, was hit by mortar shell fragments.

On Saturday night, the ceasefire violation in Nowshera occurred after Pakistani forces reportedly initiated fire with small arms and followed with mortar shelling, this comes after more than a month-long lull in violence at the border. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries in the incident, an Indian army official said on Sunday.

The recent shooting at the border started after a blast on 3 July in the border area between India and Pakistan, just a few metres away from the LoC in which five Pakistani soldiers lost their lives.

Pakistan's military then stated that the incident was proof that India was a state-sponsor of terrorism, and was in violation of the bilateral ceasefire agreement and international rules.

India accuses Pakistan of having violated the ceasefire agreement over 1,248 times in 2019 alone.

In 2003, the two neighbours signed a ceasefire agreement at the LoC, then billed as the biggest confidence building measure (CBM) between them.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command of the Indian Army Ranbir Singh on Sunday said, that “gaps along the LoC have been filled and the Indian Army is fully trained and equipped to take on any challenges or any contingency that may arise”.

On 26 February, India accused Pakistan of providing a safe haven to terrorists and launched a retaliatory airstrike on a suspected Jaish-e Mohammad training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.

Some Indian ministers claimed that about 300 terrorists were killed in that attack, and a number of their facilities destroyed. The following day, Pakistan retaliated by shooting down one Indian fighter jet, initiating a dogfight in which a Pakistani F-16 was lost.


 

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Indian Air Force Chief to Fly a Sortie in YAK-130 in Russia Amid Shortage of Trainer Jets
08.07.2019

View attachment 9217
©AFP 2019 / ADRIAN DENNIS

New Delhi (Sputnik): Amid a severe shortage of trainer jets and high accident rates in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will fly a sortie in Russian Trainer aircraft. The Yakovlev YAK-130 'Mitten' advanced jet trainer and light-attack aircraft will be flown by the IAF chief during his three-day visit from 9 July.

The Irkut-made YAK-130, which can also carry a payload of up to 3,000 kgs, has been widely exported as a training jet for aircraft such as Su-30.

The development holds much importance for the IAF, which has been struggling to fill the gaps of trainer aircraft for years. The IAF has 310 trainer aircraft — more than 100 less than the sanctioned number of 432, a parliamentary panel report revealed earlier this February.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence said it was "perturbed to note that due to non-availability of Intermediate Jet Trainers and failure on the part of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to deliver the same, despite being in the process since 1999, the IAF has had to modify their training programme from a ‘three-level approach' to two levels.

This is "indicative of an unfavourable state of affairs" the panel said amid a rising number of crashes in past few years. The IAF has lost 44 aircraft and helicopters in crashes since 2014-15 and 46 personnel were killed, according to the Indian defence ministry. Records show that the force lost 26 fighter jets, six helicopters, nine training aircraft and three transport planes.

The export appeal of Russian-made jet has been growing in Southeast Asia including Vietnam and Malaysia. In March this year, the Russian Aerospace major confirmed
that regional exports of the Yak-130 included sales to Bangladesh, Laos, and Myanmar which had ordered "more than 10 aircraft each".

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will interact with senior officials of the Russian armed forces among others. "The visit will provide further impetus towards defence cooperation, as well as strengthen relationships, and enable engagement in productive exchanges between the two Air Forces," the IAF official said on Monday while adding that Air Chief Marshall Dhanoa is scheduled to visit various operational and training units as well.

 

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Cobra's Venom: India Begins Trials Ahead of Induction of Indigenous Anti-Tank Guided Missile
08.07.2019

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CC BY 2.5 / Sniperz11 / Nag missile

New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s defence scientists have commenced a series of last-leg trials of the indigenous “Nag” (meaning Cobra) anti-tank guided missiles ahead of their induction into the Indian Army.

Three successful tests were carried out on Sunday, with follow-up tests to further validate the capabilities of the Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) and mounted anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) to be carried out on Monday, in Pokhran near the Pakistan border.

A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said: "the missiles were test-fired during both day and night, on Sunday during the trials".

The DRDO has been working on the Nag since 2009 and has spent approximately $47 million on its development. The missile with ‘fire and forget’ and ‘top attack’ capabilities, is deployed on a specially modified ICV BMP-2 vehicle called the ‘NAMICA’.

During Aero India 2019, the DRDO stated that Nag had successfully completed “Winter-use trials” in December 2018. The trials commenced after a protracted period of validation tests, in part due to the performance of the imaging infrared (IIR) seeker head.

The Nag is claimed to be one of few "fire-and-forget" anti-tank missiles, like the American Javelin, and the Israeli Spike. It is heavier than the Javelin and the Spike, both of which are man-portable.

Once launched, the Nag doesn't need to be guided, allowing the launcher to seek cover. The missile can use its autonomous onboard guidance to hit even a fast-moving
tank. It uses indigenous image-seeking optical guidance, making it virtually jam-proof, unlike the infra-red seekers of the Javelin and Spike missiles.

