Spike or Javelin? India Still Undecided on a Billion Dollar Javelin Anti-Tank Missile Deal

The Indian Army is planning to equip its ground forces with thousands of anti-tank missiles to be built in India. The Indian military considers two options, both of them exclusive – the FGM-148 Javelin, proposed under a Government-to-Government (G2G) program via U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS), and the Spike MR, proposed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, being the only bidder in an international tender, which specified characteristics and specifications only the Israeli company could meet.
The Indian Army plans to install the missiles on infantry combat vehicles currently carrying locally produced AT-5 or Milan missiles.

The Indian Ministry of Defense plans to order 321 launchers, and 8,356 missiles, plus 15 training simulators in a multi-phase arms package worth over one billion US$. Two options are currently on the table – the U.S. Javelin and the Israeli Spike MR.

Indian Navy Picks Korean Kangnam’s Mine Hunters

The Indian Navy has decided on its choice for a Mine Counter Measures Vessel MCMV. The navy and the defense ministry have identified South Korea’s Kangnam Corporation as the L1 vendor lowest bidding and technically qualified for the procurement of eight such vessels. Italy’s Intermarine, which was also part of the technically qualified shortlist, was beaten by Kangnam on price when the commercial bids were opened.

While the Contract Negotiation Committee CNC still has to conclude a final agreement on the price with the vendor, it is expected to be in the region of USD 670 million INR 3000 Crore.

Russia Arms Exports At Record Level Till 2014

Russian arms exports are expected to stay at record levels of about $10 billion a year until at least 2014 as top customer India continues to beef up its armaments, leading military think tank CAST said on Monday. Peddling missiles, submarines and fighter planes, Russia is feeding a hungry market of Asian countries warily eyeing China's growing military might and African nations preparing for the worst in potential regional conflicts.

As the world's second top arms exporter, Russia ended last year with a record $45 billion contract portfolio. Arms exporters signed $15 billion in contracts during the year, CAST estimated.

"The existing portfolio of contracts will be enough to keep Russian arms exports at the current level for another four years or more," CAST said in the report, obtained by Reuters ahead of publication.

Rosoboronexport, Russia's weapons export monopoly delivered $8.6 billion in arms last year. Nearly 20 independent firms make up the difference with sales of spare parts and upgrades. Rosoboronexport generally makes up 80 percent of all arms exports in a given year.

Indian Biggest Deal Of C-17 Globemaster III Heavy Transport Aircraft With US On Hold

Indian Purchase of  C-17 Globemaster III heavy transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Ministry of Defence has asked Washington to come clean and disclose the comparative prices at which the aircraft has been sold to other nations.

The last-minute hiccup has come after the ministry received several representations contending that the price being quoted to India for 10 heavy lift aircraft was inordinately high.

While the contract is in the final stage — commercial negotiations with manufacturer Boeing have been concluded —the ministry has sought a clarification from the US on the price of the aircraft, which is being purchased by the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

FMS is the US Department of Defense’s government-to-government method of selling US defence equipment, services and training.

“We have to ensure that we are getting the aircraft at the right price. The ministry has written to the US government for the price at which the aircraft has been sold to other countries. This has been done to get a fair assessment of the deal and put all speculation at rest,” a Defence Ministry official said.

BEL Night Vision Devices For Indian Army Rifles Not Up To Mark

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has urged the Union Home Ministry to stop purchase of night vision telescopic devices produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), which will be attached to light machine guns (LMGs) and INSAS 5.56 mm rifles used by the paramilitary forces.

The Ministry plans to purchase 32,766 units at a cost of Rs. 3 lakh each, which will cost about Rs. 1,000 crore, deputy general secretary of the CPI Karnataka State Council and former MP Suvaravaram Sudhakar Reddy told presspersons here on Saturday. Though the life of each unit was supposed to be 10 years, he said, 400 units of the 1,000 supplied earlier developed defects within two-and-a-half years.

Indian Navy Crew Undergoing Training Onboard K-152 Nerpa Attack Submarine

Russian news agency  quotes a Russian Navy Staff Admiral confirming that a K-152 Nerpa attack submarine will be leased to the Indian Navy by October 2011. The quote was made with the condition of anonymity.

Previous reports had indicated that the submarine was already delivered to India. However now it appears that an Indian crew is undergoing training on-board with Russian instructors.

