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Russia to Supply Igla-S Anti-Aircraft Missiles to India

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated that Russia accounted for 45 per cent of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022, with France providing 29 per cent and the United States 11 per cent…reports Asian Lite News

Russia signed a contract to supply Igla-S hand-held anti-aircraft missiles to India and has allowed the production of the Igla under license, Reuters reported citing Russian news agency TASS.

The Igla-S is a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) that can be fired by an individual or crew to bring down an enemy aircraft.

Alexander Mikheyev, head of the state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said, “We have already signed the corresponding document and now, together with an Indian private company, we are organising the production of Igla-S MANPADS in India,” Reuters reported quoting TASS.

Notably, Russia continues to remain India’s largest arms supplier. However, Russia’s reputation of its army and weaponry has been damaged from the war in Ukraine, where Russia has suffered numerous setbacks at the hands of a smaller but highly motivated and Western-equipped military.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated that Russia accounted for 45 per cent of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022, with France providing 29 per cent and the United States 11 per cent.

Meanwhile, Mikheyev earlier said, “Rosoboronexport is working with Indian private and public enterprises to organise joint production of aviation weapons and integrate them into the existing aviation fleet in India”, reported Russia’s RIA news agency.

However, no such details were provided about which Indian companies would be involved or when potential production would start, reported Reuters, citing TASS.

Additionally, Mikheyev said Rosoboronexport and Indian partners have provided the Indian Defence Ministry with Su-30MKI fighter jets, tanks, armoured vehicles and shells.

Moreover, at the beginning of this year, India and Russia also began the joint production of AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles. (ANI)

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India to produce F414 engines for Tejas 

Sitharaman also said that the HAL-made engines would be utilised in the indigenous Tejas aircraft, which is entirely produced in India. ..reports Asian Lite News

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that India will now be able to produce its own aircraft engines, specifically the F414 engines used in the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.

Citing the several defence production deals signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US, she said: “GE, the largest aeronautics company, has signed an agreement with HAL for the joint production of F414 aircraft engines. This joint venture will take place in India, with 80 per cent of the technology being transferred. 

“I highlight this because HAL is often criticised by the Indian opposition, but now we can see that HAL is entering into this joint production agreement with GE.” 

Bengaluru, Mar 15 (ANI): Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) maiden successful flight test of DRDO’s indigenous Power Take off Shaft conducted on Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas) and also Limited Series Production (LSP)-3 aircraft, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Sitharaman also said that the HAL-made engines would be utilised in the indigenous Tejas aircraft, which is entirely produced in India. 

She also mentioned that India is acquiring unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), specifically the sea guardian MQ-9B, which will greatly strengthen the armed forces.

She also said that with Master Ship Repair Agreements, India is set to become the largest center for ship repairs, as the US Navy has already reached an agreement with Karthupalli (near Chennai), Larsen and Toubro, and two other shipyards. 

Furthermore, they are also working on agreements with Mazagon Docks in Mumbai and Goa Shipyards, she added.

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India deploys naval aircraft to rescue Chinese sailors

“#IndianNavy continues to remain deployed to provide all possible assistance to the ongoing SAR efforts,” it added…reports Asian Lite News

In a humanitarian action for a Chinese fishing vessel that sank in the Indian Ocean, Indian Navy deployed its Air MR assets including P81 aircraft in the region and offered assistance in the ongoing search.

Taking to Twitter, Indian Navy said, “In a swift humanitarian action on 17 May #IndianNavy deployed its Air MR assets in the Southern IOR approx 900 Nm from India, in response to sinking of a #Chinese Fishing Vessel Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 with 39 crew onboard. The crew incl nationals from China, Indonesia & Philippines.” “P8I aircraft have carried out multiple & extensive searches despite adverse weather & located multiple objects possibly belonging to the sunken vessel. As an immediate response, SAR eqpt was deployed at the scene by the Indian aircraft on request of PLA(N) ships closing the area,” the army added.

