Russia and India choosing shipyards to construct Project 11356 Missile-Carrying Frigates

Russia and India have specified the shipyards for building Project 11356 missile-carrying frigates intended for the Indian Navy, the press office of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation told TASS on Friday.

The relevant contract on the purchase of missile frigates from Russia may be signed this year, the press office added.

“The sides are taking efforts for signing the relevant contractual documents. We hope this to take place in 2017. Two frigates will be built in Russia at the Yantar Shipyard. The next two frigates will be built with Russia’s assistance on the territory of India at the Goa Shipyard specified by the government of the Republic of India,” the press office reported.

Russia and India signed a number of agreements in the military and technical sphere in October last year, including the agreements on the delivery of S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems and the construction of Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy.

It emerged in 2016 that Russia was in talks with India to negotiate the sale of three other Project 11356 frigates earlier intended for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Two of them were laid down at the Yantar Shipyard on the Baltic coast in 2013.

Project 11356 warships displace about 4,000 tonnes, develop a speed of 30 knots and have a cruising capacity of 30 days.

Three such warships have been built for the Russian Black Sea Fleet.


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Top 10 Facts about the Guardian drones, which India is buying from the US

The United States has cleared the sale of Guardian drones to India after the Modi-Trump meeting in Washington on last Monday, their first bilateral since the US president took office last year.

Here are top facts about this predatory machine:

1. The Predatory Guardian drones became operational on 1 May 2007.

2. The drone was first inducted as part of the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programme.

3. India to purchase 22 naval variants of the unarmed surveillance aircraft. The Indian version of the drone is only for reconnaissance missions.

4. Abraham Karem is the designer of the drone while General Atomics is the company that produces it.

5. The Guardian drone can remain in the air for over 27 hours and it can reach a maximum altitude of 50000 feet.

. The drone’s maximum speed limit is 240 KTAS (True airspeed, in knots).

7. Its maximum payload carrying capacity is 1,746 kg.

8. India will be the first non-NATO country to purchase such type of Drones from US .

9. Guardian drones can hunt targets and scan terrain by using multiple sensors that are equipped with thermographic cameras.

10. The onboard camera is so powerful that it can read a license plate from two miles (3.2 km) away.

By: Zee News

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The last Sikkim stand-off: When India gave China a bloody nose in 1967

The last time India and China were engaged in a major military stand-off in Sikkim was in 1967.

On that instance, just five years after India’s traumatic 1962 war defeat, the Indian Army gave the Chinese a bloody nose, according to accounts from the time. More than 80 Indian soldiers were killed, while estimates say between 300 to 400 Chinese troops were killed.

It was certainly a different time: One account suggests that to protest China’s actions then in Sikkim, which reportedly included a Chinese complaint of a herd of sheep being stolen, a 43-year-old Member of Parliament by the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee drove a herd of sheep to the Chinese Embassy in Shantipath in New Delhi to stage a rather colourful protest.

There are fascinating parallels from the 1967 incident. That was also a stand-off that began with pushing and shoving, when the Chinese filled up trenches that India had dug.

That stand-off was also marked by Chinese irritation at the Indian Army’s presence in the then Kingdom of Sikkim. This month’s stand-off, in the Doklam plateau contested by China and Bhutan, has reflected China’s annoyance with the Indian Army’s presence in Bhutan. China’s government said this week that Bhutan was “a sovereign country” and no “third party” should interfere.

“The Chinese were not comfortable with Sikkim being an Indian protectorate with the deployment of the Indian Army at that time,” recalled Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal (retd), who was in 1967 posted in nearby Sebu La and later commanded the Nathu La brigade.

As he wrote in an essay published in 2004 in Force magazine and later published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, the stand-off began as engineers and jawans started erecting long iron pickets from Nathu La to Sebu La along the perceived border, which was agreed by both sides under the 1890 treaty between Great Britain and Qing Dynasty China. A scuffle began as China objected to the laying of the wire, and the PLA Political Commissar was roughed up.

The Chinese returned days later. “A whistle was heard on the Chinese side followed by murderous medium machine gun fire from north shoulder. The pass is completely devoid of cover and the jawans of 70 Field Company and 18 Rajput were caught in the open and suffered heavy casualties which included Col Rai Singh who was wounded. Two brave officers – Capt Dagar of 2 Grenadiers and Major Harbhajan Singh of 18 Rajput rallied a few troops and tried to assault the Chinese MMG but both died a heroic death,” recalled Maj Gen Thapliyal.

He adds, “On 14 September 1967, Chinese threatened use of Air Force if shelling did not stop. By then the lesson had been driven home and an uneasy ceasefire came about. The Chinese, true to form, had pulled over dead bodies to their side of the perceived border at night and accused us of violating the border. Dead bodies were exchanged on 15 September at which time: Sam Manekshaw, [then Eastern Army Commander], Aurora [Lt Gen Jagjit Aurora, Corps Commander] and Sagat [Maj Gen Sagat Singh, GOC Mountain Division in Sikkim] were present on the Pass.”