"The submarine is completely ready for transfer. An Indian crew is currently training aboard with Russian instructors,"

"This should be completed before October: We're running late as it is,"

Pakistan Forges Ahead With New fighters, Upgrades

Pakistan has inducted its new Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52+ fighters, while its first two full-strength squadrons of Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunders are also on the verge of becoming fully operational.

The Pakistan air force inducted 17 F-16 Block 52+ fighters into its 5 Sqn on 11 March, the service says. The final aircraft in the 18-unit deal is still in the USA undergoing testing and will arrive in another month.
Pakistan's new batch of aircraft comprises 12 single-seat C-model versions and six two-seat F-16Ds. The air force says it is also in negotiations with the USA for additional Block 52+ aircraft, with its original deal having contained an option for another 18.

Pakistan's new F-16s are powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines, with other systems understood to include Northrop Grumman's mechanically scanned APG-68(V)9 radar and ITT's ALQ-211(V)9 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite.

A proposed weapons package outlined by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in 2006 included 500 Raytheon AIM-120C5 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and 200 short-range AIM-9M-8/9 Sidewinders, plus 500 Boeing joint direct attack munitions, 1,600 enhanced GBU-12/24 laser-guided bombs and 700 BLU-109 penetrator bombs.

A mid-life upgrade of 34 F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft is also under way, with some being upgraded in Turkey. The project is likely to be completed next year, and will see the aircraft equipped with modern sensors and weapons.

Indian Navy’s Squadron, INAS-310 COBRA Celebrated Its Golden Jubilee

Indian Navy’s Goa based based squadron, INAS-310 ‘COBRA’, celebrated its golden jubilee yesterday.

The squadron has two unit citations, over 80,000 hrs of flying, operations in – 1971 (East Pakistan), 1999 (‘Op Vijay’) and 2002 (‘Op Parakram’). Other operations that participated were Operation Vijay (Liberation of Goa) in December 1961, 1965 war (defend naval assets) against Pakistan, 1988 Operation Pawan (against LTTE) in Srilanka and 1988 Operation Cactus (maldives).

INAS 310 was commissioned by Nawab Ali Yavar Jung on 21 Mar 1961 in Heyres, France. The squardon was headed by Lt Cdr Mihir K Roy (later Vice Admiral). The squardon was commissioned on the French Aircraft carrier ‘Arromanches.’ The first Alize 1050 aircraft was handed over to India on 7th January, 1961 at a place called Villacoublay in France. The Cobra’s participated in a tactical excercise with Type-12 ships (INS Beas and INS Betwa). Both Alize and Type-12 (from UK) were newely acquired and were making their way to India.

India & MIRV Technology

All these discussions have one basic premise and that is: one missile would deliver one nuclear warhead. India’s nuclear triad: a delivery system for nuclear missile from an aerial platform, ship/land based platform or a submarine also essentially caters for one nuclear warhead per one missile launch. However, all this could change and the debate on ‘quantifying’ nuclear deterrence would have to take an additional parameter into consideration in near future and that is India’s MIRV (multiple independently targetable 

re-entry vehicles) capabilities. India’s Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is proposing to develop a new strategic weapon technology called MIRV.

 MIRV technology is not a new technology. Rather it is a technology of the 1960s and was first developed by the US, followed by USSR. MIRV is a set of nuclear weapons carried on a single missile (intercontinental or submarine launched ballistic missile). This technology allows striking several targets in a single launch. During the launch the main rocket of this system pushes the set of warheads up in the atmosphere. Each warhead strikes a target separately. The launch of such missile constitutes firing a missile having multiple stages. During its ballistic path every stage gets separated at a predetermined time after the launch. Along with every stage one or more warheads get fired. A four stage missile could fire eight to ten warheads on the targets. For a standard launch normally 60 seconds after the launch the first stage separates and other two or three stages separate roughly with an interval of 60 seconds each.

The DRDO's Missile programme Marching Ahead Maiden Launch of Agni-V In September 2011.

THE DRDO's missile programme, both tactical and strategic, is marching ahead. Agni-II, Agni-I, Agni-III and Prithvi and its variants such as Dhanush and Prithvi-II, all strategic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, have been inducted into the Army. Agni-II's range is more than 2,500 km, Agni-I's more than 700 km and Agni-III's about 3,500 km. The maiden launch of Agni-V, which will have a range of 5,000 km, will be in September 2011.

