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India Successfully Test-Fires New BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile

NEW DELHI, Jan 20: India today successfully test-fired a new version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the coast of Odisha in Balasore, informed defence sources.

Defence sources said that the missile was equipped with new technological developments which were successfully proven.

Earlier on January 11, the country had successfully test-fired BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile from the Indian Navy's INS Visakhapatnam warship.

"Advanced sea to sea variant of BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile was tested from INS Visakhapatnam today. The missile hit the designated target ship precisely," DRDO official had said.

The missile is a joint venture between India and Russia where Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) represents the Indian side.

The missile was tested from INS Visakhapatnam which is the latest warship of the Indian Navy inducted recently.

BrahMos is the main weapon system of the Indian Navy warships and have been deployed on almost all of its surface platforms.

An underwater version is also being developed which will not only be used by the submarines of India but will also be offered for export to friendly foreign nations.

On Army Day Eve, General Naravane's Warning Appears Aimed At China

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: The Indian Army stands firm to counter any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the country's borders and India's desire for peace is born out of strength and should not be mistaken otherwise, Army Chief General MM Naravane said on Friday.

The army chief also said that differences in perceptions and disputes are best resolved through established norms based on the principle of equal and mutual security.

The armies of India and China are locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, after a violent clash erupted in the Pangong lake area.

Both the countries have conducted 14 rounds of military-level talks to resolve the standoff.

"We stand firm to counter any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along our borders. Our response to such attempts has been swift, calibrated and decisive as was seen when the situation so demanded," General Naravane said in his speech on the eve of Army Day.

General Naravane said the Army has instituted additional safeguards to prevent any further attempts at military brinkmanship.

"We believe that the differences in perceptions and disputes are best resolved through established norms based on the principle of equal and mutual security," he said.

"Our desire for peace and tranquillity is born out of our inherent strength. It should not be mistaken otherwise," he added.

Institutional mechanisms and safeguards to counter state-sponsored terrorism have been strengthened both along the borders and the hinterland, General Naravane said.

These mechanisms and safeguards have proven effective in lowering the levels of violence, he said.

"Our actions have demonstrated our capability and willingness to strike at the source of terrorism," the Army chief said.

After the violent clash on May 5, 2020, both -- Indian and Chinese militaries -- gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.

Court Of Inquiry Finds Gen Rawat's Chopper Crashed Due To Pilot Error In Cloudy Weather

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Pilot error caused the chopper crash that led to Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat's death last month, according to preliminary findings of the inquiry team investigating the matter.

"The accident was a result of entry into clouds due to an unexpected change in weather conditions in the valley. This led to spatial disorientation of the pilot resulting in a Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)," the team found after analysing the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder besides questioning all available witnesses to determine the most probable cause of the accident.

CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft, while under the complete control of the pilot, is inadvertently flown into terrain, water, or an obstacle.

According to the IATA (International Air Transport Association), the term refers to accidents in which in-flight collisions with terrain, water, or another obstacle occur without indication of loss of control.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration says CFIT is '' unintentional collision with terrain (ground, mountain, body of water, or an obstacle) while an aircraft is under positive control."

The critical distinction in such incidents is the fact the aircraft is under the control of the flight crew.

A Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika, and 12 other armed forces personnel - from the Sulur Air Force base in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore to the Defence Staff Services Colleges in Wellington, had crashed on December 8 last year.

The crash killed CDS Gen Rawat, his wife, and 11 others. Group Captain Varun Singh, a passenger on the chopper, miraculously survived the crash only to die of severe burn injuries a few days later.

The Tri-Services Court of Inquiry, led by the country's top helicopter pilot Air Marshal Manvendra Singh, into the Mi-17 V5 accident has submitted its preliminary findings. The Court of Inquiry ruled out mechanical failure, sabotage, or negligence as a cause of the accident.

"Based on its findings, the Court of Inquiry has made certain recommendations that are being reviewed," it said.

Philippines approves purchase of BrahMos cruise missiles with India for its Navy

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Philippines on Friday accepted BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd's offer to supply Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project for its navy.

The proposal is worth $374,9 million. The Notice of Award has been communicated to BrahMos officials by the Philippines Department of National Defense.

This week, on January 11, the Indian Navy and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired BrahMos Supersonic Cruise missile.

The missile is a joint venture between India and Russia where DRDO represents the Indian side.

The missile was tested from INS Visakhapatnam which is the latest warship of the Indian Navy inducted recently.

BrahMos is the main weapon system of the Indian Navy warships and has been deployed on almost all of its surface platforms.

An underwater version is also being developed which will not only be used by the submarines of India but will also be offered for export to friendly foreign nations.

BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound. Senior scientist Atul Dinkar Rane has been appointed as the new head of the BrahMos Aerospace Limited and he has worked with the firm since its inception days.

India is likely to bag more orders for the missile system from friendly countries as it is negotiating at an advanced stage with some other nations too.

India-China 14th round military dialogue fails to move forward

NEW DELHI, Jan 13: The 14th round of India-China military dialogue on Wednesday failed to yield any positive outcomes but both countries decide to work towards mutually acceptable solutions to resolving the Ladakh LAC stand-off. The next round is expected to be held soon to continue the momentum of discussions.

