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Elbit signs MoU with India's Ashok Leyland for military vehicles

Indian vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland has notified the Bombay Stock Exchange this morning that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. to provide High Mobility Vehicles (HMV) for mounting Elbit Systems' artillery guns and systems.

Ashok Leyland, the largest supplier of wheeled military vehicles to the Indian Army, has expertise in design and manufacturing of logistic vehicles, combat support High Mobility Vehicles (HMV) and armored vehicles.

Ashok Leyland managing director Vinod K. Dasari said, "Ashok Leyland is proud to be associated with Elbit Systems and we are certain this partnership will expand our reach globally. It underlines our capabilities of making and designing in India, for the world."

Ashok Leyland defense head Amandeep Singh said, "With Elbit as our partners, we seek to leverage the capabilities of both organizations and provide world-class mobility solutions across the globe. With our expertise in design and logistics, this MOU marks yet another milestone for us and our country.
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) in the past two weeks performed its first night sorties using the Sierra Nevada Corporation-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, according to a SNC executive.
SNC vice-president Taco Gilbert told Jane’s on 17 December that the aircraft had the night sortie capability when it was first delivered to the AAF in January 2016, but the nascent air force was not experienced enough to use it on its own. Gilbert said these sorties were also the first time the AAF deployed munitions at night.
Gilbert said the AAF deploys many non-precision munitions as the Super Tucano’s slower speed and better visibility allows more precise targeting. This also allows the air force to use cheaper munitions as it does not have put expensive precision-guided munition kits on non-precision weapons, he added.
Adding strength to India’s Act East Policy, Indian Navy is to commission a new Naval Air Base in the Andaman Group of Islands.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will commission the new Base christened as the INS Kohassa on January 24 in Shibpur area of North Andaman of the Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands.
At present, the airbase will be able to handle Helicopter and Dornier Aircraft. With commissioning the base will become self-contained with fuel storage, repair facility, manpower under a commanding officer. The Navy plans to extend the base into a bigger air base in future.
Talking to TNIE Navy Spokesperson, Captain DK Sharma said, “The Base is in consonance with the government’s act east policy. This will provide flexibility to the Indian Aircraft and ships in case of any emergency.” Andaman is about 1400 kilometers away from the country’s mainland.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba

Keeping the strategic location in Mind, India has already institutionalised patrolling of strategic waterways passing through the high seas near Malacca Strait and Six Degrees Channel. India’s only tri-services command, Andaman and Nicobar Command, is located here along with three other air bases at Port Blair, Great Nicobar and Campbell Bay.

The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations as more than 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil consumption passes through the IOR.
Agonising over Afghanistan
After more than 17 years, the time has come to accept two important truths about the war in Afghanistan. The first is that there will be no military victory by the government and its American and NATO partners. Afghan forces, while better than they were, are not good enough and are unlikely ever to be capable of defeating the Taliban. This is not simply because government troops lack the unity and often the professionalism to prevail, but also because the Taliban are highly motivated and enjoy considerable backing at home and from Pakistan, which provides them critical support and sanctuary.

The second truth is that peace negotiations are unlikely to work. Talks have taken place on and off over the years, but diplomacy is never far removed from facts and trends on the ground. Both work against a negotiated settlement.

The situation on the ground is something of a slowly deteriorating stalemate. The government controls territory where an estimated two-thirds of the population lives. But the Taliban and even more radical groups, including those associated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State, control or contest nearly half the territory and have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to attack military and civilian targets alike anywhere and everywhere inside the country, including the capital, Kabul.

What really weakens diplomatic prospects, though, is that the Taliban see little need to compromise. It is only a matter of time, they seem to believe, before the United States grows weary of stationing troops in a far-off country and spending on the order of US$45 billion a year on a war that cannot be won.

They may well be right. The White House’s recent announcement that roughly half of the current 14,000 US troops will soon be leaving reinforces the Taliban’s view that the future is trending their way. Coming on the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull all US troops out of Syria, it’s unsurprising that the Taliban and other insurgents would conclude that it is a question of when, not if, the remaining 7,000 US troops (and another 8,000 NATO soldiers) will be withdrawn.

A complete troop withdrawal is a real possibility, given Trump’s longstanding scepticism of the value of the US effort. His frustration is understandable. More than 2,000 US soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan and another 20,000 have sustained injuries. The war begun in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 has cost well over US$1 trillion. It is hard to see how 14,000 or 7,000 American troops could accomplish what more than 100,000 could not.