BrahMos, developed by India and Russia, is the world's only supersonic cruise missile. It can be launched from a ship or from land. BrahMos variants that can be launched from submarines and fighter aircraft are on the way. In December 2010, BrahMos' 24th launch took place using advanced guidance and updated software. “The flight established the missile's precision strike capability in mountain warfare,” said A. Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd.

Tiruchi Ordnance Factory Develops New Assault Rifle Like Ak-47

The Ordnance Factory of Tiruchi (OFT) has designed and developed an indigenous assault rifle matching the specifications of the AK47. “When put into use by our armed forces and other security agencies, the rifle will be recognized as pride of India. It has been indigenously developed and has all the features of AK-47,” said A K Prabhakar, OFT general manager, in an interaction with reporters on the sidelines of OFT Day celebrations. OFT, one among 41 such factories in the country, was established 45 years ago on the outskirts of the city.

To mark the contribution of the Tiruchi factory in developing the rifle, officials have decided to christen it “
Trichy Assault Rifle,” Prabhakar said. Field trials have been done for the 7.62mm caliber rifle with a range of 400 metres. “The rifle has been successfully tried by the Indian Army,” Prabhakar said. It features a foldable butt and boasts of night vision device besides telescopic day vision system.

OFT has also developed a hand-held multi-shell launcher. The weapon of 38mm calibre with a range of 400 metres could fire six shells at a time. It could be used for firing grenades and tear gas shells.

Prabhakar said this was the first time that OFT was coming out with an “internal security weapon”, or a riot control device in common parlance. “One batch of the device has been supplied to CRPF and many states have evinced interest in buying it for their police force,” he said.

IAF Finalises Order For 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III Strategic Airlifters

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to place orders for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlifters within this month in a deal valued at $4.1 billion.

Discussions between the IAF and the US Air Force (USAF), as well as the Indian ministry of defence and the US Department of Defence concluded here Feb 15, with Boeing accepting the detailed terms for 30 percent mandatory offsets clause.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is the final authority for major defence and other acquisitions, is likely to approve the deal at its next meeting as funds for the purchase of the C-17s have been approved for the fiscal 2010-11.

Vivek Lall, Boeing’s outgoing vice president in India for defence, space and security, confirmed the agreement on offsets but declined to give any financial details.

Sources in Washington, however, told India Strategic defence magazine that the deal is for $4.1 billion, as indicated by the US administration on the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit to India last November.

The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, had told India Strategic that it would be going in for an additional six C-17s.

India's Future Lies In Its Naval Power Says American Geo-Strategist

With the scene of global strategic rivalry slowly shifting to the Indian Ocean, India's geopolitical future lies in its naval power, contrary to the country's traditional emphasis on its army, says Parag Khanna, leading American geo-strategist, author and founding director of the Global Governance Initiative at the New America Foundation think tank.

'In terms of geopolitics, India's influence is still very limited... what underpins that is the reality that India is not going to be what initially was thought and hoped it would be - a land-based continental rival to balance China.

'Now, India is seen as much more of a naval power -- overseeing and having a strategic role with respect to the Indian Ocean and the trade routes there. That actually is the geopolitical future of India; it's a very strong future,' Khanna, who was a senior geopolitical advisor to the US Special Operations Command, told IANS in an exclusive interview.

Indian Navy to Get K-152 Nerpa Nuclear Submarine

According to a Russian Naval Admiral, the Russian Navy has agreed to lease the K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered submarine to India by October 2011.

The admiral spoke anonymously and stated that the K-152 Nerpa is completely prepared for the transfer and at the moment an Indian crew is being trained aboard it with the help of Russian instructors.
The Nerpa submarine may be familiar to some of you, as in 2008, 20 sailors were killed aboard it after a leakage of toxic gas. The cause for the leak was a malfunctioning fire extinguishing system.

HAL And GE Aviation to Maintain And Repair Hawk Mk132 For IAF

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics LTD and GE Aviation have just inked an important contract which ensures a 30-year license to carry out repairs and upgrades of all systems of the Hawk Mk132 aircraft. At the moment the Hawk Mk132 is used by the Indian Air Force as an advanced jet trainer.

The contract will give in-house repair and overhauling capabilities to Hindustan Aeronautics for GE Aviation products and will significantly reduce the turn-around-time of all repairs and upgrades. All of the maintenance, repairing and overhaul tasks will be done at Hindustan Aeronautics facilities in Bangalore and Korwa. At the moment the Bangalore facility has to be certified for the repairing of hydraulics, instruments and overhaul while the Korwa one needs a certificate for avionics repairs.

