UAE decides to upgrade its fleet of Mirage 2009 combat jets। Boeing, Emirates announce commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10 aircraft worth $15 billion। Russian Helicopters signs deal for undisclosed number of Mi-17 1A2 Helicopters to India’s Vectra Group। Terror attack in New York’s Lower Manhattan kills 8 injures at least 15। An Uzbek, the terrorist mowed cyclists and pedestrians with a hired pickup truck। He was shot and captured, and notes recovered him indicated loyatly to ISIS। He is 29, came to the US in 2010, and married an Uzbek woman there। India marks 85th Indian Air Force Day। Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa says IAF working towards ‘Technology Intensive’ capability। For the first time, indigenous LCA Tejas takes part in IAF Day Flypast । IAF will issue RFI for 114 single engine combat aircraft within two weeks or so । RFI will go to Lockheed Martin for F 16 and Saab for Gripen for their latest variants । IAF aims to get 18 aircraft in 4-5 years, and 96 more in progressive manufacture from then onwards । Capability will be the first parametre for selecting the aircraft, and then the price । The selected aircraft will have more capabilities than those specified in the 2007 RfP for MMRCA । 18 aircraft will । IAF will consider General Atomics’ Predator C Avenger if offered by US Government। But, says Air Chief BS Dhanoa, no RFI or RFP issued yet by IAF yet। Government approves partial disinvestment in HAL। HAL initiates process for 10 percent disinvestment through Initial Public Offer (IPO)। Indian Army destroys NSCN (K) camps on Indo-Myanmar borders.। India says No to Troops Deployment in Afghanistan। India, US Entering a New Phase in Strategic Defence Partnership, says Nirmala Sitharaman। Mattis describes India as a Major Pillar of Regional Stability and Security। German Chancellor Wins 4th Term। First Scorpene submarine delivered to Navy। Named Kalvari, after India’s first Foxtrot class submarine, it will formally be commissioned very soon। India’s legend, Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh passes away।
November 20, 2017
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Ms Nirmala Sitharaman is the new Indian Defence Minister

Published: August 2017

New Delhi. Ms Nirmala Sitharaman is the new Defence Minister of the India, and the first woman to hold this highly important portfolio full time.


Before elevation to the Cabinet rank in the reshuffle on Sep 3, she was Minister of State for Commerce where she did deal with foreign governments and global defence companies but in the perspective of trade and commerce through joint ventures and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

The late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi also held the Defence portfolio, twice in fact, but only as additional charge.

Known for her oratory and pleasant demeanor, Ms Sitharaman will now be a member of the powerful Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the Prime Minister. Its other members are Ministers of External Affairs, Home, and Finance.

Ms Sitharaman will take charge of her new office after a few days, as the current Defence Minister Arun Jaitley was leaving for Tokyo (Sep 3) for a pre-scheduled dialogue on security matters in preparation for the coming visit here of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this month. “ It is a very important security dialogue between the two countries ahead of the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit and therefore changes are not advisable. I will continue for the next couple of days to complete the dialogue.”

Ms Sitharaman told newsmen that she was humbled by her recognition by the party (ruling BJP) “which overwhelms me.”

Her appointment in the Defence Ministry did come as a surprise though.

Looking at it, as they say, India is literally fielding double woman power in tackling the security challenges from neighbours particularly.

Defence and Diplomacy go together, and both these portfolios are now in the hands of two very able women.

Her senior colleague, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, has already been engaged in replying to the Chinese verbal assaults in the recent past over Beijing’s attempts to intrude into Doklam. It would be Ms Sitharaman’s job now to speed up the nearly paralyzed defence modernization and acquisition process to secure India’s future.

Mr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre continues to be Minister of State for Defence.




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