So why not just withdraw all of the troops? One reason is that the government might collapse, in which case Afghanistan could again become a place where terrorists train recruits and plan attacks against US interests around the world and against America itself. Of course, even if that were to happen, Afghanistan would be little different from other places where terrorists are able to operate unmolested.

Another reason not to leave in a manner unrelated to conditions on the ground is that, coming after Syria, such an exit would cast further doubt on America’s willingness to sustain a leading role in the world. This isn’t to say that the US should remain involved in Afghanistan simply because it has been involved. But perceptions matter and simply walking away would lead many allies—not just in the region, but also in Asia and Europe—to wonder if they might be the next American partner to be abandoned.

America’s policy in Afghanistan should be one that avoids the risks of a rapid, unconditional exit but also minimises the costs of staying. To accomplish the latter would require trimming strategic ambitions. Although the US and its European partners cannot expect to win the war or broker a lasting peace, it should be possible to keep the government in Kabul alive and carry on the fight against terrorists. Doing so would probably require keeping a few thousand troops deployed, continuing to provide intelligence, arms and training to Afghan forces and, in special situations, a readiness and ability to intervene narrowly but directly.

It would also help if the US both reoriented and stepped up its diplomatic engagement. Current efforts are focused on brokering an internal settlement with the Taliban. A more fruitful approach might be to convene Afghanistan’s six immediate neighbours (which include both China and Iran as well as Pakistan) and other actors, including Russia, India and the EU, that have a stake in the country’s future. None has an interest in seeing Afghanistan become a haven for terrorism and drug production.

This is not a strategy for winning, but rather one for not losing. It may not be ambitious enough for some, but, in Afghanistan, even seemingly modest goals have a way of becoming aspirational. over Afghanistan
A fighter jet F7-PG crashed near Mastung, Pakistan while carrying out a training flight today. (The pilot is confirmed deceased)

The F-7PG aircraft is based on the Soviet-era Mig-21 and built by a Chinese aircraft manufacturer. It holds a bad service record in PAF (Pakistan Air Force) service with the majority of recent crashes involving the aircraft.

Pakistan is currently the largest non-Chinese F-7 operator, with roughly 120 F-7P and 60 F-7PG. The PAF seeks to replace its entire fleet of F-7 with the JF-17 multirole fighter. All F-7P are planned to be retired and replaced with the JF-17 Thunder aircraft by 2020.

It is currently unknown what caused today’s crash. Air Headquarters has ordered the formation of a board of inquiry to investigate the incident.

A modernized Mirage 2000TI crashed just after the takeoff during a test flight. This is the first M2000TI modernized totally by HAL, the 4 firsts where done by Dassult in France (2) or in India under their supervision (2).

The crew of two was killed (Sameer Abrol et Siddharth Negi ). One after landing on the burning wreckage and the other later at the hospital.
From the last information, the pilot detected a malfunction as soon the plane lift off the runway . The back seater ejected immediately. The pilot tried to land but he had to eject.

The HAL factory was shutdown and the Indian air force started an investigation.

HAL has a really bad reputation in France , that's why Dassault refused to work with them on the Rafale maintenance and choose Reliance a private Indian company.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed deals worth $93 million to provide India with naval Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) systems.

The contracts were signed with the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited. The company will supply complementary systems for the Indian Navy’s Barak-8 air- and missile-defense system.

The MRSAM system is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization in close collaboration with IAI’s Elta, Rafael and additional companies in both countries. It is used by Israel’s navy as well as by India’s naval, air and ground forces.

Each MRSAM system includes several state-of-the-art systems such as digital radar, a command and control system, tracking radar, interceptors with advanced homing seekers and mobile launcher systems.
Pakistan-hosted exercise AMAN-19 kicks off in Karachi
Pakistan Navy file photo of ships underway as part of a previous iteration of AMAN

