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India Agreed To Withdraw Soldiers From Country, Says Maldives President Muizzu

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India Agreed To Withdraw Soldiers From Country, Says Maldives President Muizzu


Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu announced on Sunday that India has agreed to withdraw its army from the country

The President of the Maldives announced on Sunday that India has agreed to withdraw its army from the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

“In the discussions we had, the Indian government has agreed to remove Indian soldiers… We also agreed to set up a high level committee to solve issues related to development projects,” the President Mohamed Muizzu told reporters in Male.

Despite the Maldivian President stating that New Delhi agreed to withdrawing Indian military personnel, sources from the central government clarified that the two sides are currently engaged in discussions on the matter.

According to government sources, the troop withdrawal issue was briefly discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Maldivian President on the sidelines of the COP29 Climate Summit in Dubai.

The sources added, “We have seen reports about the status of Indian platforms in the Maldives engaged in HADR [high availability disaster recovery] activities. The continued usefulness of the Indian platforms, as recognised in discussions, needs to be looked at from a proper perspective.”

The central government sources also pointed out that the Maldivian side has acknowledged the utility of these platforms. “The fact that it is an important segment of our bilateral development partnership is recognised by both sides. Discussions on how to keep them operational are ongoing,” government sources said.

Muizzu, who was recently elected, formally requested India on November 18 to withdraw its military presence from the country. Soon after assuming power earlier this month, he had asserted that he was firmly committed to ensuring that his country remains “free” of any “foreign military presence” to preserve its independence and sovereignty.

Earlier, Muizzu had stated that the Maldives is too small to get caught up in geopolitical competition. He also stated that he has no interest in interfering in the current foreign policy of the Maldives. ‘Maldives is too small to get caught up in geopolitical rivalry.

“I am not very interested in interfering in the country’s foreign policy,” explained Muizzu.

In October, Muizzu had said that talks had begun with India to remove its military presence in the Maldives.

The removal of Indian troops was the main campaign weapon of Muizzu’s party, who ousted President Ibrahim Solih last month. At present, around 70 Indian troops, along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, are stationed in the Maldives.

Muizu, 45, won the election in September 2023. He prioritised campaigning against India’s political and economic influence in the Maldives. At the same time, he also clarified that asking India to remove military personnel is not to bring Chinese or any other country’s troops to Maldives.

China And Maldives

China and Muizzu’s party have a good relationship. China’s influence in the Maldives has become visible in the past few years. China has invested heavily there. Moreover, 10 islands there have been leased. According to reports, China is also stationing ships there and conducting military operations on a large scale. There has also been talk of a free trade agreement with the Maldives from the Chinese side.

If the current government, known for its pro-China sentiments, accepts this, it will be a major setback for India. Diplomatic experts say that there is a possibility that China will put pressure on the Maldives and damage its relations with India. A similar situation was seen in Sri Lanka and Nepal when the relationship with India started to deteriorate until the debt crisis blew up in Colombo leading then back to an upward tick in India-Sri Lanka ties.

The Maldives is a group of about 1,200 islands. But only about 100 of these islands are inhabited. Many of these islands are famous for tourism.





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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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