Earlier, on Tuesday, a Chinese deep-sea fishing vessel capsized in the central Indian Ocean, leaving 39 people on board missing, including 17 Chinese mariners, 17 Indonesian mariners and five Philippine mariners.

Further, Indian Navy tweeted, “In a display of India’s obligations as a #credible & #responsible partner for ensuring #safety at sea, the #IndianNavy units also coordinated #SAR efforts with other units in the area & guided #PLA(N) warships transiting to the scene of incident.”

“#IndianNavy continues to remain deployed to provide all possible assistance to the ongoing SAR efforts,” it added.

Meanwhile, Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin over the update regarding ongoing search and rescue efforts for the missing vessel, said, “The Chinese distant-water fishing boat ‘Lupeng Yuanyu 028’ capsized while passing through the central part of the Indian Ocean on May 16. Thirty-nine crew members on board are missing and an emergency search and rescue operation is underway. The Chinese government has made saving the crew a high priority. President Xi Jinping made special instructions to deploy additional rescue forces, coordinate with international marine search and rescue assistance and make all-out rescue efforts.”

“Premier Li Qiang made the instruction demanding fast coordination with relevant forces to make all-out rescue efforts. The operation has drawn close attention from across the region. Countries such as Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Maldives and the Philippines have extended emergency assistance and sent sympathies for the Chinese boat and crew. The operation has been commended from various quarters in China and abroad. The Chinese government sincerely appreciates the help from those countries. As we speak, the search and rescue operation is still underway,” he added, according to the statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

In the latest development, two bodies were found in the search for 39 crew members missing after a Chinese fishing vessel capsized in the Indian Ocean, Beijing’s state media Xinhua news agency reported.

The ongoing search operation following the capsizing of the Lu Peng Yuan Yu 028 “found and salvaged the remains of two victims”, reported Xinhua. (ANI)

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Poland delivers MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine

In March, Ukraine received its first British main battle Challenger tanks and other Western-made armoured vehicles, CNN reported citing Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov…reports Asian Lite News

Poland has delivered “several” MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Ukraine, the Polish President’s foreign affairs adviser Marcin Przydacz said in an interview with Polish radio RMF FM, CNN reported.

Earlier on March 16, Poland said that Warsaw will send the aircraft, which were about to be decommissioned by the country’s air force, as per the news report. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit Poland on Wednesday, according to Przydacz.

Poland announced it would send the aircraft, which were about to be decommissioned by the country’s air force, on March 16. At that time, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Poland is still using Mi-29 aircraft in the defence of Polish airspace.

Duda said that Poland can announce with confidence that Warsaw will send MiGs to Ukraine. At the time, he said, “When it comes to the MI-29 aircraft, which are still operating in the defence of Polish airspace, a decision has been taken at the highest levels, we can say confidently that we are sending MiGs to Ukraine,” according to CNN report.

Andrzej Duda further said, “We have a dozen or so MiGs that we got in the ’90s handed down from the German Democratic Republic and they are functional and play a part in the defence of our airspace. They are at the end of their operational life but are still functional.”

He announced that Poland will replace them with deliveries of “south Korean FA-50s and American F-35s.” Ukraine has been urging its allies to provide them with deliveries of fighter jets. So far, only Poland and Slovakia have promised to provide 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine.

In March, Ukraine received its first British main battle Challenger tanks and other Western-made armoured vehicles, CNN reported citing Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

In a Facebook post, Reznikov said that Ukraine received Challengers (main battle tanks) from the United Kingdom, Strykers (infantry fighting vehicles) and Cougars (infantry mobility vehicles from the mine-resistant ambush-protected family) from the United States, and Marders (infantry fighting vehicles) from Germany, according to CNN report.

Amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy while expressing gratitude to Ukraine’s security personnel called the situation near Bakhmut “extremely hot,” according to the statement released by Ukraine President’s office.