The Pakistan Navy-hosted biennial maritime exercise AMAN-2019 kicked off in Karachi on February 8, with 46 nations in attendance.
The four-day exercise will involve a port and at-sea phase with a focus on maritime security, counter terrorism and humanitarian assistance operations.
Based on this, the exercise seeks to develop and practice response tactics, techniques, and procedures (RTTP) for maritime infrastructure, assets and forces against traditional and non-traditional threats.
AMAN was first organized in 2007 and the 2019 edition is the seventh iteration of the multinational exercise. AMAN is an Urdu word meaning peace and the slogan of the exercise is “Together for Peace”.
The Pakistan Navy has not released a list participating ships. The UK confirmed it would be represented by Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon and the Italian Navy said its FREMM frigate ITS Carlo Margottini would take part in the exercise.
Indian Air Force looks to acquire 21 mothballed Russian MiG-29SMT which were originally made against an Algerian order but couldn't be sold owing to cancellation of said deal. If this proposal goes through, they will be upgraded to IAF MiG-29UPG standard (with Western & Israeli EW equipment & avionics) before coming to India

The IAF 29UPG notably comes with Elettronica ELT-568 AESA-based active jammers in the wing roots and vertical fin roots:
Kashmir suicide car bomb kills dozens of Indian troops
Dozens of Indian paramilitary police were killed in Kashmir after a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy. India has blamed Pakistan of involvement and pledged to "isolate" it.

At least 41 police paramilitaries were killed and many others wounded in an attack on their convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said on Friday. The bombing is believed to be the single deadliest terror attack in the region's history.

Muneer Ahmed Khan, a senior police officer, said the attack occurred on a key highway on Thursday, as the convoy reached the town of Lethpora on the outskirts of the disputed region's main city, Srinagar. He said one bus was destroyed and at least five other vehicles damaged by the blast.
Sanjay Sharma, a spokesman for India's paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, said many of the injured were in critical condition. "The blast was so powerful that one cannot recognize whether the vehicle was a bus or a truck. Just pieces of mangled steel remain of the vehicle," he said.

A paramilitary official said the bus was carrying at least 35 soldiers. Khan said soldiers and counterinsurgency police reinforcements had been deployed in the area.

DW's Delhi correspondent Sonia Phalinkar said Kashmir is a "constant irritant" between the two nuclear-armed neighbors and this attack is a "reminder that the conflict is far from over."

The Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group had claimed responsibility for the attack, local media reported.

India's foreign office described the group as a "Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation" and called on the neighboring country to "stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory."

On Friday, Indian officials cited "incontrovertible evidence" that Pakistan had a "direct hand" in the attack and pledged a harsh response.
Taking strong military action "could alienate Kashmir," according to DW's Sonia Phalinkar. However, she said, failure to do anything could have "repercussions at the polls."

Following the attack, India pledged to withdraw the favored-nation trade status they had given to Pakistan and would take also all diplomatic steps "to ensure the complete isolation [of Pakistan] from international community," India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced.

Pakistan dismissed any involvement. "We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations," the foreign ministry said.


The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out an exercise involving about 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters in a fire power demonstration close to the border with Pakistan.

The exercise came two days after the Pulwama attack, in which a vehicle-borne suicide bomber attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel.

In the so called Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased fire power capability of indigenous platforms like Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile.

The Vayu Shakti was planned in advance and the drill was a demonstration of the force’s capability to hit targets with pinpoint accuracy and carry out missions at short notice.
India requested for an urgent shipment of 21 MiG-29 „Fulcrum“ fighters from Russia.

The Fulcrum is a twin-engine fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter in the 70s. The MiG-29 aircraft are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions. India was the first international customer of the MiG-29.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) placed an order for more than 50 MiG-29s in 1980 while the aircraft was still in its initial development phase. In January 2010, India and Russia signed a $1.2 billion deal under which the Indian Navy would acquire 29 additional MiG-29Ks.

Acquiring MiGs is considered the cheapest way to quickly replenish the diminishing strength of the IAF, which used to have 38 fighter squadrons but now struggles to keep that number above 30, far below the government-approved figure of 42.

Delivery terms of the 21 MiG-29s are currently under negotiation.
India leases Russian Submarine
India signed a $3 billion contract for the lease of an Akula-1 class nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia for a period of ten years.

The submarine will be ready by 2025 and the contract includes refurbishment of the submarine with Indian communication and sensor systems, spares support and technical infrastructure for its operations.

This submarine will replace INS Chakra, a submarine taken on a ten-year lease from Russia in 2012. The existing lease will be extended until the new submarine becomes operational.

The so called Chakra III will not be equipped with long-range nuclear missiles because of international treaties and because it is not meant for deterrence patrols.