Indian Air Force Personnel To Get 3G Connectivity With Each Other

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will stay connected with each other at all times thanks to the IAF’s unique Wideband CDMA-based 3G portable wireless network which is scheduled to be operational by June 2011. This piece of technology is a part of the AFNET (Air Force Network).

The Wideband CDMA-based 3G portable wireless network is definitely one of the most advanced pieces of communication technology and it will be completely integrated with the AFNET. The purpose of the program is to ensure communication, voice, data and video streaming at all times.

Dhanush Ballistic Missile Test Naval Version of Prithivi II Ballistic Missile

Friday was a success for India as it successfully test fired the new nuclear warheĞ°d with Dhanush ballistic missile from a Navy ship off the eastern coast. The missile launch was a part of a Navy’s training exercise.

The Dhanush is a naval variant of the surface-to-surface Prithivi II missile which was also developed by India and has a range of 350 kilometers.
The new ballistic missile is capable of carrying a payload of up to 500 kilograms and can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The biggest plus of this missile is the fact that it can adapt to both shore and sea-based targets. The development of ballistic missiles is an important part of India’s defence program.

Indian Air Force To Get 64 LCH For $1.4 billion

Indian Air Force (IAF) is ready to spend approximately $1.4 billion in order to procure 64 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) company.

The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is a piece of technology, specifically designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in a period of four years. The beginning of the project was in 2006 and the LCH is likely to be inducted in the Army and Air Force by 2014.

This is an offensive helicopters derived from the Advanced Light Helicopter and it is equipped with the most modern weapon, missile systems and crashworthy wheel landing gear. The biggest plus of the LCH is the presence of in-built stealth characteristics which make it the perfect aircraft for special operators.

India Becomes World’s Largest Arms Importer

 In its race to join the club of international powers, India has reached another milestone; it is now the world’s largest weapons importer.

A Swedish think tank that monitors global arms sales said Monday that India’s weapons imports had overtaken China’s, as the country pushes on with plans to modernise its military, counter Beijing’s influence and gain international clout. “India has ambitions to become first a continental and then a regional power,” said Rahul Bedi, a South Asian analyst with London-based Jane’s Defense Weekly.

According to the report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India accounted for nine percent of all international arms imports in the period from 2006 to 2010, and it is expected to keep the top spot for the foreseeable future.

Indian Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar declined to comment on the report before he had a chance to read it.

Kaveri Engine Production Negotiation With Snecma in Final Stage Says Defence Minister

India's negotiation with a French firm for developing a production version of its indigenous Kaveri engine for its military aircraft is in the final stage of cost negotiations, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.

Negotiations with French firm Snecma are being conducted by a tender purchase committee with members from the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy and defence finance department.

"It is proposed to develop production version Kaveri (K10) engine on co-design and co-development basis with Snecma of France. The technical evaluation for this proposal has been completed. Tender purchase committee is negotiating the commercial aspects," Antony said in a written reply during question hour.

Dock Trials Of The INS Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier Begins In Severodvinsk Naval Yard

The Dock trials of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, the Soviet-built Admiral Gorshkov, which is being refitted for the Indian Navy, began on March 1.

They will take place in the Severodvinsk naval yard, where the much-delayed reconstruction of the ship, decommissioned from the Russian fleet in 1996, is ongoing. The focus of the trials will be the main power generation units and the radio-electronic armament systems, manufactured in India. 

Indian Army To Get 1000 New Attack, Transport, Utility Helicopters by 2020


Indian Armed Forces plan to induct more than 1,000 indigenous and foreign helicopters for attack, transport and utility operations by the end of this decade. The choppers to be inducted into the Army, Navy and Air Force include around 450 light utility, 12 VVIP, over 200 attack, 139 Mi-17 transport and 15 heavy-lift helicopters and over 50 multi-role helicopters for the Navy, Defence Ministry officials told Press Trust of India.

Giving details of the various deals, they said the contract to replace and augment the existing Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Armed Forces is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. "The trials have been completed and after analysing the evaluation report, a vendor would be chosen to supply 197 LUHs to the Army and the Air Force," an official said.

Another 187 similar choppers would be produced indigenously by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and its design has already been completed, he said. The Navy is also planning to procure more than 60 twin-engine choppers to replace its vintage Cheetah and Chetak helicopters and has already initiated the acquisition process for the purpose.

