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US Foils Bid To Kill Sikh Terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Issues Warning To India: Report

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US Foils Bid To Kill Sikh Terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Issues Warning To India: Report


Washington: The US shared inputs on a nexus between organised criminals, gun runners and terrorists during the course of recent discussions, and relevant departments were examining them, India said on Wednesday — hours after the Financial Times reported that American authorities thwarted a plot to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on US soil.

The Joe Biden administration, too, confirmed that the US, at the senior most levels, raised the concern with India and expected those deemed responsible to be held accountable. India, according to the US, was surprised and concerned when the issue was raised, and told Washington DC that this was not government policy and will investigate the matter.

The remarks by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) came in response to the report in the London-based newspaper which also suggested that the US warned India against any involvement in a plot to kill Pannun, a Sikh extremist the government of India officially designated as a terrorist but who also happens to be a dual American and Canadian citizen.

“During the course of recent discussions on India-US security cooperation, the US side shared some inputs pertaining to nexus between organised criminals, gun runners, terrorists and others. The inputs are a cause of concern for both countries and they decided to take necessary follow-up action,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Bagchi added that India took such inputs seriously as it impinged on Indian “national security interests as well”. “Issues in the context of US inputs are already being examined by relevant departments.”

The FT report said it was unclear whether the developments led the plotters to abandon their plan of killing Pannun, or “whether FBI intervened and foiled a scheme”. “One person familiar with the situation said the US protest was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a high-profile state visit to Washington in June,” the report added.

The development came two months after Canada said there were “credible” allegations linking Indian agents to the murder of another Sikh separatist leader, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, in a Vancouver suburb. New Delhi has denied the charges and said there was no proof to back the allegations.

On Wednesday, FT reported on the American message to India, adding that US federal prosecutors have also filed a sealed indictment against “one of the perpetrators of the plot” in the New York District Court. The US justice department hasn’t unsealed the indictment.

“We are treating this issue with utmost seriousness, and it has been raised by the US government with the Indian government, including at the senior most levels. Indian counterparts expressed surprise and concern. They stated that activity of this nature was not their policy,” US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

The statement came in response to a question about the allegations, whether the US can confirm either having such a conversation with India or whether it has any specific asks from India on the issue.

“Based on discussion with senior US government officials, we understand the Indian government is further investigating this issue and will have more to say about it in the coming days. We have conveyed our expectation that anyone deemed responsible should be held accountable,” the statement added.

An earlier statement by an NSC spokesperson also underlined that the safety and security of American citizens was “paramount”.

The US State department did not comment on the issue “We do not comment on diplomatic, law enforcement, or intelligence discussions with our partners. Upholding the safety and security of US citizens is our highest priority,” a spokesperson said.

In September, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the floor of the Canadian parliament, said that there were “credible allegations” linking agents of the government of India to the killing of Nijjar, another designated terrorist who happened to be a Canadian citizen.

Trudeau’s charge led to a major diplomatic rupture between Canada and India, besides raising questions in other western capitals including Washington, which is both Ottawa’s closest ally and a fellow member of the Five Eyes alliance, the world’s premier intelligence network.

The US asked India to cooperate with Canadian authorities and expressed its concern. India termed Trudeau’s allegations absurd, said this was not government policy, and added that if Canada had something specific to offer, Indian would be willing to look at it. New Delhi also used the moment to expose what it saw as Ottawa’s permissive environment for terror, violence and organized crime under the rubric of free speech.

Both Pannun and Nijjar are pro-Khalistan separatists with a history of supporting secessionism, inciting violence, and mobilising funds for extremism. Just this month, on November 4, Pannun, the head of the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice, warned Sikhs against travelling on Air India flights on and after November 19, and threatened that Air India would not be allowed to operate. This week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a case against Pannun under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

India and the US have been careful not to allow Canada’s allegations to interrupt the momentum in bilateral ties.

The relationship has built on the momentum of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington DC in June. In September, President Joe Biden visited Delhi for the G20 Summit where US support played a key role in helping the presidency arrive at the leaders’ declaration. External affairs minister S Jaishankar then visited Washington where he met national security adviser Jake Sullivan, secretary of state Antony J Blinken, secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and is understood to have had private conversations with top US intelligence community figures.

In November, both Blinken and Austin visited Delhi for the annual 2+2 dialogue to deepen strategic and defence ties. And last week, Indian commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal was in San Francisco, where he participated in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial and represented India, an invited guest country, at the APEC summit.

US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has also said that Modi invited Biden to be the chief guest at the Republic Day ceremony on January 26 next year, where he may attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit. While there is no official confirmation of the visit, those familiar with the conversations suggest that it remains on the table and will be contingent on Biden’s schedule and domestic and international commitments.





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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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