Indian Naval Sips (INS) Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with naval ships of Japan, Philippines and the in the South China Sea from May 3 to May 9. The six-day long Group Sail had participation of six combatants from the four participating countries and included the Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kolkata and Fleet Support Ship INS Shakti of India, Helicopter Carrier JMSDF Izumo and Guided Missile Destroyer JMSDF Murasame of Japan; Frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio of Philippines and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Williams P Lawrence of USA. The Group Sail was aimed to deepen the existing partnership and foster mutual understanding among participating navies.
Indian Navy’s Tweet:
#IndianNavy ships Kolkata & Shakti carry out Group Sail with Naval ships of @JMSDF_PAO, Philippines & @USNavy in the South China Sea from 03 – 09 May 19. The six-day long Group Sail had participation of six combatants from the four participating countries. pic.twitter.com/aI2irPKf95
The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvering, underway replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of Sea Riders. The Group Sail exercise with naval ships of Japan, Philippines and United States showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability. Exercise Varuna 2019: Indo-French Joint Naval Exercise Begins in Arabian Sea Off Goa Coast.
Indian Navy’s Tweet:
Besides Kolkata & Shakti, Helicopter Carrier JMSDF Izumo & Guided Missile Destroyer JMSDF Murasame of Japan; Frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio of Philippines and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Williams P Lawrence of USA participated. pic.twitter.com/wew4vxTnKv
IN Ships are on return passage from their successful deployment to South and East China Seas as part of the annual Eastern Fleet Over Seas Deployment during which they visited Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Qingdao, China and Busan, South Korea. Whilst at Qingdao, both the ships had participated in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th Anniversary Celebration of PLA (Navy). During the ships’ stay in Busan, the IN Ships took part in the Opening Ceremony of Maritime Security (MS) Field Training Exercise (FTX) under the aegis of ADMM-PLUS. INS Vela, Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine of Project 75 Launched by Indian Navy.
On departing Busan, both the ships participated in ADMM-PLUS MS FTX Phase I exercises from May 1 to May 3 off South Korea with Navies of Brunei, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. Group Sail progressed from May 3 to May 9. The Phase II of ADMM-PLUS MS FTX is scheduled from May 9 to May 12 in the South China Sea. On completion of Phase II, all participating ships including IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti are scheduled to attend the closing ceremony of ADMM-PLUS MS and participate in the International Maritime Defence Expo (IMDEX) 2019 in Singapore.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon induct United States (US)-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters, as the first batch of our choppers will arrive in July this year, reported Hindustan Times. India had inked a $ 1.1-billion deal with the US defence giant Boeing, in September 2015 for 22 Apaches.
The IAF is currently operating Soviet-origin Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships. Boeing is likely to deliver all the 22 helicopters through 2020. Meanwhile, on March 25, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inducted the first batch of four Chinook helicopters into the IAF.
A part of the deal was signed with the US aviation company and the other half is signed with the US government under foreign military sales route. Meanwhile, last year, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government signed another deal with the Boeing to acquire six Apache helicopters for the Indian Army. It will be the first fleet of attack helicopters of the army.
The United States on Tuesday approved the sale of 24 submarine-hunting MH-60R Seahawk Multi-Mission helicopters to India. The entire deal is of $2.6 billion. As per reports, the US’ (DSCA) received the approval from the State Department for the sale and the Congress was notified about it. The helicopters are nicknamed “Romeo”. These helicopters will give India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions and also perform peacetime operations like search and rescue. India Signs $3-Billion Deal With Russia to Get Akula Class Nuclear Submarine, Chakra-III on Lease.
According to reports, the deal is yet to be concluded. The negotiations on offset clause are still to take place. The DSCA said that the proposed sale would support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship. The agency further added that the deal would improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region. Defence Acquisition Committee Approves Rs 3,000 Crore Procurement Including Brahmos, ARVs For Arjun MBTs.
These helicopters are manufactured by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin, under the US foreign military sales programme. The Navy will replace the fleet of Sea King Mk 42B/C and Ka-28 helicopters. In November last year, India issued a ‘letter of request’ to the US. These helicopters will be armed with torpedoes and missiles for robust anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
Presently, the Navy operates 11 Kamov-28 and 17 Sea King ASW helicopters, but only four Kamove-28 and around five Sea King ASW are in flying condition. The MH-60 Seahawk helicopter is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon get Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters. The IAF’s crew is getting trained on the Apache AH-64 E and Chinook CH 47F (I) helicopters. According to reports, the Apache will be delivered by March next year, whereas India will start getting the delivery of Chinook helicopters from July 2019 onwards. New Delhi signed a $ 3 billion deal to buy 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters in September 2015 with Boeing and the government of the United States.
The Indian government signed a direct contract with the Boeing to procure Chinook helicopters, while the deal to buy Apache helicopters is a mixed one. A part of the deal was signed with the US aviation company and the other half is signed with the US government under foreign military sales route. Meanwhile, last year, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government signed another deal with the Boeing to acquire six Apache helicopters for the Indian Army. It will be the first fleet of attack helicopters of the army.
The new set of helicopters will likely to replace falling Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. Currently the IAF has around 500 helicopters including training choppers
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, earlier known as Boeing Vertol. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Chinnook helicopters were first inducted by the US army in 1962 ans still these helicopters are in operation.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. The helicopter was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986. The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded Apache variant, was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Over 2,000 Apache helicopters have been produced so far.
India is set to join the United States of America and Russia in providing advanced missile shield to its important cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the plan to procure the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS) through a government-to government deal with US. The entire deal would be close to $ 1billion. Nasams-II is manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon.
The new missile system will replace aging Russian Pechora air defense systems. NASAMS-II will be armed with 3-D sentinel radar and short and medium-range missile launchers. It can also track and shoots down multiple airborne threats such as cruise missile, drones and fighter jets. This missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield. The missile system of DRDO will be capable of tracking and destroying nuclear missiles both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere. Once developed the BMD shield will be deployed to protect cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, whereas NASMAS-II will be used to intercept cruise missiles and aircraft. India is likely to issue letter of request to the US by the end of this year.
NASAMS II – a highly adaptable mid-range air defense system. Its battery consists of 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each. The missile system employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile can also be fired by the NASAMS-II.
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.
India will be supplying four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan to fight against the Pakistan-backed Taliban. India has decided to help the war-torn nation to carry out its operations against Taliban by enhancing its military capabilities, reported The Statesman, citing Afghan diplomatic sources. India is expected to directly purchase these Russian-made helicopters from Belarus. It would have taken a long time to procure the choppers if it were to place an order for their supplies.
Afghanistan, Belarus and India inked a trilateral pact for the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters in March, Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali said in an interview to Hindustan Times. India had supplied four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan in 2015-16 for strengthening the Afghan forces.
According to sources, the decision to supply four more four more helicopters to Afghanistan was taken after the US and other key Western powers pushed India to play a pro-active role in bringing stability in Afghanistan. Around 1,000 Afghan soldiers are already getting trained in Indian Defence institutions.
Afghanistan forces are mostly using Russian weapons. As Indian is also using Russian weapons, so United States has requested India to assist Afghanistan Air Force in combating terrorism. India and Afghanistan also propose to hold the next meeting of the strategic council between them in Kabul to consider ways to enhance the fighting ability of the Afghan forces, reported The Statesman. The last meeting was held in New Delhi last year. The US also has started implementing its four-year defence plan in Afghanistan as a result of this the strength of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will be increased three-fold.
The air corridor established last year between India and Afghanistan to avoid the problems being created by Pakistan for trade between has helped the two nations in increasing trade and commercial links, whereas trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan has decreased considerably.