In November last year, India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, completed its first deterrence patrol. A second nuclear submarine, INS Arighat, will be commissioned later this year, with two more currently under construction.
An Indian Navy officer died in a fire that erupted aboard aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya as the ship was entering Karwar port on April 26.
The officer, identified by the Indian defense ministry as Lt Cdr DS Chauhan, led firefighting efforts in the compartment that was affected by fire.
Whilst the fire was brought under control, the officer suffered loss of consciousness owing to the smoke and fumes during the firefighting efforts.
He was immediately evacuated to the Naval Hospital at Karwar, INHS Patanjali for medical attention. However, the officer could not be revived.
The navy said it has launched an investigation into the incident. Serious damage that could impact the ship’s combat capability was prevented, it was added.
The navy did not provide information on whether the incident would affect the carrier’s operational schedule.
INS Vikramaditya is expected to join its French counterpart FS Charles de Gaulle for what was termed as the largest bilateral exercise between the two countries ever. The exercises, dubbed Varuna, are scheduled to take place in May.
Indian Navy file photo of INS Vikramaditya
Boeing has offered to set up a new production facility in India for the production of its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters

US aerospace major Boeing has offered to set up a new production facility in India for the production of its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters if the company gets contracts for large number of fighters for both the Indian Air Force as well as the Indian Navy. Also, since the Indo-US defence and security ties have been on an upswing, the company does not foresee any issues related to transfer of technology (ToT).
Dan Gillian, vice president of F/A-18 and E/A-18 programs at Boeing, while discussing the Block III Super Hornet’s capabilities, with Financial Express Online, said that “India-US relationship is uniquely positioned and we are working on setting up a new production facility for building the next generation aircraft in India. We have a robust ToT plan.”

Hanwha's K-30 Biho (Flying Tiger) twin 30mm short range, mobile self-propelled anti-aircraft system, manufactured by Hanwha, has been selected by the Indian Army following a competition that included Russia’s Tunguska-M1 which has a range of up to 10 kilometers, and the Pantsir-S1 ‘Greyhound’.
The weapon was developed to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces for a highly mobile short-range air defense system suited to the operational and terrain conditions of the Korean peninsula. It combines an electro-optically guided 30 mm gun system with a surveillance radar system on a K200 chassis. It supplements the K263A1 Chungung, a self-propelled 20 mm Vulcan system. The K30 is primarily built by Hanwha Defense Systems.
The K-30 Biho, in addition to its 30mm auto-cannon, has LIG NX1 Chiron missiles, a TPS-830K search and tracking radar, and advanced electro-optical sights fire control. The expected quantities are 104 K-30 Biho systems, plus 97 ammunition carriers, 39 command vehicles and ammunition with a value of KRW 3 trillion $2.6 billion (KRW 3 trillion). This is the first export sale of the system by Korea. Biho also participated in US Army firing demonstrations held in 2017.
Mirage probe puts spotlight on Dassault's flight computer's behaviour

On February 1, two experienced Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots died when their newly upgraded Mirage 2000-I fighter crashed while taking-off in Bengaluru. A Court of Inquiry (CoI) investigating the accident is now confronting the worrying possibility of a glitch in the Mirage 2000’s flight computer that kicks in without warning, causing the aircraft to behave unpredictably.

IAF flight records examined by the CoI have revealed at least four such incidents in the past. In each of these, a flying Mirage 2000 has, suddenly and without command from the pilot, jerked its nose towards the ground. Then, as spontaneously, the nose was jerked upwards. Each time, the aircraft has continued this up-and-down jerking — termed “pitch oscillations” — for several seconds before resuming normal flight.

Members of the CoI from the IAF, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), the National Aeronautics Laboratory (NAL) and the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) are veering round to the belief that such an incident caused the February 1 crash.

In three recorded incidents, the “pitch oscillations” took place at high altitudes, giving the aircraft time to correct itself. However, on February 1, the ill-fated Mirage 2000-I’s flight computer jerked the fighter’s nose down just after it lifted off the runway. With the aircraft barely five metres off the runway, it had no time, or altitude to correct itself. In a fraction of a second, the nose slammed onto the runway, the front undercarriage (nose wheel) sheered off, and the aircraft careened across the runway, fatally out of control.