While both sides are scheduled to come out with press statements today, the Indian side clearly failed to persuade the PLA towards disengagement from Gogra-Hot Springs near Kongka La as well as resolving patrolling rights issues in Depsang Bulge in Daulet Beg Oldi sector and Charding Nullah Junction in Demchok sector.

In pure diplomatic language, the talks were constructive without any positive outcome and reaching mutually acceptable solutions is work in progress. This means both the Indian Army and the PLA commanders will continue to engage in future but there is no guarantee on whether the PLA will restore April 2020 status quo ante in Gogra-Hot Springs or resolve the Depsang Bulge or CNJ issue.

The Indian Army apparently raised the issue of PLA building a bridge over Pangong Tso, east of Srijap Complex, for faster troop deployment and rapid militarisation of the occupied Aksai Chin area by the Chinese Army all along the 597-km Ladakh LAC.

Fact is that the PLA with new border law and rapid military and technological upgradation on their side of the unresolved LAC is converting the 3,488 km line into Line of Control.

Both the Indian and PLA armies are locked in a stand-off all along Ladakh LAC since the Chinese Army under instructions from the Central Military Commission under President Xi Jinping decided to unilaterally change the LAC and impose the rejected 1959 cartographical line on the Ladakh LAC in May 2020.

Since then the two sides are fully deployed with more than three divisions of troops on each side with missile, rocket, artillery and tank regiments apart from the Air Force being on standby in the hinterland.

The PLA by transgressing in Pangong Tso, Galwan, Gogra-Hot Springs area in May 2020 broke the bilateral 1993 and 1996 peace and tranquility agreements signed at the level of heads of states.

While for China’s wolf warrior diplomats this is the new normal, the Modi government has rejected these aggressions and decided to bilateral relations in a cold storage till such time Beijing does not resolve the Ladakh LAC.

Made-in-India aircraft carrier Vikrant sets sail for critical sea trials

NEW DELHI, Jan 9: India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) Vikrant, the largest warship to be built in the country, on Sunday set sail for crucial sea trials ahead of its scheduled induction into the Indian Navy this year, officials familiar with the matter said. The latest trials are the third set of trials since August 2021.

“While the maiden sea trials in August last year were to establish propulsion, navigational suite and basic operations, the second sea trials in October-November witnessed the ship being put through its paces in terms of various machinery trials and flight trials,” the navy said in a statement.

The construction of indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant, which was started in 2009, has propelled India into a select group of countries that have the capability to build aircraft carriers.

President Ram Nath Kovind visited the carrier in Kochi on December 22 followed by a visit by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on January 2.

Designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND), Vikrant has been built at the state-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The warship, with a displacement of 37,500 tonnes, will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, MH-60R multi-role helicopters and the indigenous advanced light helicopters. It has been named after the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant operated by the navy from 1961 to 1997.

“Having gained adequate confidence in the ship’s abilities (during the first two trials), IAC now sails to undertake complex manoeuvres to establish specific readings of how the ship performs in various conditions,” the navy added.

Vikrant has put India in a select league -- only the US, the UK, Russia, France and China have the capability to build aircraft carriers.

India currently operates a solitary aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, bought second-hand from Russia for $2.33 billion. In contrast, China operates two aircraft carriers — CV-16 Liaoning and CV-17 Shandong. It is building a third carrier as it expands its footprint in the Indian Ocean Region.

Vikrant has an indigenous content of 76%. The construction of the aircraft carrier began in 2009.

IAC is 262 metres long, has a beam of 62 metres and a height of 59 metres. It has 14 decks, including five in the superstructure, 2,300 compartments, can accommodate a crew of 1,700, including specialised cabins for women officers.

Vikrant will be the fourth aircraft carrier to be operated by the Indian Navy -- first Vikrant (British origin) from 1961 to 1997, INS Viraat (British origin) from 1987 to 2016 and INS Vikramaditya (Russian origin) 2013 onwards.

Indian Troops Hoist National Flag At Galwan Valley On New Year

NEW DELHI, Jan 4: The Indian Army hoisted the national flag in eastern Ladakh's Galwan valley during the New Year, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted. The tweet comes a day after Chinese troops in a state media tweet showed them with their flag at Galwan valley.

Army sources said that the video from the official Chinese media Twitter handle does not violate the demilitarised zone between the two countries in the area.

After the violent faceoff in Galwan valley in June 2020, several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have been held but largely they have ended in a stalemate.

Disengagement at some border points did take place but by and large, there is an impasse on complete disengagement. Disengagement at Depsang and Hot Springs remains a key sticky point. There is still a huge build-up of forces on each side of eastern Ladakh even during the harsh winter.

Satellite images from July last year confirmed the disengagement of Indian and Chinese soldiers from the Galwan clash site by 2 km on either side. This took place after special representative-level talks between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The new video tweeted by the Chinese media Twitter handle, sources have said, is not within the area where this disengagement took place.

India and China have also not been on the best of terms over Arunachal Pradesh. India last week said it has seen reports of China attempting to rename some places in Arunachal Pradesh "in its own language". India said the state has been and will always be an integral part of India and "assigning invented names does not alter this fact".



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