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Australia Terms China A ‘Security Anxiety’ While India Seeks Deeper Defence Ties At 2+2 Dialogue

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Australia Terms China A ‘Security Anxiety’ While India Seeks Deeper Defence Ties At 2+2 Dialogue


At the 2+2 ministerial dialogue, Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles asserts there has ‘never been a more important time for the 2 countries to be working together’

New Delhi: Australian deputy prime minister and defence minister Richard Marles Monday termed China as the biggest trade partner for India and Australia and also the biggest security anxiety for both countries.

He was speaking at the India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, which was attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh, foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong.

“We are two countries which share history. We share democratic traditions. We share rule of law and freedom of speech. We share this in a world where our strategic alignment is greater than it has ever been. For both of us, China is our biggest trade partner, for both of us China is our biggest security anxiety,” Marles said.

He pointed out that India and Australia shared an ocean and, in that sense, were neighbours and that there had never been a more important time for the two countries to be working together.

Marles also said that, from the Australian perspective, it couldn’t overstate the importance of its relationship with India.

“We really look forward to talking more about that strategic landscape in our meeting today. We look forward to talking more about ways in which we can cooperate around maritime domain awareness and more about the ways in which we can cooperate with our diplomacy, particularly in the region that surrounds us,” he asserted, adding that 2023 had been a big year in terms of defence as it was for the first time that an Indian naval submarine had visited Australia.

Jaishankar, too, highlighted the importance of the India-Australia relationship and said that defence was an important pillar of the partnership.

“Our bilateral relationship has certainly grown rapidly but it has larger implications for the region and a lot of other countries look to us and to our relationship in many ways as a factor of stability and security,” he said, adding that this had happened at a time of increasing uncertainty in the world.

“We are seeing sharper polarisation, deeper stresses and today… it is important to ensure that the routine is there for the region to feel safer. So, we have to build and act for stability on a daily basis,” Jaishankar stressed.

He further pointed out that India and Australia did face exceptional challenges, “some regional, some global”, and many involving challenges to the rule of law. As comprehensive strategic partners, it is important to also plan for those exceptions, he said.

“Our partnership in the Quad format (comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the US) has been very beneficial for the Indo-Pacific region and indeed our own bilateral relationship,” he added.

India’s dialogue with Australia comes in the wake of the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which was held earlier this month.

Deeper Defence Ties

India and Australia have continually expressed their commitment towards promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Ahead of the India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, defence minister Singh held bilateral talks with Marles and underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation in information exchange and maritime domain awareness between the two countries.

The two ministers discussed cooperation for joint research in underwater technologies and are also in advanced stages of discussion to conclude implementing arrangements on hydrography cooperation, and cooperation for air-to-air refuelling, according to communication from the defence ministry.

Singh told his Australian counterpart that the forces of the two countries should also look at cooperating in niche training areas like artificial intelligence (AI), anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare and cyber domain. The two further agreed to deepen cooperation in defence industry and research.

Singh pointed out that shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul could be other potential areas of collaboration. They also discussed collaboration between the defence start-ups of India and Australia.

After the conclusion of talks with Australia Monday, Singh posted on X: “Attended a comprehensive India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Meeting. There is a consensus on both the sides that a strong partnership augurs well for overall peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. India looks forward to continue working with Australia to take our bilateral relationship onwards and upwards.”





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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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