While making a video address on April 3, Zelenskyy said that next week will be especially important for Ukraine’s defence and added that they are already making preparations for scheduled events and decisions.

“I am grateful to our warriors who are fighting near Avdiivka, Maryinka, near Bakhmut… Especially Bakhmut! It’s especially hot there today! Near Bilohorivka, near Kreminna and all our other cities, towns and villages of Donbass. The resilience of everyone is the resilience of the whole of Ukraine, helping everyone in a position nearby is helping the whole of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in a video address. (ANI)

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India signs purchase of 70 trainer aircraft and three ships

Being an indigenous solution, the aircraft is configurable for upgrades to incorporate the futuristic requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The aircraft will be supplied over a period of six years…reports Asian Lite News

In a major boost to the government’s efforts to achieve ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence, the Defence Ministry on Tuesday signed contracts with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) for procurement of 70 HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft and three Cadet Training Ships.

The Cabinet had last week approved the procurement of 70 HTT-40 trainer aircraft from HAL at a cost of over Rs 6,800 crore. The signing of contract with L&T for the acquisition of three Cadet Training Ships from L&T, worth more than Rs 3,100 crore under Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category was also approved.

The HTT-40 is a turbo prop aircraft possessing good low-speed handling qualities and provides better training effectiveness. This fully aerobatic tandem seat turbo trainer has an air-conditioned cockpit, modern avionics, hot re-fueling, running change over and zero-zero ejection seats.

The aircraft will meet the shortage of basic trainer aircraft of Indian Air Force for training of newly-inducted pilots. The procurement will include associated equipment and training aids including simulators. Being an indigenous solution, the aircraft is configurable for upgrades to incorporate the futuristic requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The aircraft will be supplied over a period of six years.

The HTT-40 contains approximately 56% indigenous content which will progressively increase to over 60% through indigenisation of major components and subsystems. The HAL would engage the domestic private industry, including MSMEs, in its supply chain. The procurement has the potential to provide direct and indirect employment to thousands of people spread over more than 100 MSMEs.

The three Cadet Training Ships will cater to the training of officer cadets, including women, at sea after their basic training to meet the future requirements of the Indian Navy. The ships would also provide training to cadets from friendly countries with the aim to strengthen diplomatic relations. The ships can also be deployed for evacuation of people from distress areas, Search & Rescue and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The delivery of ships is scheduled to commence from 2026.

The ships will be indigenously designed, developed and constructed at L&T shipyard in Kattupalli, Chennai. The project will generate employment of 22.5 lakh man-days over a period of four-and-half years. This will encourage active participation of Indian shipbuilding and associated industries, including MSMEs.

Tuesday’s signing and exchanging of contracts was done in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane along with other senior civil and military officials of MoD and representatives of HAL & L&T.

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Embraer to display its largest commercial aircraft

The aircraft will be displayed as part of its demonstration tour around India…reports Asian Lite News

Embraer will display its largest commercial aircraft, the E195-E2, at Wings India 2022, the civil aviation show to be held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad from March 24 to 27.

The aircraft will be displayed as part of its demonstration tour around India.

Showcasing a stunning ‘TechLion’ livery that covers the entire aircraft’s fuselage, this aircraft is the largest member of the new generation E-Jets family, the E-Jets E2, and is designed to seat up to 146 passengers in its signature two by two seating, the Brazilian aircraft maker said.

“India’s aviation scene is at a turning point and now is the moment for airlines to reposition themselves for sustainable growth,” said Raul Villaron,Asia Pacific Vice-President for Embraer Commercial Aviation.

“The E195-E2 offers a low cost per seat, making it very competitive with large narrow-body aircraft that are prevalent in India. It is the perfect aircraft for airlines to tap for the next frontier of growth – connectivity to Tier-II and Tier-III cities,” he added.

According to Embraer’s analysis, even before Covid, 50 per cent of domestic flights in India had between 90 to 150 passengers per flight. This makes the E195-E2’s combination of ideal capacity and low unit cost a compelling platform to connect metro to non-metro cities in India.

