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India-Russia Deal: India Urges Russia To Expedite Delivery Of S-400 Missiles, Other Weaponry

India-Russia ties are being tested again as Indian Defence Minister is expected to urge Russia to fasten the arms deal and the delivery of lethal S-400 missile defence systems.

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India is expected to urge Russia to expedite the delivery of the S-400 missile defence system during defence minister Rajnath Singh’s to Russia. According to experts, India has again turned to Russia instead of the US amid growing tensions with China. 

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Russia has deferred delivery of lethal S-400 missiles to India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. China, which is also a strategic partner of Russia already has S-400 systems in its arsenal which can detect, track and destroy any hostile weaponry.

According to reports in ET, the Indian government has commenced the process of filling up gaps in defence readiness, stocking-up supplies and developing inventory profile based on worst-case scenarios, including a two-front conflict with China and Pakistan.

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Reports say that India is keen to explore if a faster delivery of S-400 missiles can be worked out, given the historical bond between India and Russia. Reliability of defence supplies is the other key concern on top of Rahnath Singh’s schedule.

The S-400s are one of Russia’s most sophisticated long-range surface to air missiles and arguably the most versatile in the world with over half a dozen types of surface to air missile each specialised in intercepting different types of targets at different ranges.

The S-400s makes use of an advanced cold launch system and is capable of guiding up to 160 missiles simultaneously and engaging up to 80 targets at a time – including combinations of ballistic and cruise missiles and all types of manned and unmanned aircraft.

The platform is prized for its advanced capabilities against stealth aircraft and will allow Indian air defences to threaten advanced next-generation jets fielded by China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force such as the Chengdu J-20 – as well as upcoming Pakistani stealth fighter being developed with China under Project AZM.

The report says that there are two concerns— one, accelerate the spares for existing Sukhoi and MiG fleets and second, gain a pledge that Indian supplies will not be affected in shifting political environment.

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Earlier, as widely reported, India has reportedly fast-tracked the process to acquire 33 fighter jets from Russia, which include MiG-29s and Su-30MKIs. The Indian Air Force has prepared the proposal which will be submitted for approval.

As per reports, India plans to acquire 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs from Russia. The deal is valued at around INR 5,500-6,000 crores.

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India is already securing a batch of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The first four Rafale jets are likely to arrive in India by the end of July. However, experts state that 36 Rafale jets will not be sufficient for a twin front attack from China and Pakistan.

Tom Cooper, an aviation expert, expressed astonishment that the Indian air force again desired of Su-30s and MiG-29s to meet its emergency requirement. The Su-30, while apparently awesome on paper, lacks performance and combat capability.

“Your air force has got 200 to 250 Su-30s,” Cooper wrote on Facebook. “Still, when you want to bomb a terrorist gang in the neighbouring country (Pakistan), you need almost 40-year-old Mirage 2000s, instead.”

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Those same Mirage 2000s had been crucial during the Kargil war in 1999. The Russian-made jets had struggled to hit Pakistani bases high in the mountains. But a single coordinated strike by Mirage 2000s hauling Litening camera pods and laser-guided bombs succeeded in hitting vital Pakistani headquarters.

Cooper says –  the Mirage 2000 has been more effective than the Su-30s. The Rafale, the French-made successor to the Mirage, likewise is among India’s better fighters. But the country has ordered just 36 Rafales.

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EurAsian Region

Azerbaijan-Armenia border clash: Azerbaijani soldiers killed in border clash with Armenia

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

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An armed incident occurred today on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Tovuz region. According to the press secretary of the Minister of Defense of Armenia – Shushan Stepanyan, Azerbaijani troops made an attempt to violate the state border in a UAZ car. 

Casualties are feared in Azerbaijan and Armenia in the border clash, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said. In a statement, it said that the Armenian army fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the Tovuz region.

Shushan said – after a warning from the Armenian side, the Azerbaijani servicemen, left the car and returned to their positions. However, the incident is not over yet.

After a short time, the Azerbaijani military opened artillery fire in an attempt to capture Armenian positions. However, in return fire, the enemy was thrown back, having suffered casualties, said Shushan.

There are no losses from the Armenian side while three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and four others injured in the border clash.

In a statement, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the Armenian army had fired at positions held by Azerbaijan in the northwestern Tovuz region.

