United States Raises Concerns Over India’s Deal With Russia to Procure S-400 Triumf

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S-400 Triumf Missile (Picture Courtesy: Twitter)

The United States is concerned over India’s plans to sign a deal with Russia to procure the S-400 air defence system. The deal is worth Rs 40,000. Chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry said that India’s move would hinder the military ties between the two countries. According to Thornberry, concerns about India’s potential purchase of the S-400 have been conveyed to different levels of the US government.

Members of US House Armed Services Committee in India were of the opinion that procuring the Russian system would also make it difficult for the US to share sensitive technology with India in the future. “There is a lot of concern in the US administration and Congress with the S-400. There is concern that any country that acquires the system will complicate the ability of interoperability (with US forces),” reported Economic Times quoted Mac Thornberry as saying.

Thornberry also said that India should consider the decision to purchase the Russian missile system.  India is likely to Ink the deal for procuring S-400 Triumf missile system before October’s annual summit between Prime Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in meddling in the US presidential elections. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) came into effect in January. Many US lawmakers and experts are of the opinion that India should be exempted from CAATSA.

In April this year, India has issued a Request of Information for the purchase of 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion. The two US-based companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing are pitching their respective fighter jets. Both the companies have agreed to transfer the technology to India. The US is planning to shift entire production line of Lockheed Martin F-16 jet in India. It will be interesting to see whether the US will put under CAATSA after India inks deal with Russia to acquire the most advanced air defence system.

S-400 is an advanced version of S-300. The missile system is capable of travelling at a rate of 4.8 kilometres per second (17,000 km/h; Mach 14). The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. This missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.

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IMA Ball Night -Spring Term 2018 – An Evening of Joy and Merriment For Gentlemen Cadets

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IMA Commandant Lt Gen SK Jha, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM with the winners (Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy)

The glittering and most awaited social event for the Spring Term 2018, the ‘IMA Ball’, was held on 26 May 2018 at the Indian Military Academy (IMA). The IMA Ball is held towards the end of each term to mark the culmination of the rigorous training schedule of the Passing Out Course. The event marked with fun and frolic can also be termed as the  ‘Break Up Party’ for the Third Termers. The IMA Ball is a precursor to the final event – The Passing Out Parade of the IMA, which is on 09 June 2018.

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Miss IMA 2018 Asmita Jagwani (Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy)

The evening of joy, merriment and nostalgia commenced with the Commandant IMA, Lt Gen SK Jha, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, who set the ball rolling.  The Gentleman Cadets in evening military attire and the ladies in their dazzling best graced the gala event.

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Mr IMA Gentleman Cadet Shitij Sharma (Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy)
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IMA Commandant Lt Gen SK Jha, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM arriving at IMA Ball Night (Picture Courtesy: Indian Military Academy)

The highlight of the evening was the selection of Mr IMA and Miss IMA, in which the Gentleman Cadets and their lady guests participated whole-heartedly with great zeal and enthusiasm. Miss Asmita Jagwani was adjudged as Miss IMA and Gentleman Cadet Shitij Sharma was declared as Mr IMA. The proud winners won exquisite gift hampers.

India Inch Closer to Procure S-400 ‘Triumf’ Missile System From Russia; Price Negotiations Concluded

 

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S-400 Truimf missile system (Picture Courtesy: Twitter)

India has finally concluded price negotiations with Russia for a nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force. Both India and Russia now have to find a way to evade the United States’ Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). It is a law formulated by the US to punish countries and entities involved in defence transactions with Russia.

A Russian official confirmed that the final price negotiations had been concluded, reported PTI. Both the nations are likely to announce the deal before an October’s annual summit between Prime Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both the leaders met in Sochi last week and supposedly the both might have discussed the deal.
The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in meddling in the US presidential elections. CAATSA came into effect in January. Many US lawmakers and experts are of the opinion that India should be exempted from CAATSA. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the Congress to provide necessary waiver to exempt India from the law. Similarly, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis last month appealed to the Congress to urgently provide India the national security waiver.

India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border. In 2016 an agreement was signed between India and Russia on ‘Triumf’ interceptor based missile system. S-400 is an advanced version of S-300. The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. This missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.

 

 

Indian Army Tests ‘Air Cavalry’ Using Attack Helicopters

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Air Cavalary tested by the Indian Army in Rajasthan (Picture Courtesy: ndtv.com)

The Indian Army has tested the military concept of ‘Air Cavalry’ in the desert terrain of Rajasthan. This concept was used by the US Army to locate and assault enemy ground forces during the Vietnam War.

Weaponised helicopters carry out combined action against the enemy in coordination with tanks and mechanised ground forces during the exercise to enhance its defence capabilities. The Indian Army is looking forward to procure attack helicopters to strengthen its combat air assets.   The concept of launching air attack in coordination with tanks will reshape the way the Indian Army will suppress the enemy attack.

