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Need To Revive Diplomacy With Pakistan: Mani Shankar Aiyar

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Need To Revive Diplomacy With Pakistan: Mani Shankar Aiyar


Saying that diplomacy should be the principal weapon to deal with neighbours, political leader and former diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar today stressed the need to revive diplomatic relations with Pakistan that are based on people to people contact.

Need to build on Goodwill of Pak people – Our single biggest asset in Pakistan is the goodwill of its people and we need to build up on this, which makes the prospects of relations with the country viable. — Mani Shankar Aiyar, political leader & ex-diplomat.

Speaking online at a session on “Strategy India should follow to deal with a declining Pakistan and a Taliban bent upon expansion”, at the Military Literature Festival here today, he pointed out that during the last 10 years, there had been no dialogue of any significance with Pakistan.

He said the most important strategic change in recent times was that the Chinese were no longer behind the Himalayas but were now on the Indus at the same point where Alexander was in 326 BC. So there would not need to be a pincer movement by Pakistan and China to attack India, but they could join hands to attack India on the western front, which would lead to a truly difficult military situation, he said.

“These circumstances reinforce the need to resume diplomatic contact and uninterrupted dialogue with Pakistan as past experience has shown that dialogue has resulted in solution to difficult situations,” he said. “Our single biggest asset in Pakistan is the goodwill of its people and we need to build up on this, which makes the prospects of relations with the country viable,” he said.

“There are elements in Pakistan that will continue to support proxy war and terror attacks in India and this makes it more important for diplomats to be given the opportunity to talk to their Pakistani counterparts. We have to keep ourselves militarily ready, but the most important arrow in our quiver should be diplomacy and negotiation,” he said.

Pointing out that “we were wrong not to militarily challenge Pakistan earlier for what it did in Punjab and Kashmir”, Ajay Bisaria, former High Commissioner to Pakistan, said there had been a paradigm shift in policy where India was beginning to find the instruments to convey to Pakistan that a Pulwama-type incident was not acceptable.

He said, “We have a situation where Pakistan has refused to reform because of the stranglehold of the army on its economy.” He said the geo-political good times for Pakistan ended with the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the overall relevance of Pakistan declined. The failure of its Afghanistan policy aimed at creating strategic depth because of the Afghan Taliban not being compliant with Pakistan and keen to deal with India added to its security crisis, Bisaria said.

Stating that elections in India and Pakistan next year open a political and diplomatic window that present an opportunity to normalise relations, he said three possible scenarios emerging in the next few months that India needed to look at were the situation in Pakistan getting worse and the country collapsing, Pakistan muddling through with the help of last-minute loans and Pakistan normalising with some economic reforms taking off, he added.





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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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