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Latest Indian Defence News
India, Maldives Step up Defence Ties
India and Maldives have agreed to step up their Defence ties with a slew of measures, including basing Indian Dhruv helicopter in Male for two more years, training to Maldivian air force personnel and deploying Indian warships to secure Maldivian waters and exclusive economic zone. The two sides also agreed to work closely towards stability and ensure maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. At a high level meeting between Indian Defence Minister AK Antony and his Maldivian counterpart Colonel (Retd) Mohamed Nazim in Male, the two sides decided to "maintain close cooperation" in unitedly fighting against challenges of terrorists and non-state actors. Antony is on a three-day official visit to Maldives.
HAL Issues Tender to BAE Systems for 20 more Hawk Planes
India's Defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has issued a tender to British aerospace major BAE Systems for a potential order for supplying products and services for building an additional 20 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs). These 20 of these AJTs will go to the Indian Air Force's (IAF) Surya Kiran aerobatics team that was recently temporarily disbanded after its Kiran MkII planes were diverted towards rookie pilots training. The AJTs will replace the fleet of indigenous, HAL-built Kiran MkII of Surya Kiran when they are finally supplied by 2015. The 20-plane order, expected to be worth over $500 million, is the third Hawk order placed by India on BAE Systems in the last eight years.
India's Central Minister Joins Citizen's Army as Lieutenant
India's junior minister for telecommunications and information technology in the central government, Sachin Pilot, has joined the country's volunteer citizen's army called the Territorial Army (TA) as a regular officer. Fulfilling his dream of donning an Indian military union, Pilot was recruited in the rank of a Lieutenant in the 124 TA Battalion of the Sikh regiment and his ranks were pipped by Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh and the young minister's mother Rama Pilot here at a ceremony. This the junior pilot follows in the footsteps of his father, Rajesh Pilot, who was a fighter pilot and a Squadron Leader in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India to Continue Extending Training Facilities to Singapore Air Force
India will continue to extend facilities to Singapore to continue training of its air force pilots at a facility in Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal. An agreement to extend the arrangement for another five years was signed by India and Singapore during the three-day visit of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to India. The deal was inked by Indian Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Singapore Permanent Secretary for Defence Chiang Chie Foo after Lee held talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
IAF to Turn Kargil Airfield in Kashmir Into an Air Force Base
In a move that may upset India’s neighbours, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to convert the airport at Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into a full-fledged air force base. The J&K government has announced that the IAF will be making an air force base in Kargil and the issue of land allocation is being sorted currently. IAF will operate medium, heavy-lift as well as combat aircraft from Kargil in the near future. According to the J&K government, the Kargil airport is to be extended by 1,500 feet to create an IAF base and the Indian Defence Ministry will be assigned with this work.
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