IAF Deploys Second Su-30MKI Squadron At Chabua Air Base


The Indian Air Force Tuesday inducted a second squadron of its frontline Sukhoi-Su 30 MKI combat jets as part of a strategic deployment of advanced assets in the North East. A single Su-30 has presently been stationed at the Chabua air base, about 450 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati, with the strength of the squadron gradually being raised to 18 aircraft.

'The idea is to ensure that the skies and the borders in the east are well protected and secured. The Su-30 MKIs can be used for both offensive as well as defensive purposes,' Air Marshal K.K. Nohwar, air officer commanding-in-chief of the Eastern Air Command, told reporters after the formal induction ceremony. As part of the formal induction, the fighter jet staged an impressive flypast.

The IAF had inducted its first Su-30 squadron at Tezpur in northern Assam in June 2009. The decision to deploy the Su-30s, the most potent fighter in the IAF inventory, follows repeated instances of Chinese incursions in Arunachal Pradesh in the last few years. The Tezpur and the Chabua air bases are within striking distance of the India-China border along the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh.

IAF Requests RFI For mini Vertical Take-Off And Landing UAV

India has filed an RFI (request for information) for a small vertical take-off and landing UAV (unmanned air vehicle).

The Indian Air Force’s request is for a battery or fuel-operated UAV that weights less than 10Kg and can fly for more than 60 minutes.
The UAV will be used for search, reconnaissance and intelligence missions. Payloads will include forward-looking infrared and laser spotters, cameras and rangefinders. The RFI specifies that the UAV must be able to hover and operate in urban environments. Portable and light-weight ground stations must be provided with the system.

India’s Scorpene Project Behind Three Years

The Indian Navy is disappointed for seeing that the development of the Scorpene submarine is three years behind schedule. The first of six Scorpene submarines is scheduled to be delivered in 2015. However, according to the contract, the first delivery had to be completed by 2012.

At the moment the first Scorpene is scheduled to be delivered during the second half of 2015. The original contract stated that the first had to be delivered in 2012 and then the Indian Navy had to receive one submarine each consecutive year until 2017.

Indian Army Trains Laotian Troops

On Tuesday it was announced that Laotian troops are being trained by the Indian Army in the area of de-mining and bomb disposal operations.

A team of Indian Army combat engineers led by Captain Dheeraj has been agreed with Lao PDR (People’s Democratic Republic) to train their cadres for a period of three weeks, in which the soldiers will learn techniques about de-mining and bomb disposal. The training has begun on February 21.

Indian Air Force To Get New Squadron Of Su-30MKI

The Indian Air Force is seeking for ways to augment its strike capabilities along the north-east Chinese Border and in order to do that they will raise a new squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft at the air base. The 102 squadron of Sukhoi-30 multi-role fighter aircraft has been raised from the Chabua air base and is expected to be deployed on the border in a few days.

Three Su-30 MKI fighter jet planes were sent to Chabua airbase from Tezpur in order to announce the rise of a new squadron. The first Sukhoi squadron in the north-east was raised at Tezpur during 2009. According to a spokesperson the new squadron will get its full number of 16-18 aircraft in the next months.

IAF’s plans are to deploy a total of four squadrons at these two bases. Earlier the MiG-21 series fighter aircraft was used, but the Sukhoi’s have slowly replaced this aged aircraft.

India Increases Defence Budget To $34 billion

India’s Finance Mister stated that the country’s defence budget for 2011-12 has been increased up to Rs147,3 billion.($34 billion).

The minister was presenting the budget for the next year when he marked the 4% increase from the outgoing allocations of the Rs147.3 billion. The capital expenditure for defence in 2011-12 will be increased to Rs691 billion from Rs60 billion in 2010-11. The military’s budget has boosted up to 1,65 trillion rupees ($36 billion) from last year’s 1,47 trillion rupees. The rise comes, because of the agreement between India and Pakistan to resume peace talks which were suspended more than two years ago. The reason for the end of the negotiations was because of a gunmen attack which ended with 166 civilian casualties in Mumbai.

According to international consultancy company KPMG, New Delhi will sign contracts worth approximately $112 billion by 2016. This year’s defence budget increase comes from the finalization of a big-ticket deal to procure 197 light helicopters, 145 ultra-light howitzer artillery guns and 127 combat aircraft.

Indian Army to Exercise 48-hour Mobilisation Time

The Indian Army believes it is capable of mobilizing its troops in less than 48 hours and they are planning on finding out that by participating in the annual exercise which involves more than 10,000 soldiers in the Rajasthan-Punjab region.