The anti-tank guided missile has a lock-on-before-launch capability to a range of 4 km, the longest for any anti-tank missile in the world. US Javelin and the Israeli Spike lock-on-before-launch capability are limited to 2.5 km.

DRDO has also been developing man-portable and helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missile HeliNa for the air force. The DRDO was tasked with developing man-portable, anti-tank, guided missiles at the earliest. Defence forces received reassurance that this task would be completed by the DRDO last year.

The Indian Defence Ministry had cancelled the planned $500 million purchase of Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel's Rafael in favour of the DRDO's man-portable anti-tank guided missiles.

At present, India uses American, European, Israeli, Russian, and Soviet-made anti-tank missiles. The Nag is meant to phase out all of these foreign weapons as part of
New Delhi's "Make in India" initiative.

 

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India's Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Ready to Assist Russia-Made Vikramaditya by 2021 - Navy
08.07.2019

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New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Vikrant, is expected to commence basin trials in 2020, Indian Navy’s Vice Admiral A.K. Saxena said on Monday. Currently, the Indian Navy is operating a single aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya - formerly known as the Admiral Gorshkov.

Vice Admiral Saxena confirmed that construction of the carrier is underway, at a brisk pace, and delivery to the navy for induction with Eastern Naval Command is expected in 2021.

“Construction is moving at a brisk pace. The gas turbines could be fired in the third quarter of this year. Basin trials will follow, as well as testing of the aviation complex,” said Vice Admiral Saxena while speaking at the curtain raiser for the seminar ‘Nation Building through Shipbuilding’ in New Delhi.

Trials of fighter jet take-offs off from the deck of the warship will be conducted after that, the Vice Admiral added.

The 37500-ton carrier will measure 260 metres in length, with a maximum width of 50 metres. It was designed to carry 12 MiG-29Ks, eight Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and 10 anti-submarine and reconnaissance helicopters on its 2.5-acre flight deck and hangars.

The flight deck of Vikrant can carry 19 aircraft while the hangers inside will have the capacity for 17 more fighters.

IAC will have two takeoff runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires. It will support STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery) operations with a ski jump for take-off like the INS Vikramaditya, instead of a steam catapult.

The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation of machinery operation, ship navigation and survival. It will carry a crew of 160 officers and 1,400 sailors.

The ship is fitted with a combat management system developed indigenously by Tata Power in collaboration with Weapon and Electronics System Engineering Establishment and MARS, Russia.

Construction of the carrier was set back due to delays in negotiations with Russia’s Rosoboronexport and other foreign vendors over the construction of the carrier’s aviation complex. For the aviation facilities complex, 14 elements are of non-Russian origin, while 17 are Russian-made. This equipment was ordered in 2012 and 2015.

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy official has insisted that six submarines under the P-75 I project will have more than 50% of indigenous content. The navy floated a tender worth $6.5 billion to build six diesel-electric submarines under strategic partnership policy which envisages leading manufacturers across the globe working with Indian partners to supply the submersibles.

 

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Indian Army To Buy Excalibur Artillery Ammo For Its New M-777 Howitzers
Jul 8, 2019

View attachment 9233
Excalibur precision-guided projectile

The Indian army is eyeing to purchase Excalibur guided long-range artillery ammunition that is compatible with the new M-777 Howitzers it purchased from the US three years ago.

"The Indian Army is planning to acquire the Excalibur artillery ammunition from the Americans under the emergency procurement procedures," government sources were quoted as saying by ANI.

The Excalibur precision-guided projectile is co-developed by Raytheon Company and BAE Systems Bofors. It is a GPS and inertial-guided munition capable of being used in close support situations within 75–150 metres of friendly troops or in situations where targets might be prohibitively close to civilians to attack with conventional unguided artillery fire.

The shells have a multi-function fuze that can be programmed to explode in the air, once it hits a hard surface, or after it penetrates inside a target.

India signed a $750 million contract with the US in November 2016 for the procurement of 145 155 mm, 39-calibre M-777 howitzer guns. In July 2018, the army resumed testing 4 M-777 ULHs after a year-long delay, following the explosion of the gun’s barrel while it was firing the ammunition in Pokhran. A preliminary inquiry found that the explosion took place due to faulty ammunition supplied by India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and further probe was ordered.

The first batch of M777 howitzer guns was inducted into the Indian Army in November last year after extensive field trials.

According to the report, the army has just begun inducting the howitzers. Induction was expected to commence from March 2019 onwards with five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.

Under the contract, 25 guns would be delivered to India in a fly-away condition (two per month), while 120 was expected to be assembled at the assembly, integration and test (AIT) facility for the weapon system in India, in partnership with Mahindra Defence, located in Faridabad.

New Delhi has also green signalled the purchase of the Spike anti-tank guided missiles which can be used against the enemy armoured columns.

 

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India To Give The Final Go-ahead To $1.7 Billion C-295 Transport Aircraft Buy
Jul 8, 2019

View attachment 9235

India is likely to give the final nod for the $1.7 billion (INR 11,929 crore) contract to acquire 56 C-295 military transport aircraft as a replacement for the IAF’s ageing Avro fleet.

