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India, China to Resume Military Exercises

India and China will resume military exercises after a gap of four years. The announcement was made during a visit to New Delhi by the Chinese defense minister – the first such visit to India in eight years.




NEW DELHI — India and China will resume military exercises after a gap of four years. The announcement was made during a visit to New Delhi by the Chinese defense minister – the first such visit to India in eight years.

The decision to hold bilateral military exercises next year came during a meeting on Tuesday in the Indian capital.

The two countries held military exercises in 2007 and 2008, but they were suspended when India froze defense exchanges with China following Beijing’s denial of a visa to an Indian general.

But there has been a thaw recently. And the visit by Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie is being seen as a bid to put defense ties back on track, as Beijing prepares for a change of leadership.

The two countries decided to hold high-level official exchanges and boost security cooperation between their navies.

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony says they had “heart-to-heart” discussions.  “We have discussed how to improve our relations in all spheres including the border areas,” he said.

The Indian minister says he will visit China next year.

Chinese minister Liang said in an interview to an Indian newspaper that Beijing is willing to work with New Delhi to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas.

Although the relationship between the Asian giants has improved in recent years and trade is booming, mistrust continues to dog their ties.

Talks spanning nearly two decades have failed to resolve a long-running border dispute which led to a brief war in 1962.

India’s recent moves to explore oil in the South China Sea have not gone down well with Beijing. And India is concerned about China building military infrastructure along their common frontier.

New Delhi is also deeply suspicious about what it views as efforts by China to “encircle India” by gaining influence and building infrastructure in neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

“China has a major interest in the Indian Ocean region and therefore, as a consequence of securing its own interest, its own commercial interest, trade etcetera,. it will have a presence in this region. Of course, this will concern India, concern others,” stated Dipankar Banerjee, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi.

The Chinese defense minister sought to downplay Indian fears regarding its expanding influence in the Indian Ocean. Speaking in Sri Lanka before reaching India, he said that Beijing’s increasingly close ties with South Asia aim at ensuring “regional stability” and are not aimed at any third party.

VOA News


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Indian Navy to Host French Navy for Bilateral Exercise ‘Varuna’

In 2017, VARUNA was conducted in three sea areas in the European waters.



The Indian Navy and the French Navy have conducted bilateral maritime exercises since May 1993. Since 2001, the exercises have been named Varuna and there have been fifteen editions of the same till date. The last edition of Varuna was conducted off the French Coast in Apr 2017.

The conduct of Varuna and the special impetus on taking this Navy-to-Navy cooperative engagement forward was reiterated in the Joint Statement made by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, on the 10th of March 2018.

In 2017, Varuna was conducted in three sea areas in the European waters.

This year Varuna-18 would be conducted in three sea areas, namely, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and South Western Indian Ocean.

The first phase, being conducted in the Arabian Sea, will see the participation of a French submarine and frigate Jean de Vienne from the French side.

The Indian Naval participation will include the destroyer Mumbai, frigate Trikand with their integral helicopters, IN submarine Kalvari, P8-I and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, as well as the Mig 29K fighter aircraft.

The Varuna series of exercises have grown in scope and complexity over the years and provide an opportunity to both Navies to increase interoperability and learn from each other’s best practices.

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India Signs a Wide-Ranging Defence Agreement with Madagascar

The two countries will have a co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.



India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence. Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence.

An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries.

The two countries will have a co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar.

President Ram Nath Kovind held delegation level talks with his Madagascar counterpart in Anta-nana-rivo. President Kovind announced a donation of 1000 tonnes of rice and a cash grant of 2 million dollars towards multiple calamities relief in Madagascar.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Madagascar President Rajaonarimampianina jointly inaugurated Center for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development in Anta-nana-rivo. The Center has been fully financed by India.This will help Madagascar in getting information about there resources through geo-mapping.

Madagascar President thanked India for its continued support. The Madagascar President decorated President Ramnath Kovind with second highest civilian honour Grand Cross.

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Defence Ministry Approves Procurement of Entire Range of Personal Weapons for Three Services



BREAKING: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, met here today and accorded approval to Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Services and Coast Guard valued at approximately Rs 9435 crore.

In a major boost to the Make in India initiative, the DAC accorded approval for procurement of 41000 LMGs and over 3.5 Lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines under Buy and Make (Indian) category.

These weapons are an essential component of a soldier’s fighting equipment and will provide a major fillip to the fighting capability of the troops.  Out of total quantities envisaged, 75 percent will be through Indian Industry under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ category and balance through OFB.

See all the decisions in the gallery below:

The earmarked quantity for the  OFB has been kept to optimally utilise their infrastructure and capacity, as well as provide a window for assimilation of critical technologies towards building indigenous capability in Small Arms manufacturing.

The total cost for procurement of Carbines and LMGs for the soldiers of the three Services is Rs 4607 crore and Rs 3000 crore respectively.

The vintage of personal weapons, Assault Rifles Carbines and LMGs being operated by the troops of the three Services, especially by soldiers positioned on the borders and in areas affected by militancy has been a cause of concern for over a decade.

The Government has been conscious of the requirement to modernise basic fighting weapons for the soldiers and has therefore accorded utmost priority to these cases. With the approval of these two proposals, the Government has cleared procurement of the entire range of personal weapons for the three Services.

Of these, the immediate operational requirement for the soldiers deployed on the borders will be procured through Fast Track Procurement and for the balance production lines will be set up in India.

The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of essential quantity of High Capacity Radio Relay (HCRR) for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force under Buy (Indian) categorisation at an estimated cost of over Rs 1092 crore.

These state-of-the-art, High Capacity Radio Relays would provide the Services with fail-safe and reliable communication along with increased bandwidth in the Tactical Battle Area.

To enhance the ability of the Indian Coast Guard to rapidly undertake pollution control measures off the East Coast and Island Territories the DAC cleared the proposal for acquisition of two Pollution Control Vessels (PCV). These would be built by Indian shipyards under Buy (lndian-lDDM)’ category at an approximate cost of Rs 673 crore.

These ships in addition to carrying out pollution control would also be capable of undertaking patrolling, search and rescue and limited salvage and fire­ fighting operations at sea.

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