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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

From Today's Papers - 28 Oct 2015

China frets as US ship enters disputed waters
Beijing, October 27
The Chinese Navy today had its first major face-off with a US warship after it ignored Beijing’s warning and sailed close to artificial islands China is building in the disputed South China Sea, prompting China to denounce the incident as a “threat” to its sovereignty.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed “strong discontent” and “resolute opposition” over a US warship patrol near “Zhubi (Subi) Reef”, which is part of “Nansha” Islands in the South China Sea also known as Spratly Islands, claimed by China.

China’s angry reaction came after Pentagon said USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island Beijing is building in the Spratly Islands without the permission of the Chinese government.

“This action by the US threatens China’s sovereignty and security interests, endangers the safety of personnel and facilities in the reef, and harms regional peace and stability,” ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a media briefing here.

The US warship was monitored, tracked and issued with warning, Lu said declining to provide details of how many Chinese vessels were involved in the face-off with the US destroyer, the first after US asserted that its naval ships and planes will sail and fly through the South China Sea to assert freedom of navigation.

“Make no mistake, the US will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, as we do around the world, and the South China Sea will not be an exception,” US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has warned during his recent Australia tour.

China claims sovereignty over almost the whole of the South China Sea, which transit some of the busiest sea lanes in the world and is believed to sit atop a vast amount of oil wealth. — PTI
India, Sri Lanka begin joint naval exercise
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
Cashing in on the overtures of the 10-month-old “pro-India” regime in Sri Lanka, India has commenced a naval exercise in the neighbouring county and that, too, at the strategically vital port of Trincomalee on the East Coast of the island.

The busiest sea lanes of communication (SLOC’s) pass close by and the port is natural deep-water harbour. China has been trying for long to find a toe-hold at the port to have some presence as its entire ship-borne crude oil supplies originating in the Persian Gulf pass through the same SLOC. India found a small toe-hold in March this year. The naval exercise will cement the ties, sources said.

“The Indian and Sri Lankan Navies would undertake the 4th edition of Sri Lanka-India Exercise (SLINEX) off Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, from October 27 to November 1,” Indian Navy spokesperson Capt DK Sharma said today. This is the fourth such naval exercise between the two countries since 2005.

Indian naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri, along with ship-borne integral helicopters, entered Trincomalee today to participate in the exercise.
ITBP to deploy women along China border
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 27
For the first time, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which is deployed along the tough, mountainous terrains along the India-China frontier, will use its women personnel in combat roles.

ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary today said 512 women constables of the general duty (GD) cadre or the fighting arm were being trained to be deployed at border outposts (BOPs) across the frontier, at altitudes reaching more than 18,000 feet from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

They will reach their new postings by the next summer. The ITBP will also ensure at least half the strength of BOPs comprised women personnel.

“It will be odd if for example, two women constables are sent to a BOP where there are 40 men,” said an ITBP officer. Facilities such as toilets for the women personnel will also be constructed at the BOPs, where they will be deployed.

The ITBP is also in talks with the Union Public Service Commission to start recruiting women officers in the GD cadre starting from the rank of Assistant Commandant, the DG said. This will allow women officers to command their own units comprising 1,000 personnel.

“When we recruited women constables there were a lot of reservations among senior force commanders about how effective and comfortable they will be. But I have ensured that women personnel are going to be deployed shoulder to shoulder with men,” he said.
Army officer, 2 Hizb militants killed in Kashmir encounter
A senior Army officer said the operation was launched based on specific information about the militants’ presence in the area.
Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants and an Army officer were killed in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday.

Police said the slain militants were working under Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

The Army and Special Operations Group of the police launched an operation in Drabgam village in Pulwama on Monday evening and called it off on Tuesday morning.

A senior Army officer said the operation was launched based on specific information about the militants’ presence in the area.
Gopalpur to Have Odisha's First Defence Manufacturing Unit Under Make-In-India Scheme

BALASORE: The State is going to have its first defence manufacturing industry soon. The unit to come up under the 'Make in India' programme will be established in the Tata Steel’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Gopalpur in Ganjam district.

Defence sources said the defence unit is being set up by Sure Safety Solutions (SSS), a Mumbai-based firm in collaboration with Meggitt Defence Systems Limited, a UK-based international aerospace, defence and performance sensors group. SSS develops and integrates products and solutions in the field security, surveillance, defence simulators, aerial and surface targets, UAVs, and other technology driven products required for the modernization of armed forces and combating insurgency.

It has an agreement with Meggitt for the engineering of extreme environment components and smart sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets. The firm has been provided land for the state-of-the-art facility for manufacturing of aerial target systems in the Special Economic Zone. An official of SSS said groundbreaking ceremony for the industry will be held at Gopalpur on Wednesday which is expected to be attended by Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra.

Last year the SSS had supplied Banshee Jet 80 aerial targets for the test-launching of the indigenously developed surface-to-air medium range supersonic missile Akash from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea. The target’s performance was appreciated as the missile hit it successfully.

Banshee Jet 80 is an aerial target for surface-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems. The aerial vehicle is designed to float for overwater operations recovery. This latest version is fitted with twin, 40-Kg thrust gas turbine engines giving a total of 80-kg of static thrust.

This aerial target, considered as best in the world in its class, has been inducted in the Indian army and navy. At least 44 countries are using this vehicle as target. It is expected the firm would manufacture components and sub-systems for the aerial target. Sources maintained that the defence firm finds Gopalpur suitable for its plant due to its vast test range. “There is an Army Air Defence College at Gopalpur and it has an ideal test facility for aerial targets. The place suits the requirements. The SSS is expected to produce quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicles used for surveillance and exploration,” the source said.

Apart from being a manufacturing unit for unmanned aerial targets, this industry will also support in supplying the Meggitt's orders from the Indian armed forces for aerial targets.

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