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Israel War Should Not Escalate: Modi At G20

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Israel War Should Not Escalate: Modi At G20


PM Modi called for the Israel-Hamas conflict not to escalate into a regional conflict and condemned terrorism and civilian deaths

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas should not escalate into a regional conflict, condemned both terrorism and the death of civilians, welcomed the news of the release of Israeli and American hostages, and expressed the hope that all hostages will be released soon.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of G20 leaders, the final major event during India’s presidency of the grouping, Modi reiterated India’s careful and balanced position on the conflict, asserting that terrorism was “unacceptable”, and the death of civilians “anywhere” was “condemnable”.

“We welcome the news of the release of hostages today, and hope for the swift release of all hostages. Ensuring the timely and continuous delivery of humanitarian aid is imperative. It is also crucial to ensure that the conflict between Israel and Hamas does not take on any kind of regional form,” Modi said, drawing attention to the instability in West Asia.

His comments came on a day the two warring sides, with help from the US, Qatar and Egypt, agreed to a four-day ceasefire in Gaza as a part of a wider package deal that involved the release of a set of hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. They also come in the backdrop of rising global outrage against Israel’s response to the Hamas terror attacks.

“It is important that humanitarian assistance reaches [Gaza] in a timely manner,” Modi said in his opening remarks at the virtual leaders’ summit, a follow up to the in-person summit held in New Delhi on September 9-10. India hands over the G20 presidency to Brazil on December 1.

The war erupted after Hamas militants launched an audacious assault against Israel on October 7 and Tel Aviv responded with a massive bombing campaign and ground invasion of Gaza. India has condemned the terror attack, but also highlighted the need to protect civilian lives in the Gaza strip, and reaffirmed its support for a two-state solution to resolve the decades-old Israel-Palestine conflict and bring lasting peace to the troubled region.

“The clouds of crises that we are witnessing today, as One Family, we possess the strength to work towards peace. From the point of view of human welfare, we can strengthen our voice against terror and violence, and for humanity. Today, India is prepared to walk together shoulder to shoulder, to meet the expectations of the world and of humanity,” Modi said. ‘One Family, One Earth, One Future’ has been the theme of India’s G20 presidency.

In his address, Modi also touched upon the implementation of digital public infrastructure (DPI) in the countries of the Global South, the challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) and the need for its regulation, challenges related to environment and climate crisis, women empowerment, sustainable development goals and Africa’s inclusion in G20 under the Indian presidency.

“To implement DPI in the Global South, I propose the creation of a social impact fund. India will make an initial contribution of $25 million to this fund. I hope you all will join this initiative,” the PM said.

The need to regulate AI was a key message in his address. Its negative application is a cause for concern for the world, Modi said, adding, “We need to work together towards AI regulation. Deepfake is dangerous for society and individuals. We want AI to reach the people and it must be safe for society.” India will host the Global AI Partnership Summit in December, he said, asking the G20 member-states to support the initiative. There is a major international push towards AI regulation, with the US administration unveiling an ambitious executive order to ensure the responsible use of the new technology, the UK hosting an international summit on AI which saw India’s participation, the US and China agreeing to discuss AI, and G7 drawing up a set of principles on AI in recent months.

Modi also said India’s aspirational district programme exemplified progress in sustainable developments goals at the local level. “I invite the G20 countries and the Global South to study the programme. You will see how this campaign has helped transform the lives of 25 crore people.” The programme seeks to transform 112 underdeveloped districts in the country by tapping into their strengths.

The PM also recounted India’s G20 journey.

“When I was handed over the gavel, I said we will together make G20 inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. We made that happen and we have taken G20 to newer heights. In a climate of mistrust and challenges, it is mutual trust that has bound us together. It is a matter of pride that Africa got a voice under India’s presidency. It was a message of inclusivity to the world.”

The virtual summit was an opportunity to assess what has been done since the in-person summit in September, people tracking India’s G20 presidency said.

The joint leaders’ declaration unveiled at the G20 Summit in September was seen as a key diplomatic achievement for India given the differences over the Ukraine conflict, which previously held up joint statements at all ministerial meetings.

The declaration said that, in line with the UN Charter, all countries must refrain from the use of force to “seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty” of any state. Without naming Russia, it emphasised the importance of sustaining food and energy security and called for a cessation of military destruction or other attacks on infrastructure.

There have been past instances of a country holding the G20 presidency hosting more than one summit. Italy, which held the presidency in 2021, organised an extraordinary leaders’ summit on Afghanistan some months after the Taliban assumed power in Kabul.

Modi also extended his best wishes to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as Brazil takes over the G20 presidency. The PM hoped that G20 would move forward with a human-centric approach.





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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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