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Air Chief Awards ‘Unit Citation’ To 3 Squadrons of IAF For Their Role In Eastern Ladakh

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Air Chief Awards ‘Unit Citation’ To 3 Squadrons of IAF For Their Role In Eastern Ladakh

The units were awarded during the 89th Air Force Day celebrations at the Hindon airbase for boosting India’s military presence after the military standoff with China in the region

Hindon: Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary on Friday awarded ‘unit citation’ to three squadrons of the Indian Air Force for their role in boosting India’s military presence in eastern Ladakh last year following the military standoff with China in the region.

The units presented with the ‘Chief of Air Staff’s citation’ are No. 47 Squadron equipped with MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the 116 Helicopter Unit and 2255 Squadron that operates the OSA-AK-M surface-to-air guided weapons, officials said.

The units were awarded during the 89th Air Force Day celebrations at the Hindon airbase on the outskirts of the national capital.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a border standoff in several areas in eastern Ladakh for nearly 17 months though the two sides carried out disengagement in a number of friction points.

The No. 47 Squadron, formed in 1959, is presently equipped with the upgraded MiG-29 aircraft. After the Balakot airstrikes in February, 2019, the squadron was deployed for the air defence role.

“The squadron flew extensively and maintained a constant vigil to ensure that there were no misadventures by our adversaries…In May 2020, the squadron was deployed for air defence as well as air-to-ground operations in the Northern sector, and carried out extensive operations at high altitude,” said an official.

The 116 Helicopter Unit, formed in August 1967, is equipped with the Advanced Light Helicopter (Mark IV) Rudra.

The officials said the unit was deployed for offensive operations at a high-altitude airfield in the Ladakh area after the Galwan Valley clashes between Indian and Chinese troops.

“The unit quickly established the first-ever high-altitude attack helicopter detachment in the region and executed day and night operations, including air-to-ground weapons delivery at high altitudes,” said the official.

The 2255 Squadron Det is a frontline OSA-AK-M, surface-to-air guided weapon unit.

The Squadron was mobilised for air defence in Ladakh in response to the Galwan Valley standoff.

“Since then, the squadron has undertaken various innovations to sustain serviceability and reliability of its equipment. This has enabled it to maintain its operational readiness in harsh climatic conditions, even through the harsh winter of Ladakh,” said the official.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

The border row escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15 last year.

Twenty Indian Army personnel laid down their lives in the clashes that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades. In February, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the clashes with the Indian Army though it is widely believed that the death toll was higher.

Following the escalation in tension in eastern Ladakh in mid-June last year, the IAF deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft as well as its attack helicopters in the key air bases in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in Gogra as well as in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.

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Indian Defense

INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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