“The attack by Armenia, with the use of artillery, against the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan, along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, constitutes aggression, an act of the use of force, and another provocation,” said Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy chief for Azerbaijan’s presidency.

He pointed out that Armenia launched the “offensive and a provocation during the time when the international community is fighting the COVID-19,” bashing Armenia’s support of a UN initiative for global cease-fire amid the pandemic as “nothing but hypocrisy.”

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Asia Pacific

Indian Rafale Jets Would Have Been Useless Against Chinese Airforce – Russia Experts

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Rafale jets would have been useless against the Chinese Airforce (PLAAF) – Russian aviation experts have claimed. Rafale fighter jets belong to the 4 ++ generation would not have been of much use had an aerial conflict broken out in Ladakh again the PLAAF.

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As reported by EurAsian Times, India and China had been engaged in a brutal conflict in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Troops of both countries have exchanged blows and even lost soldiers in the conflict that began more than a month ago.

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Keeping in mind the situation in Ladakh, France said that it would accelerate the delivery of Rafale fighter jets to India. Aviation experts believe that the arrival of Rafale fighter jets will significantly boost the combat capability of the Indian Air Force (IAF). However, according to Russian experts, who did not wish to be named, the French fighter would not help India much incase the conflict turns hot.

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The astronomical cost of Rafale fighter jets is one of the reasons the French 4++ fighter jet would not help India. In the deal struck with Paris, New Delhi agreed to purchase 36 Rafale Jets. The total cost of the deal was an estimated Rs 59,000 crore with each jet costing around Rs 1,646 crore.

The cost of a Rafale is about three times higher than the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jets. In other words, for 36 French-made Rafale fighters that will appear in the Indian Air Force, China can respond with three times as many of its fifth-generation J-20 fighters – for the same money.

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Even if, in some ways, the characteristics of the Chinese combat aircraft lag behind the French 4 ++ fighter jet, then the Indian air force could get overwhelmed by what is called “capable of crushing by quantity”.

And the cost is not the only reason why Rafale jets would not help India much. Compared to another Chinese jet – J-16 (an analogue of the Russian Su-35) which Beijing is also using in its airforce, the Rafale jets will find it extremely challenging to outgun the Russian Su-35s operated by the Chinese.

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The maximum speed of the Rafale jet is about Mach 1.8 and the J-16 is Mach 2.2. The Rafale’s practical ceiling is also lower than the J-16s. Even in engine thrust, the Chinese J-16s aka Russian Su-35s are far superior to the French combat aircraft.

Even if the IAF was to deploy all 36 of its newly acquired jets, the technical superiority would still be on the side of China, claims the Russian expert.

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The IAF has been on high alert in Ladakh and is closely monitoring all Chinese activity near the Line of Control.  As reported by EurAsian Times, New Delhi has inked a deal with Moscow to buy 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up-gradation of 59 MiG-29s. The addition and up-gradation of jets have been approved to strengthen India’s air power.

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The air defence systems of both the Indian Army and the IAF have been deployed in Ladakh to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there.

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EurAsian Region

Russian Technicians Keeping INS Vikramaditya Battle Ready Amid Flaring Regional Tensions

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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Russian technicians continue to provide maintenance to Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, despite the all the regional tensions and COVID-18 pandemic, Russian news agency TASS quoted a leading defence portal. 

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A group of Russian technicians who are supporting the Indian navy in providing timely maintenance for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya have not left the country.

Despite the delays with the carrier’s acceptance for service, INS Vikramaditya offers ample opportunities for India’s Navy and allows New Delhi to keep its domination in the Indian Ocean, the news portal said in its article.

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INS Vikramaditya is a heavy upgrade of the Russian aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov. The work on the ship’s heavy upgrade was carried out at the Sevmash Shipyard and the flattop was handed-over the Indian Navy on November 16, 2013.

Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2004, India received the Admiral Gorshkov’s hull for free but on condition of its upgrade at the Sevmash Shipyard and its outfitting with Russian-made aircraft.

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After its upgrade, INS Vikramaditya displaces 45,000 tonnes and possess a state-of-art flight deck and a ski-jump for aircraft take-offs, navigation and radar systems, communications and aircraft control technology and also other special equipment and assemblies.

INS Vikramaditya has a total of 22 decks and it has the ability to carry over 30 aircraft including MiG 29K/Sea Harrier, Kamov 31, Kamov 28, Sea King, ALH-Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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