The concept of ‘Air Cavalry’ was tried by the South Western command during recently concluded exercise ‘Vijay Prahar’. Detailed deliberation, sand-model discussions and war gaming were held before carrying out the concept.

In normal battle scenario, attack helicopters are called in only when required by the land forces to repulse the enemy attack if they found it difficult due to difficult terrain or for any other reason. Under the ‘Air Cavalry’ concept, attack helicopters are by default integrated with tanks and mechanised ground forces.

Apart from performing attack role, a fleet of armed helicopters usually carries out troop insertion in forward areas and performing on the spot aerial reconnaissance. The forces achieve more flexibility and fluidity, which enhance their combat capabilities. Under this concept, attack helicopters can hit targets efficiently in the shortest possible time. ‘Air Cavalry’ can be executed in different kind of terrains depending upon the feasibility.

As the Army is inducting helicopters equipped with ultra-modern sensors and high-precision weapons which will give a great boost to the Air Cavalry concept for protecting both eastern and western borders of the country.

The attack helicopters will be used as force multiplier and will increase the potency of ground forces to engage the targets, defence sources said. The concept will be crucial in the land battles in desert along the western front as well as in the eastern front where the terrain is mountainous.

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Apache Helicopter (Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is developing Light Combat Helicopter for the Army which can operate at high altitude. The Defence Ministry in August last year had approved the procurement of the army’s first fleet of Boeing’s six most advanced Apache helicopters. According to PTI, The ministry is purchasing these attack helicopters along with weapons systems at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore.

Indian Army’s Month-Long Exercise ‘Vijay Prahar’ Concludes; Around 25,000 Soldiers Participated

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Representationl Image (Picture Courtesy: Tribuneindia.com)

The Indian Army’s ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise concluded today. Around 25,000 troops of strike formation of South Western Command (SWC) participated in the exercise. The month-long exercise was conducted in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges of Jaipur close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan. Pakistan border was 300Kms away from the location of the exercise. The ‘Vijay Prahar’ was carried out with cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art force multipliers.

South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Cherish Mathson was present in the range on the last day of the exercise to witness the final offensive of the forces achieving a decisive victory. Lt Gen Mathson told reporters, “I had laid out unambiguous scope for activities to be carried out and had also benchmarked standards to be achieved. I am fully satisfied with the efforts put in and results achieved.” He further added that designing an offensive campaign on the principles of operational art in a deep air-land battle with real-time intelligence marked the beginning of the exercise.

The concept of ‘Air Cavalry’ using attack and weaponised helicopters was validated during the exercise. Employment of modern-day sensors with weapon platforms was carried out. The exercise also focussed on real-time information and enhancing electronic warfare, reconnaissance capabilities and using satellite-based surveillance. Drones and radars were also put to test to check their efficiency with the aim to ensure transparency in the battlefield.

Operations were carried out under superficially created nuclear environment during the ‘Vijay Prahar’. The main of these operations was to check the preparation of the army under a tactical Nuclear, Chemical or Biological attack by the adversary with advanced CBRN capability. The Army and the Air Force came together to test their joint conventional firepower capability during the exercise. Lt Gen Mathson also complimented the troops who braved the soaring temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius and sandstorms to achieve a very high degree of proficiency.

 

Dakota DC-3 Named ‘Parshurama’ Finally Inducted Into Indian Air Force

 

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Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa at the induction cermonynof Dakota DC-3 at AFS Hindan           (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

To honour the homecoming of the Dakota, a grand ceremony was held at Air Force Station Hindan Yesterday. The ceremony was attended by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Senior functionaries of the MoD, diplomats from the High Commission of the UK, officers of the IAF, representatives from M/s Reflight  Airworks and proud veterans of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who have operated this magnificent flying machine. The aircraft is named Parshurama.

Vintage aircraft of the IAF, Dakota DC-3 reached India on April 25 at Air Force Station Jamnagar. The aircraft was gifted by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrashekhar to the IAF. He recovered the Dakota from scrap from the United Kingdom (UK). The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S Dhanoa had ceremonially accepted the aircraft in February this year. The Dakota DC-3 joined the vintage air fleet of the force.

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Dakota DC-3 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

The vintage fleet was raised in Palam in 1988. Dakota were inducted in No 12 Squadron of the IAF in 1946. The aircraft rendered invaluable service during 1947 Kashmir Operation. The aircraft rendered yeoman service towards evacuation of thousands of displaced refugees from Srinagar and Leh.

A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time. The first Dakota aircraft transferred the 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar during the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan in 1947 just after India’s independence. It is World War II-era aircraft, which was built in 1944. It also served in the United Kingdom’s (UK) Royal Air Force.

Chandrashekhar’s father Air Commodore M K Chandrasekhar (Retired) was a veteran Dakota pilot in the IAF. It will bear the tail number VP 905, the same one which the first such Dakota which transported troops to Srinagar on October 27, 1947.