He recalled the situation “again flared up twenty days later when on 1 October 1967 a face-off between India and China took place at Cho La, another pass on the Sikkim-Tibet border a few kilometers north of Nathu La”.

“Despite initial casualties, 7/11 GR and 10 JAK RIF stood firm and forced the Chinese to withdraw nearly three kilometers away to a feature named Kam Barracks where they remain deployed till date. Cho La Pass is firmly in Indian hands. Indian Army had got better of the Chinese yet again.”

He wrote, “No wonder, Sino-Indian border has remained peaceful ever since to the extent that today Chinese soldiers come and ask their Indian counterparts at Nathu La for cigarettes, rum and tea, mail is exchanged twice in a week in a hut constructed specially for this purpose and border personnel meeting takes place there twice a year.”

The 1967 incident marked the last incident of casualties on both sides in the Sikkim sector. And the last death in any sector of the India-China border was in 1975 at Tulung La, and that was by accident, when two patrols were lost in the fog. So despite the close parallels, 50 years on history is unlikely to repeat itself with the border remaining largely tranquil in the decades since.

By: India Today

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Trump effect ? Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed-backed Terror outfit

  • Pakistan banning JuD’s proxy outfit could well be seen as a response to the Donald Trump administration hinting a harder line against Islamabad
  • It also comes ahead of an intergovernmental body updating its assessment of ‘high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions’ involved in terror financing

Pakistan has banned terrorist Hafiz Saeed-backed outfit Tehreek-eAzadi-Jammu & Kashmir, a group that is essentially a rebranded Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which in turn was the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan has now put this JuD proxy on the list of proscribed organisations, as of June 8, according to the web site of Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority. JuD, though, still remains only ‘under watch’.

In late January, Pakistan put Saeed under ‘house arrest’+ and the JuD on the ‘under watch’ list. In fact, TOI reported that Saeed – likely having gotten wind of action against him – began moving some of JuD’s India-targeted operations to the Tehreek-e-Azaad-e-Kashmir as early as January 14.

Pakistan banning JuD’s proxy outfit could well be seen as a response to the Donald Trump administration hinting a harder line against Islamabad.

Reuters reported 10 days ago that Trump’s administration is contemplating amplified drone strikes+ on terror camps in Pakistan. This was even before the stern talking-to Trump and India jointly gave Islamabad this week via the Indo-US joint statement.

The banning also comes ahead of the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) scheduled to update its assessment of “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions” next month, which the Associated Press (AP) reported about earlier this June. FATF was set up to implement legal, regulatory and operational measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats.

Earlier this month, AP reported that Pakistan recently froze the accounts of as many as 5,000 suspected militants, ahead of the FATF updating its list. And TOI reported+ in February that it was the threat of international sanctions by the US, under FATF, that prompted action by Pakistan against Saeed. A senior US government official reportedly conveyed to Pakistan it would be put on the FATF’s blacklist if Islamabad did not take action against JuD and other similar outfits and their funding mechanisms.

India, Afghanistan and even many US lawmakers have said many times that Pakistan fosters terror safe havens. The very fact that it allows outfits like the JuD to operate with impunity is a clear sign Pakistan is culpable in stoking terror, say analysts.

Consider that the JuD itself arose from terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, (LeT) which Pakistan was forced to ban in 2002 after the US declared it a terrorist organization in 2001. Saeed is the man who founded LeT as well, to focus on attacks on India.

The LeT morphed into the JuD, and with the JuD put on an ‘under watch’ list, arose Tehreek-e-Azadi-Jammu & Kashmir.


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India issues 11 point letter to bust China’s incursion allegations

India today issued an 11-point letter to bust China’s allegation that Indian troops had crossed the boundary line in the Sikkim sector of the India-China frontier and entered Chinese territory.

Here are the 11 points mentioned in the letter issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

1. On June 16, a PLA construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity. The Ambassador of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) has publicly stated that it lodged a protest with the Chinese Government through their Embassy in New Delhi on June 20.

2. Yesterday, the Bhutan Foreign Ministry also issued a statement underlining that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They have urged a return to the status quo as before June 16, 2017.

3. In keeping with their tradition of maintaining close consultation on matters of mutual interest, RGOB and India have been in continuous contact through the unfolding of these developments.

4. In coordination with the RGOB, Indian personnel, who were present at general area Doka La, approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist from changing the status quo. These efforts continue.

5. The matter has been under discussion between India and China at the diplomatic level in the Foreign Ministries since then, both in New Delhi and Beijing. It was also the subject of a Border Personnel Meeting at Nathu La on June 20.