“The extensive trials and Contract Negotiations Committee (CNC) are over now. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) this month will take up the project to approve certain deviations before sending it to the cabinet committee on security for the final nod,” sources were quoted as saying by TOI on Monday.

In May 2015, DAC cleared a proposal by Airbus Defence & Space and its Indian partner, the Tata Group to procure the C-295 aircraft. Under the present deal, 16 aircraft will be built by a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and the remaining 40 will be built in the country by an Indian manufacturer under transfer of technology.

The IAF reportedly made changes to some of the earlier parameters, and the proposal was put forth for DAC’s approval.

This deal has become even more critical as a separate project to jointly co-develop and produce a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) of 20 tonnes with Russia to replace the An-32s in service was scrapped after initial design discussions. The An-32s, which are the workhorse of the IAF are currently being upgraded instead under a $400 million deal finalised with Antonov state corporation of Ukraine in 2009.

 

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Indian Air Force seeking to acquire 18 more Su-30MKI fighters from Russia
Dmitry Fediushko, Moscow and Rahul Bedi, New Delhi

10 July 2019
View attachment 9292
The IAF is seeking to acquire an additional 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters, according to Russia's FSMTC. Source: Irkut

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is seeking to acquire an additional 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighter aircraft from Russia, according to Vladimir Drozhzhov, the deputy director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).

Briefing reporters in Moscow on 8 July, Drozhzhov said that the FSMTC is "processing" a request from New Delhi to procure 18 more of these fighters for the IAF in kit form for assembly in India.

The platforms will supplement the 13 squadrons totalling 272 Su-30MKIs that the IAF intends to operate by 2020-21, thus taking to 14 the number of squadrons with this fighter type.

Drozhzhov further stated that Russia has completed delivery of all components and sub-assemblies to India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to licence-build 222 Su-30MKIs agreed upon under various previous contracts from 2000 onwards.

Currently, the IAF operates about 250 Su-30MKIs, of which more than 200 have been licence-built.

Official sources told Jane's that along with the powerpack, missile systems, and other major components, Russia has also provided HAL with 5,803 types of titanium blocks and forgings as well as aluminium and steel plates to assemble the aircraft. It has also provided HAL with about 7,100 'standard components' that include nuts, bolts, and rivets.

That said, the indigenous content in the HAL-built Su-30MKIs is around 50%, according to HAL sources.

The IAF received its first 50 Su-30 fighters, which were later upgraded to MKI standard, in the late 1990s for USD1.5 billion. This was followed by a deal to licence-build 140 at HAL's plant in Nashik in western India. Thereafter, India signed two deals, one in 2007 and another in 2012, to build an additional 82 fighters under licence.

Meanwhile, Drozhzhov said that Moscow is also processing New Delhi's requests to acquire 20 additional upgraded MiG-29UPG fighters.

 

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Russia creates secret arms payment mechanism with India
July 10, 2019
View attachment 9307

After nearly a year of being at an impasse, Russia’s arms deal negotiations with India have moved forward.

Moscow and Delhi have agreed to a new settlement scheme for defense contracts, which have been under US sanctions since 2018, said Vladimir Drozhzhov, deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, on Tuesday.

The details of how this mechanism works are classified, Drozhzhov emphasized. The scheme, which is “fully agreed upon”, is “permanent and mutually acceptable to both parties”, and will be in place for “the entire duration of the signed contracts”.

The new mechanism will enable Russia to sell India S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems. “The first system will be delivered within 24 months after the transfer of the prepayment,” noted Drozhzhov. This will take place “at the end of 2020 or a bit later,” and the deliveries will be completed by 2024-25.

India and Russia have also agreed on payment schemes for deals involving project 11356 frigates and 18 Su-30MKI fighters.

“We have [also] received offers to supply more than 20 modernized MiG-29 fighters and a request to upgrade around 450 T-90 tanks,” Drozhzhov noted.

The law imposing sanctions on Russia’s defense export sector came into force in the US at the end of November 2017. Since 29 January last year, the White House has been authorized to impose restrictions on any organizations involved in “significant deals” with Russian defense enterprises. This concerns both the buyers and the banks facilitating the transactions.

In April last year, India suspended its payments to Russia’s defense export agency, Rosoboronexport, for existing contracts, and put on hold the negotiations concerning new ones, because the Indian banks had begun to block the transactions out of fear of secondary sanctions.

Rosoboronexport is considering the possibility of transitioning to payments in national currencies – Indian rupees, rubles, UAE dirhams, said Alexander Mikheev, director of the agency at the time.

Russia resolved a similar payments issue with Indonesia, which purchased 11 Su-35 fighters, through a barter scheme. Instead of currency payments, Russia accepted palm oil, rubber crumbs and other Indonesian goods, which covered roughly half of the cost ($1.1 billion), a source close to Rosoboronexport told the Vedomosti news agency.

 

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