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Some Nations Trying To Seek More Control In Indo-Pacific Region, Says Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh

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Some Nations Trying To Seek More Control In Indo-Pacific Region, Says Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh

Admiral Karambir Singh with US Navy Chief Mike Gilday



NEW DELHI: Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Wednesday said some countries were applying “land-centric territorial mindset” attempting to seek greater domination and control in the Indo-Pacific region, in a veiled reference to China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea where it has long-standing sovereignty disputes with several counties such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

In his address at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2021, Singh said the reinterpretation of accepted conventions was turning “the global commons into contested seas.”

“As the basic precepts of a maritime Indo-Pacific are challenged, competition in the Indo-Pacific is also becoming more diverse, involving levers of diplomacy, commerce, ideology, values, science and technology; apart from the military,” the navy chief said, calling the region the centre-of-gravity of global geopolitics and economics.

He said day-to-day competition for “influence, leverage and geostrategic space” was increasingly being witnessed in the Indo-Pacific, which houses 61% of the global population, contributes to 62% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and encompasses 63% of the world’s island nations.

Singh said nearly 50% of global trade passed through the Indo-Pacific, and most nations within and beyond the region, had a core interest in keeping it free for commerce. “Which is also why concepts such as like-minded partners, free and open seas, have gained greater currency, concurrent with the growing relevance of the idea of Indo-Pacific,” he added.

India is keeping tabs on Chinese moves in the South China Sea and taking steps to ensure that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) doesn’t muscle its way into the Indian Ocean where combat-ready Indian warships are carrying out round-the-clock surveillance for any unusual activity, as previously reported.

From carrying out naval drills with like-minded countries to reaching out to states in the Indian Ocean region, the Indian Navy is focusing on checking China’s rising ambitions in the region and sending out a strong message that Beijing’s power play in South China Sea cannot be replicated in the Indian Ocean. China claims almost 90% of the South China Sea.

“Indo-Pacific brings with it attendant and evolving challenges where the rules of the game are changing…As competition becomes more intense in the Indo-Pacific, the value of cooperation will become even more, and not less, significant,” Singh said, stressing on the need to uphold the rules-based system.

India is a key player in the region with its warships deployed from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait and northern Bay of Bengal to the southeast coast of Africa.

India, the US, Japan, and Australia concluded the Malabar naval drills in the Bay of Bengal earlier this month. Beijing has been wary of the Quadrilateral security dialogue or Quad that was revived in late 2017 by the four countries, and upgraded to the ministerial level in 2019.

India is determined to protect its maritime interests while supporting the rules-based international order mandated under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), defence minister Rajnath Singh said in his keynote address at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2021.

“India is committed to respecting the rights of all nations as laid down in UNCLOS. We are fully determined to protect the legitimate rights and interests of our country in relation to our territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone,” the minister said.

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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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