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‘India At Core Of Indo-Pacific Strategy, Military Blocs Not Answer’: France Envoy

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‘India At Core Of Indo-Pacific Strategy, Military Blocs Not Answer’: France Envoy

“France has been on India’s side each time you needed us,” the envoy said

New Delhi: Referring to the recently-inked AUKUS pact, France has said that the military confrontational bloc is not the answer to problems in the Indo-Pacific region and a much broader approach is needed.

Speaking exclusively to ANI on implications of the AUKUS pact, French envoy to India Emmanuel Lenain said: “You know our approach. We don’t think the logic of blocs being military confrontational is the answer to our problem. We feel that we need a much broader approach with much more partnership between countries, we need to provide an alternative to order pushed by certain countries in the region, we need a positive agenda.”

AUKUS is a trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States for the Indo-Pacific region announced on September 15 this year.

France views Quad as a broader global group in comparison to security alliance AUKUS, the envoy said.

“If I look at the statements, including by the Indian officials, there is a clear difference between military alliance AUKUS and a more broader, global group of countries which is Quad. How do we interact with Quad depends on the way it is evolved. Right now we are pretty comfortable with the way how Quad is making announcements and working, we will see they deliver on it and decided to be very pragmatic on that. We are result-oriented and it will depend. We are absolutely not against any cooperation on a case-to-case basis, as you may have seen in the month of April, the Quad navies joined French military exercise and it was quite a success.”

The first in-person Quad summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden, was held in Washington last week. The grouping includes Australia, India, Japan and the US.

Critics say that AUKUS has diluted the relevance of Quad. However, India has already clarified that AUKUS is a security alliance and Quad is an alliance of like-minded democracies. Ever since AUKUS was signed, there have been multiple interactions between India and France at the highest levels. French President Emmanuel Macron had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his French counterpart on the sidelines of UNGA in New York.

Pointing at AUKUS, the envoy said there are two ways to face a challenge – either develop strategic autonomy or rely on other nations for security.

“My President, your Prime Minister spoke, ministers spoke. India is at the core of our Indo-Pacific strategy as we have the same approach. When you’ve challenges like these, you have two solutions. Either you develop your strategic autonomy, give yourself means to be independent or you just rely on other country to provide you security,” he said.

“Obviously some countries have taken second approach. India France, it’s nothing new, are taking the first approach since the beginning. We want to get strategic space, strategic autonomy and we feel the best way to do it is to work together as we have been doing for more than fifty years now on defence, critical technology, space, cyber, on AI, energy in many areas. I mean that’s the way we want to develop our cooperation and we also want to be trusted partners which we are as you know. France has been on India’s side each time you needed us, whether it is 1998 nuclear tests we didn’t condemn, (be it) Kargil and very recently during COVID crisis, that’s how partners should be,” he added.

The envoy termed the signing of AUKUS as a breach of trust between allies.

“My country was surprised. It was a breach of trust between allies and also it’s a major strategic inconsistency. When you want to face an issue, a challenge, usually you try to rally countries which are like-minded, you don’t try to exclude major partners and my country within the EU is the most involved in the Pacific,” he said.

“We feel we are also a country of Pacific. Also, we are India’s neighbour. We have territories, we have a second exclusive economic zone worldwide. We have 2 million French people in the area. Compared to India it’s few, for France it’s quite something and we have troops, we have thousands of troops, 7000 troops in the region,” he added.

France recalled its envoys from the US and Australia after AUKUS was signed. Later after discussions between Mr Macron and Mr Biden, it was decided that the envoy to the US will return.

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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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