HEADLINES:
India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements including one on Air Service Agreement । Agreements signed during Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’s visit to India April 28 । Cyprus President called on President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi । The visiting President and PM Modi agreed on urgent need for all countries to decisively act against the states supporting factories of terrorism । PM Modi also thanked the Cyprus President for his support to India’s claim of Permanent Membership in UNSC । North Korea test fires a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan । India, Sri Lanka ink pacts on economic cooperation and road infrastructure development । The agreements signed during Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India । Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him । Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar accompanied Sushma Swaraj when the latter called on the visiting Sri Lankan PM । India-Russia defence engagement will continue to grow, says Defence Minister Arun Jaitley । He was speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow । India, Russia are celebrating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship । China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations । Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is free from jail after six year । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, elected President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) । He succeeds Mr Manohar Parikkar who resigned to take over as Chief Minister of Goa recently। Hardeep Singh Puri appointed Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries । Mr Puri is former Indian Envoy to the UN in New York and Geneva । FBI investigating possible Russian interference in 2016 US presidential election, Director Comey confirms । He told House Intelligence Committee there is no evidence of President Obama ordering wiretap of Trump during the election campaign । President Trump has made several allegations against his predecessor, which the powerful heads of FBI and NSA have denied । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assumes additional charge as Defence Minster । Jaitley replaces Manohar Parrikar who has moved to Goa to head the State’s Government as Chief Minster । BRAHMOS Extended Range (ER) missile successfully test-fired । Prime Minister greets CISF on its 48th Raising Day । INS Tillanchang Commissioned into Indian Navy । INS Tillanchang was commissioned by FOC-in-C Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra at Karwar । India Strategic salutes the humanity on this International Women’s Day । Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju dedicates first integrated heliport to the nation । Ms. DR Doley Barman appointed Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad । 1992 batch IFS officer Gopal Baglay appointed MEA Spokesperson । He replaces Vikas Swarup, who has been appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada । Raytheon, Tata Advanced Systems to Co-produce Stinger Missile Components । Indian Navy Concludes First Contract under Buy and Make (Indian) Category । Contract signed between Nova Integrated Systems Ltd (NISL), a TASL subsidiary, and Indian Navy for procurement of Surface Surveillance Radars (SSRs) । NISL to indigenously manufacture these state-of-the-art radars in collaboration with Terma, Denmark । ISRO creates history; launches 104 satellites in one go । President, Vice President and Prime Minister congratulated ISRO and its scientists for the historic mission । Indian Navy to decommission aircraft carrier INS Viraat on March 6 । India to spend Rs 2,74,114 crore on Defence । Rs 85,737.31 crore will be spent on equipment acquisition । Russia formally enters IAF’s second round of MMRCA competition । Moscow offers a new MiG-35 variant under Make in India । Alexander M Kadakin, who served as the Russian Ambassador to India for over a dozen years, passed away after a brief illness in New Delhi on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Kadakin’s death calling him a “great friend of India.” । India Strategic wishes everyone Happy Republic Day । President Pranab Mukherjee takes salute at the beautiful Republic Day Parade in New Delhi । UAE Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed is the Chief Guest at India’s R-Day celebrations । A highlight of the Parade is also the participation of a UAE armed forces contingent । Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tributes to martyrs । The impressive Parade began with a 21-gun salute to the President, the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces । India’s anti-terror force, National Security Guard (NSG) made its debut in the Parade । Dressed in their patent black, NSG commandos jogged passed the saluting base with their faces covered । US President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on January 24 । The telephone call is indicative of the vital nature of the India-US strategic partnership between the two countries । Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrives in New Delhi । Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was received by PM Modi । Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed is the Chief Guest of Republic Day 2017 । Government extends Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar’s tenure by one year । The extension to be effective between Jan 29, 2017 and Jan 28, 2018 । Pravind Kumar Jugnauth takes over as Mauritius Prime Minister । Prime Minister Modi congratulated the newly-appointed Mauritian PM । Donald Trump takes over as US President । Promises transfer of power to people । Turkish Boeing 747 cargo plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan with 37 onboard; all killed । Astronaut Gene Cernan, 82, the last man to walk on moon, passes away । India marks Army Day । President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister greet the Army । Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat takes salute at the impressive Army Day Parade । Gen Rawat says India wants peace but if attempts are made to disrupt it, then “we will display our power” । He says emphasis is on newer technology weapons and systems for the Army । Space connectivity is also high on Army’s agenda । This is the 69th Army Day, marking the time when an Indian Chief, Gen KM Cariappa took over the command after Independence । Indian Navy launches its second Kalvari class submarine INS Khanderi in Mumbai । India Strategic wishes all its readers and viewers a very Happy New Year । India successfully test fires Agni 5 long range missile | IAF gets Government approval for one more C 17 strategic Lift aircraft | IAF has got 10 C 17s, but had initially planned for more than 20 | Lack of timely approval made IAF slash figure to three but by then Boeing closed factory | IAF will get the last one in production | Syrian government of President Assad takes full control of Aleppo | Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed the next Army Chief and Air Marshal BS Dhanoa the Air Chief | The appointments are effective December 31 afternoon | Both are Vice Chiefs of Staff at present in their respective Services | 48 killed in a PIA ATR-42 aircraft crash in Pakistan | The twin-engine propellor aircraft was on way from Chitral to Islamabad | India marks Navy Day | Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets all Navy personnel, and salutes their bravery on Indian Navy annual day | PM Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurate Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference at Amritsar (India) Dec 4 | Need of the hour is to identify terrorism and bring stability in the region, says PM Modi | India’s commitment to Afghan is absolute, Mr Modi said addressing 6th HoA Ministerial Conf | Afgan Prez accused Pakistan of sheltering terror, and thanked India of financial aid | HoA Conf began at Amritsar Dec 3 | INS Vikrant likely to be operational in 2018 | Vikrant to operate both Russian MiG-29K and Western origin Aircraft | Indian Navy to mark 2017 as the year of submarine: Adm Lanba class=”gap”>| Gujarat-cadre officer Rakesh Asthana to take over as CBI Director after Anil Sinha, who retires Dec 2 | Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is Pakistan’s new army chief | Gen Bajwa took over from Gen Raheel Sharif Nov 29 | The outgoing chief stressed all should work together “against external and internathreats” | Plane carrying Brazilian football team crashes in Colombia | Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies. He was 90. | Castro had challenged the US might and invited Soviet presence next door to the US | US-Cuban relations have normalized now after half a century | Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Commissions INS Chennai into Indian Navy Nov 21 | INS Chennai is a Project 15A Guided Missile Destroyer | This is the 3rd and last ‘Kolkata’ class destroyer indigenously designed by DND and constructed by MDL, Mumbai |
April 30, 2017
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Asia’s Biggest Air Carnival, Aero India 2017 Begins at Bangalore