In facing “pitch oscillations” when their aircraft was five metres above the ground, the two pilots who died were unluckier than several predecessors whose aircraft misbehaved at higher altitudes. An incident recorded in 1989 recounts that Mirage 2000, aircraft number KF138, experienced “sudden and momentary pitch oscillations... (for) a few seconds” at an altitude of 4,500 feet some 16 minutes after take-off. The oscillations exerted a violent force of “+10.5g to -6g” (“g” indicates the force of gravity) on the pilots and caused the cockpit’s red and amber warning lights to glow.

Similarly, in 1999, Mirage 2000, aircraft number C98, “experienced momentary pitch oscillations… (for) a few seconds at 10,500 feet altitude, exerting a force of 11g on the aircraft and pilots. Exerted over a few more seconds, 11g force would cause most pilots to black out.

In 2014, Mirage 2000 number KF118, about 20 minutes after take off, at about 11,500 feet, experienced “amber failure warning light and sudden pitch oscillations… (for) a few seconds.”

In all three cases, the altitude allowed the aircraft time to recover itself.

Even luckier was another Mirage 2000 pilot who, as recently as February, experienced similar spontaneous commands from his flight computer while his fighter was taxiing out to the take off point, and was still on the ground.

Those earlier incidents, which the IAF investigated through internal inquiries, were never conclusively explained. Dassault, which supplies the flight computer, offered the explanation that the aircrafts’ “pitch rate gyrometers” — sensors that tell the flight computer the aircraft’s attitude – were not securely fitted. But neither the IAF, nor HAL, is convinced, since the Mirage 2000s behaved perfectly for the rest of the flight when the incidents occurred.

Furthermore, scans and analyses of the February 1 accident debris, which have been certified by NAL, do not support Dassault’s postulation that there might have been loose sensors. Dassault, after making a presentation to the IAF in April, is currently investigating its flight computer in France.

The company has not responded to a request for comments. HAL and the IAF, too, have declined comment, stating that the CoI was still in progress.

The upgraded Mirage 2000-I fighters, of that kind that crashed on February 1, have two on-board computers. While one is developed and built by HAL, the computer that controls the aircraft’s flight is made entirely in France.

The Mirage 2000-I that crashed was undergoing a comprehensive acceptance trials after being upgraded in Bengaluru. After six test flights by HAL, the aircraft crashed on its second test flight by the IAF.

Fighters like the Mirage 2000, which have an “unstable design” for greater manoeuvrability, are programmed to accept commands from the flight computer to keep the aircraft stable — even commands based on faulty sensor readings, which might cause the aircraft to fly into the ground.
Interesting that 3 of the 4 incident happened with the Indian AF. French air force use more and for a longer time the M-2000 and had only one incident.
This is a maintenance problem, the only French M-2000 that had a FBW problem in 2004, had foreign object in one of the pitot tube and this send wrong data to the FBW computer (there is a long report from the BEA on the subject and subsequent inspections relvealed that 25% of the M-2000 had some obstruction on the pitot tubes, they trained the maintence workers and since zero incident).
But in India they tend to blame the aircraft or the manufacturer instead of looking to the training and work of their own personnel, as usual.
^^Agreed @AAR Galileo, IAF have priors for blaming the equipment manufacturers
The present course of defence ties between India and the United States could be jeopardised if New Delhi goes ahead with its planned procurement of Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Russia, a US Department of State official has said.
In comments to Jane’s on 3 June, the official made reference to the strong defence ties that have developed between the US and India but also to the potential for these expanding relations to be affected by New Delhi’s proposed S-400 acquisition and US legislation, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which proposes penalties on Russian defence customers.
The US official said, “US-India defence ties have seen remarkable growth over the past decade‎. A major new purchase like [the] S-400 puts this positive trajectory at risk and may result in action under the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
“For that reason, we urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that could potentially trigger sanctions. We cannot prejudge whether or not any specific transaction would result in sanctions prior to the Secretary of State's determination.‎ At this time, the Secretary has not made any determination regarding the significance under of any Indian transaction,” the official added.
Since being signed into law in August 2017, CAATSA has been modified by a clause introduced through the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2019 that allows for a possible CAATSA waiver under certain conditions. However, the US Department of State official said that the waiver clause comes with no assurances.
“We have made it clear that no country should count on a waiver,” said the official. “CAATSA does not have any blanket or country-specific waiver provision. There are strict criteria for considering a waiver, and each transaction is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”

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