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The E195-E2, part of Embraer’s E2 family of advanced jets, is dubbed the profit hunter because of its high performance and low fuel burn. It delivers the lowest operating costs and highest yields for airlines, more comfort for passengers and space for their bags, smallest noise footprint and less impact on the environment. It is powered by PW1900G GTF engines.

The E195-E2 is operated by several airlines globally including KLM (The Netherlands), Helvetic Airlines (Switzerland), Azul (Brazil), Air Peace (Nigeria) and soon, Porter Airlines (Canada).

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UAE extends ban on drones, light sports aircraft

The Ministry of Interior announced an extension of its decision to ban drones and light sports aircraft covering owners, practitioners and enthusiasts until further notice, in coordination with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)…reports Asian Lite News

The ministry stressed the importance of community members’ adherence to relevant instructions to protecting lives and properties from unsafe practices and noted that authorities and companies who have signed work contracts or commercial projects that rely on the use of drones should contact the GCAA to obtain the necessary approvals and exemptions to avoid any consequences that affect the timing of these projects.

It also stated that anyone who operates or practises any of the aforementioned activities and disregards related regulations will be subject to legal action, in line with Article 176 of Federal Decree Law No. 31 for 2021, which stipulates potential punishments of imprisonment for a period of six months to five years and a fine of at least AED100,000.

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IAC Vikrant sets out for new trials ahead of commissioning

After two successive high-profile visits, that of the President and Vice President within a span of less than two weeks, indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant is heading out for the next set of sea trials, officials said on Sunday…reports Asian Lite News

The maiden sea trials in August last year were to establish propulsion, navigational suite, and basic operations, and the second, in October-November, witnessed it being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials.

The ship, in fact, was out for 10 days proving its sustenance in the second sortie. Various seamanship evolutions were also successfully cleared during it. Having gained adequate confidence in the ship’s abilities, the IAC now sails to undertake complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how it performs in various conditions.

In addition, various sensor suites would also be tested.

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On successful completion of a series of progressive sea trials, the ship is scheduled to be commissioned as INS Vikrant later this year, the Defence Ministry said.

The IAC has been a success story on numerous counts, be it Atmanirbhar Bharat, wherein 76 per cent of the equipment is indigenously sourced, or the close engagement between the design teams of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd, a high-point in the largest and most complex warship ever to be built in the country.

The ship has been able to carry out basic flying operations from its very first sortie, itself a landmark in the history of Indian warship construction.

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India showcases its defence production capabilities

DRDO is exhibiting as many as 16 new products and technologies, including the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) that dazzled visitors on the event’s opening day…reports Asian Lite News

India’s top defence manufacturers exhibiting at the ongoing Dubai Airshow feel that time has now come for the world to sit up and take note of their in-house production capabilities.

As many as 15 small to big-time players, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Brahmos Aerospace and Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), are participating in the five-day biennial event being held at the Al Maktoum International Airport at the Dubai World Central here until November 18.

India showcases its defence production capabilities

Many representing them said it’s the best platform and time has come to showcase to the wider region and the world what they are capable of.

“The indigenisation part has increased to such an extent that we are not really worried (about sanctions). Earlier, we used to depend on others and whenever a sanction came in, you would be really stuck. But I think today we are not in that state,” said retired group captain R. Varadharajan from the DRDO, which is exhibiting as many as 16 new products and technologies at the region’s top airshow, including the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) that dazzled visitors on the event’s opening day as part of an air display by Indian Air Force (IAF) alongside Sarang and Suryakiran aerobatics teams.

“What’s changed over the years is that government support to make this happen has increased. Without government and political will, it cannot happen. So that has been the game-changer in the last few years. And I think we are on the path to further improve our indigenous content in the near future,” a category F scientist at the Centre for Air-Borne Systems (CABS) at DRDO under the Ministry of Defence told IANS on the sidelines of the Airshow that’s set to host 1,200 companies from 148 countries with over 85,000 visitors expected during the five days.