Indian Air Force to Honour World War – II Aircraft Dakota in Induction Ceremony Tomorrow at AFS Hindan: Know Some Interesting Facts About The Aircraft

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Dakota DC-3 (Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@IAF_MCC)

Vintage aircraft of the Indian Air Force, Dakota DC-3 reached India on April 25 at Air Force Station Jamnagar. The aircraft was gifted by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrashekhar to the IAF. The Dakota DC-3 joined the vintage air fleet of the force. The induction ceremony is scheduled on 04 May 18 at Air Force Station Hindan, to honour the old warhorse.

The vintage fleet was raised in Palam in 1988. Dakota were inducted in No 12 Sqadron of the IAF in 1946. The aircraft rendered invaluable service during 1947 Kashmir Operation. The aircraft rendered yeoman service towards evacuation of thousands of displaced refugees from Srinagar and Leh.

On 24 May 1948, the then Wing Commander Mehar Singh was the first to land The Dakota at a height of 11,550 feet in Leh, flying an unchartered route at 25,000 feet, having very little experience of high altitude landing during that period. Air Commodore Mehar Singh created a record of sorts by landing a Dakota with three tons of load against the maximum load of one ton specified by the manufacturer. Within the next six days, the IAF operated 73 sorties using Dakotas and 210 tons of supplies were brought into the beleaguered town of Poonch.

A large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the IAF till 1988. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time. The first Dakota aircraft transferred the 1st Sikh Regiment to Srinagar during the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan in 1947 just after India’s independence. It is World War II-era aircraft, which was built in 1944. It also served in the United Kingdom’s (UK) Royal Air Force.

The particular aircraft is recovered from the scarp from the UK by Chandrashekhar and gifted it to the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S Dhanoa had ceremonially accepted the aircraft into the IAF from Rajeev Chandrasekhar in February this year. His father air commodore M K Chandrasekhar (Retired) was a veteran Dakota pilot in the IAF. It will bear the tail number VP 905, the same one which the first such Dakota which transported troops to Srinagar on October 27, 1947.

More on Dakota:

The Dakota DC-3 (Douglas Commercial 3) is a fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft with tail wheel-type landing gear. It was the workhorse of most of the airlines and certainly the most widely used aircraft. It brought together all the technical innovations of the DC-1 and the DC-2. Its cruise speed (207 mph or 333 km/h) and range (1,500 mi or 2,400 km) revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s.

This aircraft made its first flight on 17 December 1935, it had a wider fuselage, larger wings and a small tail area. It was fast, had a good range and could operate from short runways. It was reliable, easy to maintain and carried passengers in greater comfort.

In 1951 Hindustn Aeronatical Limited (HAL) updated surplus WW II Dakotas, to raise a new Squadron. The aircraft were fitted with new engine, and were called the “Hyper” Dakotas. These aircraft were successfully used in the 1962 Chinese aggression and during 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflict, and during “Operation Tangail” – Bangladesh campaign in 1971. The aircraft undertook the crucial Para-Drop, in support of the Indian Army.

These aircraft have been used for VIP transport, training of pilots, navigators, target towing, survey, photo reconnaissance, air maintenance, logistic support, flood relief and many more roles.

 

20,000 Indian Soldiers Participating in ‘Vijay Prahar’ along Pakistan Border

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Representational Image (Picture Courtesy: tribuneindia.com)

Over 20,000 troops of strike formation of the Indian Army’s South Western Command (SWC) are carrying out ‘Vijay Prahar’ exercise in the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges close to Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The exercise is being carried out with cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art force multipliers. Suratgarh is 300Km from Pakistan Border.

As reported by The Tribune, Brigadier Anil Gautam, General Staff (Information Warfare), SWC, said, “The exercise represents a small section of the overall offensive along our Western front which would be a high tempo joint air land operation involving hundreds of aircrafts, thousands of tanks and artillery pieces supported by real time intelligence surveillance reconnaissance and just in time logistic support.” He further added, “Troops are participating in a month-long exercise to practice penetrative maneuvers across the obstacle-ridden terrain, mainly the heartland Punjab area of our adversary, under a nuclear umbrella.”

The month-old drill is concluding on May 9. The formations of the South Western Command are enhancing their capabilities to counter any warlike situation, which includes carrying out offensive operations of Special Forces and also conducting operations in nuclear environment. Military operations using attack helicopters are also being tested during the exercise. Employment of modern day sensors with weapon platforms is also carried out. The exercise is also focusing on real-time information and enhancing electronic warfare, reconnaissance capabilities and using satellite-based surveillance. Drones and radars are also put to test to check their efficiency with the main aim to ensure transparency in the battlefield.

As per the report, Senior military officers, including General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff; and Lt Gen Cherish Mathson, Army Commander, South Western Command, are likely to witness the final phases of the exercise later in the week.