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US And Philippines Conduct Joint Air, Sea Patrols In South China Sea Not Far From Taiwan

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US And Philippines Conduct Joint Air, Sea Patrols In South China Sea Not Far From Taiwan


The U.S. and Philippines conduct joint patrols in the South China Sea amid rising tensions over Chinese activities. The patrols, involving air and maritime forces, respond to China’s assertiveness in disputed waters near Taiwan and Philippines’ northernmost province. Recent incidents, including vessel clashes, have heightened concerns. President Marcos Jr. described the situation as “dire,” emphasizing the need to bolster regional security through partnerships with the U.S. and other allies.

The United States and the Philippines are conducting joint air and maritime patrols in the South China Sea, which come as the two countries step up cooperation in the face of growingly aggressive Chinese activity in the area.

The Philippine Air Force said Wednesday its aircraft had taken part in joint patrols on Tuesday in the vicinity of Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, which is only about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Taiwan, a self-governed island that China claims as its own.

The patrols run through Thursday and also include both the U.S. and Philippine navies. They come only days after Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called the situation in the South China Sea increasingly “dire” as China seeks to assert its presence in an area where multiple nations have competing territorial claims.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea as its own waters, which has led to disputes not only with the Philippines but also with Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. These claims have long been regarded as potential flashpoints in the region, and have fueled U.S.-China rivalry.

Earlier this month a Chinese coast guard ship blasted a Philippine supply ship with a water cannon in disputed waters, and last month a Chinese coast guard ship and an accompanying vessel rammed a Philippine coast guard ship and a military-run supply boat near a contested shoal, according to Philippine officials.

Speaking on Sunday in Honolulu, Marcos said China has been showing interest in atolls and shoals that are “closer and closer” to the coast of the Philippines, with the nearest atoll about 60 nautical miles (111 kilometers) away.

“Unfortunately, I cannot report that the situation is improving,” Marcos said. “The situation has become more dire than it was before.”

In announcing the start of the joint patrols, Marcos said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that they were “testament to our commitment to bolster the interoperability of our military forces.”

“Through collaborative efforts, we aim to enhance regional security and foster a seamless partnership with the United States in safeguarding our shared interests,” he wrote.

Under Marcos, who was elected last year, the Philippines has been deepening its relationship with the U.S. in a shift from his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, who had been closer to China and Russia.

In February, Marcos approved an expansion of the U.S. military presence in the Philippines to add four new bases from five existing sites under a 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the longtime treaty allies.

The move, which Marcos said would boost the Philippines’ coastal defense, dovetails with the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen an arc of military alliances in the Indo-Pacific to better counter China.

Marcos has also been strengthening ties with others, including Tokyo, signing an agreement earlier in the year to allow Japanese troops to join training exercises.





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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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