Shweta Sehgal Published: February 2017
 

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NEW DELHI. It’s time again to paint the Bangalore sky red. The air carnival where the sun doesn’t set is here again! The eleventh edition of Asia’s biggest and the most talked about show, Aero India 2017 starts February 14, at Yelahanka Air Force Station.

Our desi birds are back in the game after a gap of six years. Indian Air Force’s very own rejuvenated aerobatic team Surya Kiran’ will be the show stopper for the show. “We are thrilled to perform over the skies of Bangalore. This is the first time we will be performing in the Bangalore air show with Hawk aircraft and we have prepared a flight plan of 18-20 minutes. For the first time, the team is ready with horizontal and vertical manoeuvers and, as per the visibility, the team will be performing the stunts”, a senior pilot from the Surya Kiran team said.

The revived Surya Kirans are flying newly inducted British hawks which are assembled by HAL and are better and faster than Kiran Mark-II planes which the erstwhile team used to fly. Still in a build-up phase, the team is presently flying with four aircraft but plans to grow into a nine-aircraft formation aerobatic team the same way it had done in its earlier avatar with Kiran Mark-IIs. Incidentally, the world famous RAF ‘Red Arrows’ nine-aircraft formation aerobatic team also flies the Hawk AJT.

Began in 1996, Aero India has been gradually growing with each edition. With more countries participating, more delegates, more aircraft and a larger public footfall on the last two days, the venue seems to be bursting.

To be inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in the presence of Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, Defence Secretary Mohan Kumar, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and senior officers of the armed forces, Aero India 2017 will showcase aerospace, defence, civil aviation, airport infrastructure and defence engineering products at Air Force Station Yelahanka.

Training activities, understandably, for the month or so have been shifted to nearby bases at Air Force Station Bidar and Air Force Station Sulur in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively. Flying activities at Air Force Station Yelahanka are among the highest of all the IAF bases in the country. A large number of aircraft have been flown to Bidar and Sulur to make room for Aero India participants.

To host the biggest air show in Asia, planning and preparations start six months prior. Looking into various verticals are 20 different committees. To ensure smooth operations, Bangalore International Airport, third busiest airport in southern region, will keep the runway partially closed from February 8 to 18. The full dress rehearsal takes place on February 12.

According to official records, the current show is expected to see over 750 companies, delegations from 109 countries, 1,50,000 business visitors and 3,00,000 general visitors participating. The 10th edition witnessed exhibitors from 33 countries, 46 overseas delegations, a total of 644 companies; of which 326 were international and 318 domestic participating over a gross exhibition area of 108,250 sqm, around 44 per cent more than the 9th edition.

In 2015, the United States was the leading participant with 64 companies, with France coming second with 58 companies, followed by UK (48), Russia (41), Israel (25), Germany (17) to name a few. Guarding the premises will be 250 cameras covering the entire peripheral walls in addition to 250 cameras monitoring every corner inside the base; CISF, Army Commandoes and IAF’s own Special Force Garud Commandoes. “Security will be top priority at AFS Yelahanka this time. Apart from the three-tier security arrangements, we will have some additional plans in place”, said an official.

Cynosure of all eyes will be Tejas from No. 45 Squadron, aka Flying Daggers. Since its induction into IAF last year, it will be the first time that an inservice Tejas from an IAF’s operational squadron will be participating at Aero India. Other indigenous products expected to make an impact will be HTT-40 and LUH from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Rustom-2 from Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Another desi bird to keep all eyes glued to it will be the Hawk-i, the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132, rolled out by HAL on the eve of Republic Day recently. “This is the 100th Hawk aircraft produced at HAL, having the ‘Make in India’ mark. HAL had conceived a programme for indigenous upgradation of the Hawk Mk132 for achieving self-reliance and has successfully accomplished it,” HAL, Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju said.

In an attempt to back a tender for the manufacture of a fighter under the ‘Make in India’ programme, a large number of foreign OEMs will showcase their complete air power solutions that may include US giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Swedish Saab, French Dassault Aviation and the Russian Mikoyan and Sukhoi Bureaus. Another new aircraft, Dassault’s new flagship, Falcon 8X will make its Indian debut at Aero India 2017.

Israel’s National Pavilion this time will display an exciting array of some of Israel’s most innovative defense companies. Through three decades India and Israel have forged a close cooperation in research, development and manufacturing of aerospace and defence systems deployed throughout the Indian military services – from outer space to ground level and from large platforms to miniature unmanned systems. The Pavilion, one of the largest in Aero-India, is hosted by SIBAT, Israel’s Defense Cooperation Authority, a branch of the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

The show will act as a business bridging gap between global firms and the local Medium and Small Scale Enterprises with several MoUs and working partnerships set to be signed during Aero India 2017; giving Global aerospace firms opportunities to increase their footprint in India, while the local manufacturers could get a shot in engaging themselves in the global supply chain.

So let’s buckle up and strengthen our neck muscles to see the metal birds go up, up and up in the sky!

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