6. India is deeply concerned at the recent Chinese actions and has conveyed to the Chinese Government that such construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for India.

7. In this context, the Indian side has underlined that the two Governments had in 2012 reached agreement that the tri-junction boundary points between India, China and third countries will be finalized in consultation with the concerned countries. Any attempt, therefore, to unilaterally determine tri-junction points is in violation of this understanding.

8. Where the boundary in the Sikkim sector is concerned, India and China had reached an understanding also in 2012 reconfirming their mutual agreement on the “basis of the alignment”. Further discussions regarding finalization of the boundary have been taking place under the Special Representatives framework.

9. It is essential that all parties concerned display utmost restraint and abide by their respective bilateral understandings not to change the status quo unilaterally. It is also important that the consensus reached between India and China through the Special Representatives process is scrupulously respected by both sides.

10. India has consistently taken a positive approach to the settlement of its own boundary with China, along with the associated issue of the tri-junctions.

11. India cherishes peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. It has not come easily. Both sides have worked hard to establish institutional framework to discuss all issues to ensure peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas. India is committed to working with China to find peaceful resolution of all issues in the border areas through dialogue.

By: ET

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Construction of road by China ‘direct violation’: Bhutan

Bhutan today accused China of directly violating the agreement between them by constructing a road inside its territory.

In a strongly worded statement, Bhutan also asked China to stop constructing the motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri which it says affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

The comments by Bhutan come amid an ongoing face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam (also known as Donglang) area of the Sikkim sector.

Bhutan said it has also issued a demarche to China over the construction of the road and asked Beijing to restore the “status quo” by stopping the work immediately.

The feeling in India is that the unilateral actions to restore status quo against tiny Bhutan in Doklam plateau has caused tension between China and its neighbours.

Top officials also said that “it was understood that India was compelled to step in for cooling temperature and has urged restrain and responsible behaviour”.

Bhutan’s Foreign Ministry said it has conveyed to the Chinese side – both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel – “that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries”.

The Donglong (Doklam) is a tri-junction area near the Chumbi Valley. It is under China’s control. However, Bhutan claims sovereignty over the area.

The statement from the Bhutanese Foreign Affairs Ministry said that boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and “we have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959.”

“The agreements also state that the two sides will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary,” it added.

By: ET

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Sikkim border stand-off: Where India and China are too close for comfort

Around 150-200 Indian and Chinese Army troops each are separated by merely four to five meters from each other in the Doka La area, where the two forces are engaged in a stand-off since early June after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) destroyed an Indian bunker there.

“Both sides are sitting too close for comfort, but there has not been violence of any sort in the area,” senior government sources told Mail Today.

The trouble between the two sides started on May 18-19 when a Chinese patrol came to the Doka La area and objected to the two bunkers built by the Indian Army there, the sources said. The bunkers were not manned and could have acted as a good observation point for the troops. The Chinese troops brought one of it down and even got their dumpers and bulldozers to carry out the task on June 8.


Indian troops objected to the Chinese action and stood ground against the Chinese behaviour. As arguments and counter arguments started growing, the Chinese increased their number from a few dozen soldiers initially to 150-200 soldiers till yesterday, the sources said.

The Chinese are also making an attempt to shift down the tri-junction point in the Chumbi valley by almost 12 kilometres to get a bigger hold on the area and to get wider depth in case of a military deployment. They are now building a road which they want to extend further so that it will bring them as close as possible to a place called Chicken’s Neck.

“The Chinese troops have even been patrolling areas up to a place called Gemochin, where the Royal Bhutanese Army has its posts and PLA troops marched to their positions and reportedly even confronted them for being in their territory,” the sources said.

From the Chinese Army’s point of view, the Chumbi valley has to be widened as they want to move closer to the strategically important Chicken’s Neck corridor in Siliguri -which is under the watch of Army’s 33 Corps headquarters situated in Sukna in West Bengal.

The Chicken’s Neck corridor is in a land mass connecting mainland India with the northeast, and is heavily guarded by India with one full Corps (90,000 troops) of the Army deployed in and around that area to protect it.

Government sources said India is firm on resolving the issue as per the satisfaction of the parties involved in the disputed land boundary. Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat also reached Sikkim to take stock of the ongoing situation with the local formation commanders as his troops have stood ground in the area.

Sources said Bhutan and India have been anticipating such an attempt by the Chinese in this area based on their construction activities and had discussed the scenario in detail a couple of months before the situation came up.

Meanwhile, China has accused Indian troops of “crossing the boundary” in the Sikkim section and demanded their immediate withdrawal, while asserting that it has shut down the Nathu La pass entry for Indian pilgrims travelling to Kailash Mansarovar because of the border stand-off.


By: India Today

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