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Is India Becoming Better Arms Supplier For Philippines Than The West?

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Is India Becoming Better Arms Supplier For Philippines Than The West?


Last year, the Philippines signed a $375-million deal for three batteries of BrahMos missiles. Currently, Manila is eagerly looking to procure the Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv MK-III helicopters from New Delhi

Th Philippines Coast Guard urgently needs the Advanced Light DHRUV MK-III helicopters, since lacking such an asset poses a great challenge for the Southeast Asian nation, particularly when it comes to safeguarding its territorial waters and borders. Therefore, acquiring these helicopters is crucial in addressing these formidable challenges, a Philippine expert has said.

The comments of Manila-based defence analyst Miguel Miranda come days after Filipino President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr. revealed that India had proposed to sell its most advanced military chopper, the Dhruv MK-III to the Philippines.

Manila Sets Sights On DHRUV MK-III Helicopters

A statement from the Philippines President’s office noted that he would discuss India’s offer of seven DHRUV MK-III helicopters for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with the concerned departments in the island sovereign state’s defence ministry.

The announcement from Marcos came hours after he met with the Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran.

The DHRUV MK-III is widely deployed by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The helicopter, manufactured by India’s aviation behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is the latest variant of DHRUV, specially developed to carry out “maritime reconnaissance missions and coastal security operations.”

Against this backdrop, Miguel Miranda, the founder, and editor of the defence website, 21st Century Asian Arms Race, noted that the Philippines Coast Guard has an enormous task ahead of them and they still lack assets.

“The HAL naval helicopter or another equivalent is badly needed as the PCG has complex security tasks related to territorial defence, maritime security, conservation, and even border protection,” he told Sputnik India on Tuesday.

According to Miranda, India is among the few Asian countries with a growing catalogue of “defence products” in almost every domain – air, land, sea, etc.

Price Point Working in Favour of India

Moreover, he pointed out that another advantage of India’s value proposition is the price point as he opined that the equipment being offered is good enough and has a nice affordable price tag.

Offering his insights on why the Philippines was moving away from Western military hardware, he stressed that India was offering state-of-the-art weapons which wasn’t the case with other nations.

Miranda asserted that, unlike India, no Western country offered a supersonic cruise missile like the BrahMos to Manila.

“The Philippine Navy knows how big a task awaits the branch with China encroaching on territorial waters. It helped that the price point for a whole BrahMos regiment came as a bargain,” he added.

Prospects For India In The Philippines Weapons Market

On being asked if the Philippines would become a major market for India’s defence products, Miranda observed that there was reason to be optimistic but not too excited.

“Simply put there are a lot of Western systems, especially those made in the US, that the Philippine military cannot afford given its minuscule budget,” he emphasized.

On the other hand, retired Air Marshal M Matheswaran, an Indian Air Force (IAF) veteran, explained that for any country, the dependency on foreign weapons platforms is worrisome, especially in the case of the Philippines because it does not have a defence industry.

Manila’s Looks For Available, Good Quality Military Hardware

The current requirements of the Philippines, be it the ALH helicopters or the Brahmos missiles are against any possible threat from China given its maritime disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, Matheswaran remarked.

He elaborated that in the past, the Philippines was a colony of the US and Washington virtually ran it for a long time, including having a military base and providing them a defenсe cover. Even today, most of the Philippines’ armaments and defenсe equipment are US or Western-sourced.

Matheswaran argued that a country like the Philippines was looking at what is available at a lesser cost with a reasonably good quality of military hardware and India was just entering the defence exports scene. Thus, quite obviously, the Philippines would look at cultivating India as a reliable defence equipment provider.

India’s Growing International Status Playing Its Part In Ties With Philippines

“Additionally, New Delhi’s status as someone who’s more fiercely protective of its strategic autonomy and not being driven by somebody else’s geopolitical interests, all that matters in its deepening relations with Manila,” the former IAF officer commented.

That’s why, in his view, the DHRUV was a good aircraft for the Philippine Coast Guard as it was being built in significant numbers for the Indian Armed Forces and all these factors come into play for the archipelago to decide whether it is cost-effective for them to procure the helicopter from India.

New Delhi Offers Preferable Business Terms Than Western Nations

Plus, India’s geopolitical interest convergence in this region with the Philippines, and Vietnam was enormous.

“Logically, over a period of time, India would be preferable for them as compared to say Japan or France or the UK or the US in terms of this kind of reliable business partnership without someone breathing down their neck to take sides in a possible conflict scenario, which is often the case with Western powers,” Matheswaran concluded.





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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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