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Why Indian Navy Destroyer ‘Imphal’ Is A Force Multiplier In The Face of China Threat

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Why Indian Navy Destroyer ‘Imphal’ Is A Force Multiplier In The Face of China Threat


The stealth guided-missile destroyer adds muscle to the navy fleet targeted for expansion to 175 warships by 2035

India is adding more muscle to its maritime prowess with a stealth-guided missile destroyer, named Imphal, for the Navy. With China expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean Region, India has scaled up its naval acquisition plan—at least 175 warships by 2035, if not the optimal target of 200.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, on November 28, unveiled the crest of Yard 12706 (Imphal), the third among the four Project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyers. Accompanying Singh was Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh since Imphal is the first warship to be named after a city in the Northeast.

Designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau, Imphal was delivered by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited on October 20 and will be formally joining the naval fleet.

The Indian Navy, the world’s eighth largest, has 132 warships, besides 143 aircraft and 130 helicopters. It has placed orders for 68 warships and vessels worth Rs 2 lakh crore.

In comparison, China’s navy, according to a US-based think-tank, is the world’s largest, with a battle force of approximately 340 platforms, including major surface combatants, submarines, amphibious ships, mine warfare ships, aircraft carriers and fleet auxiliaries. This excludes the approximately 85 patrol combatants and craft loaded with anti-ship cruise missiles. The overall battle force of China’s navy is expected to grow to 400 ships by 2025 and 440 by 2030.

According to the defence ministry, the crest design of Imphal depicts the Kangla Palace on the left and ‘Kangla-Sa’ on the right. The Kangla Palace is a key historical site in Manipur while the ‘Kangla-Sa’ is a mythical being from Manipuri history, with a dragon’s head and lion’s body. It is symbolic as guardian of its people and is the state emblem of Manipur.

The Indian Navy has had a tradition of naming many ships after prominent cities, mountain ranges, rivers and islands.

The Imphal is seen as a hallmark of indigenous shipbuilding and considered to be among the technologically most-advanced in the world. The four Project 15B ships that it is part of were sanctioned by the Union government in 2011 at an outlay of Rs 29,700 crore. The first ship in this series, INS Visakhapatnam, was commissioned in November 2021. The second, INS Mormugao, joined the fleet in December 2022.

A guided missile destroyer with a displacement of 7,400 tonnes and overall length of 164 metres, Imphal is a potent and versatile platform equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. It is powered by a combined gas and gas propulsion and can achieve speeds of over 30 knots (56 kmph).

Navy officials say three-fourths of the warship’s platforms are indigenous, including medium-range surface-to-air missiles, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine rocket launchers and the 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount, a rapid-fire naval gun.

Imphal’s keel was laid on May 19, 2017 and the ship was launched into water on April 20, 2019. The ship sailed out for maiden sea trials on April 28 this year and has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in the harbour and at sea, leading up to its delivery on October 20—all achieved in a record six months. Imphal, as part of the pre-commissioning trials, also underwent successful firing of an extended-range BrahMos missile. The Indian Navy said in a statement that the time taken to build Imphal and complete her trials was the shortest yet for any indigenous destroyer.





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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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