Since the terrorist attacks in December 2001, the government has ordered the instant mobilization of the army. However, operation Parakram took 27 days and in this period of time, a lot of international pressure built up on India.

Since this case, the army has been constantly working on ways to reduce the mobilization time. According to sources, better road management, rail links, offloading, man-management and equipment management have reduced the time to just 48 hours.

IAF Plans To Replace The MiG Series Aircrafts by 2017

According to officials, the MiG series fighter aircraft fleet of the Indian Force is scheduled to be replaced by 2017. The replacement will include the upgrading of MiG-21 Bison fighters which are still in use in absolutely all IAF fighter squadrons.

The MiG-21 was the first supersonic fighter jet that was introduced to the IAF in 1963 and it easily overwhelmed the touted F-104 Starfighter which was provided by the United States. The aircraft came in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war and since then it has been impressing air forces across the world.

The last time the aircraft proved itself was against the F-15s in simulated war games conducted under the aegis of Cope India. The MiG was operating together with the Su-27 and the tandem proved to be a very formidable foe for the USAF pilots.

Embraer Has Unveiled The First of Three EMB-156 Aircrafts For Indian AEW&C system

Embraer has unveiled the first of three EMB-156 aircrafts ordered by India’s DRDO (India’s Defense Research and Development Organization). The planes will be used as test subjects for the early warning and control (AEW&C) system.

The first aircraft is equipped with an arena structure required for the phased-array radar under the development by DRDO’s Bengalaru-based center for Air Borne Systems (CABS). The plane will be first tested in the Embraer base before being finally delivered to India in august.
When the aircraft is delivered, the CABS will start integrating the AEW&C mission system which includes electronic support measures, electronically scanned array radar, datalinks, operator workstations and satellite communications.

The complete configuration will probably be tested in 2012. All of the three aircraft will be used for a range of tests which include some cold-weather trials in Alaska. According to officials, the AEW&C is going to go through some pretty tough milestones, but it is currently on schedule. The building blocks of the mission system are currently being tested under simulation in the laboratory.

India’s Tejas Fighters Will be Equiped With Modern Derby missiles

According to rumors the Indian Air Force and the Rafael Advanced Defense System (RADS) are going to sign a major contract in March 2011.

According to officials, the contract will be focused on equipping India’s Tejas fighter with the modern Derby missiles, developed by RADS. The Derby air-to-air missile will be equipped on at least 200 Tejas jets.

This is not the first time in which the IAF has signed a contract with Rafael. RADS is a former division of the Israeli Defense Ministry and is now one of the biggest government companies when it comes to the development and production of fighting technologies for both the Israel Defense Forces and export.

In 2008, the Indian Army purchased Spyder anti-aircraft missile systems from Rafael in a deal worth $270 million.  In 2009 another deal between Rafael and the Indian Army was signed, when the Army bought anti-aircraft systems worth $1 billion.

USA Confirms Plans For Missile Defense Base in Poland

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed Washington's plans to deploy missile defenses and Air Force units in Poland.

"As was announced by our two presidents in December, we plan to establish a new permanent U.S. air detachment in Poland, build missile defenses in Poland, and as agreed at the NATO summit, develop a contingency plan in the region," Clinton told journalists ahead of talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in Washington.

Wikileaks published U.S. cables in late 2010 showing that NATO was drawing up a plan on the protection of Estonia, Lithuania and Poland from external threats on a request from the United States and Germany.

 The Guardian reported that under the plan, reportedly approved by Clinton, the United States, Britain, Germany and Poland would deploy troops in the region in case of a military aggression against the Baltic States or Poland itself.

According to the British newspaper, NATO members approved the draft plan during the alliance's summit in Lisbon in November 2010.

In 2009, the United States decided to deploy several F-16 fighter jets and Hercules transport aircraft in Poland. Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich has said the United States was also planning to deploy Patriot missile defense systems in Poland at a base just 100 kilometers from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

"We have a full agenda that will concentrate on three essential areas: building our mutual security, expanding prosperity and promoting democracy," Clinton said on Thursday, adding "as we grow our military partnership, we continue to expand economic ties between the Polish and American people."

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S. missile defenses near its borders, arguing they would be a security threat and could destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe.

The United States scrapped earlier plans in September last year for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so called Euro missile defense system at the Lisbon summit. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system.

Chinese PLA Tank Production Line

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