This comes as India prepares for a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin for an annual bilateral meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi early December alongside the arrival of the $5.4-billion Russian long-range surface-to-air missile defence shield ‘S-400’, as part of a “significant transaction” likely to trigger sanctions under USA’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) of 2017.

“We have been flying sorties with Tejas (here in Dubai) and the proof of the pudding is in eating, they say. It is there for you to see it in operation. It is one of the several products we want the world to take note of,” he said, referring to the Tejas model on display at the India pavilion.

The Tejas that got final operational clearance in 2019 currently has three production models — Tejas Mark 1, Mark 1A and trainer variant — with the Mark 1 model on display for the first time at the Dubai Airshow alongside their Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&C) and a host of missiles.

Other top DRDO products and technologies on display at the five-day event include bridging system Sarvatra, weapon locating radar Swathi, an anti-torpedo defence system (ATDS) and Pinaka, a multi-barrel rocket launching system that can fire 72 rockets in 40 seconds.

“So the entire modification in most of these techs, as well as the systems that are on board, have been done by DRDO. This only shows how far we have when it comes to a country producing military tech indigenously,” added the retired captain.

“And what makes this collection so significant is the technology that we are offering. It is contemporary and yet forward-looking… And yes, all of it is 100 per cent indigenous,” he added.

A spokesperson from BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s DRDO, said that it is time to tell “the story of their brilliance” all over again at the Dubai Airshow.

“It is notably the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It’s time we reminded the world that and the fact that we have been making it all for a while now,” said the representative of the body that makes medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles.

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Based on the Russian P-800 Oniks cruise missile and other similar sea-skimming Russian cruise missile technology, they can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

Earlier, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in his September address at the annual session of the industry body Society of Indian Defence, had urged Indian defence manufacturers to boost their production “in a changing global security scenario”.

He was alluding to the fact that the share of procurement from domestic industry had increased to nearly 65 per cent for defence modernisation, and from private domestic industry to 15 per cent.

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Israel Aerospace Industries to exhibit at Dubai Airshow

IAI’s Systems-of-Systems with air, naval, land, space, and cyber applications will be on display at IAI’s impressive booth, showcasing over 70 years of expertise and innovation…reports Asian Lite News

In a historic first, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a world-class aerospace and defense company, will exhibit at the prestigious Dubai Airshow, taking place November 14-18 (visit IAI at Booth 300). IAI will showcase a variety of its state-of-the-art systems, emphasizing its aviation products, including civil aviation, space systems, special-mission aircraft, and more.

Israel Aerospace Industries to exhibit at Dubai Airshow

While attending Dubai Airshow, IAI plans to expand its strategic collaboration in the region by signing new cooperation agreements with local companies and broadening existing partnerships that have been signed during the past year, including an agreement on cargo conversions with the UAE’s Etihad Engineering and on aircraft maintenance with Bahrain’s Gulf Air, amongst others.

As a leading global airshow bringing together the industry’s best companies and brightest minds, the Dubai Airshow provides IAI with the opportunity to come together with the UAE, the Gulf countries more broadly, and other global companies to share its innovative world-class solutions and develop new collaborations.

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IAI’s Systems-of-Systems with air, naval, land, space, and cyber applications will be on display at IAI’s impressive booth, showcasing over 70 years of expertise and innovation.

“A year after the signing of the Abraham Accords, IAI is thrilled to participate in the Dubai Airshow and to broaden cooperation with business partners in the Gulf region,” said IAI CEO and President Boaz Levy.

“Already in the last year, IAI exhibited in Dubai CyberTech and in IAC Dubai, sharing our innovative cyber and space solutions. We believe that there are countless opportunities to work together, share our knowledge, and develop new defense and civilian solutions with our partners in the UAE and broader Gulf region, and together, to create a brighter future.”