The PLA has upgraded Hotan air base in Xinjiang and Nyingchi air base in Tibet. Both bases are just across the LAC in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh respectively with the PLA deploying S-400 squadrons to protect them from Indian aerial threat.
It is with 9 hours in advance that the projection of the Air Force composed of 3 Rafale and 2 A330 MRTT Phénix landed in Papeete. A mission that lasted 39 hours and 8 minutes instead of the 48 planned ...
Even before landing, the arrival of the Rafales seems eagerly awaited by the Tahitians. The local press even mentions a July 14 for the Archipelago. On the outskirts of Faaa international airport all the neighbors are on their balconies. The runway personnel stopped work and even the air traffic controllers left their towers to watch the show. The Rafale landed after the arrival of the first Phoenix, but according to a combat procedure, landing one after the other every 30 seconds.
What the press does not yet know is that the Heifara mission is not just a logistical demonstration, it is above all a spectacular combat mission. At the time of the necessary stopover the day before at the US Air Force base in Travis, the briefing was clear "An opposing nation is contesting the sovereignty of France and its freedom of movement by installing the first fruits in the Polynesian archipelago. of a future prohibition bubble. In this now highly contested space, the political power followed the recommendations of the CPCO. And the CDAOA of Lyon gave us the order to proceed with its destruction ... We have 3 Rafale, therefore 6 Scalp cruise missiles. The risk of the assignment is classified as “HIGH”.So during this crossing of the Pacific which will last 9 hours if we lose in the second part of the journey a Rafale forced to ejection we continue the mission, if we lose a supply tank we continue the mission ”… All the hypotheses of incidents are then methodically evoked during a "What If" session and meticulously processed.
The crews and their mechanics arrive before 4 a.m. After a first flight of 12 hours in a row, a record, restarting the engines is critical. The detachment holds its breath because the slightest engine failure would compromise the mission. But the logistics of the US Air Force forgot the rations of the pilots, too bad, the non-commissioned officers of the Phoenix command organize the collection to make up for it. While in the cockpit, we are busy testing a new command system that will allow the CPCO to follow in an ultra-secure manner from Paris all the stages of the most critical part of the mission. No incident is to be deplored and the imperturbable device pursues its destination at a rapid pace, because time control in battle is the key.After the sixth and last refueling and more than 8 hours of flight in the same position and a time difference of 12 hours, the Rafale pilots grouped for several minutes around the Phénix C2, abruptly left the detachment, overhanging it by ten meters, before "breaking" down to the left in a lightning acceleration which causes them to disappear in less than 4 seconds. The lightning raid has begun, and will lead them to strike at more than 250 km the anti-aircraft defense systems installed in violation of international law. If no weapons were fired, all electromagnetic stealth, targeting and engagement procedures were followed to the letter. Intrigued by this unique operating mode, more than 17,000 km from France,the American authorities have asked the command of the Heifara mission to debrief them on the way back, which will take them to Hawaii and then to Langley.
India on Thursday said discussions are going on with the US on the S-400 missile defence deal, a day after US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman expressed unease over New Delhi's procurement of the Russian weapons system.
"This has been under discussion between our two countries for some time. It was raised and we have discussed it and explained our perspective. And discussions on this are ongoing," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
He was replying to a question on Sherman's comments on Wednesday on the India-Russia deal.
Sherman, on a three-day visit to India, told journalists that any decision on possible sanctions on the S-400 deal will be made by President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The issue of India procuring the S-400 missile system from Russia figured in Sherman's wide-ranging talks with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday and both sides hoped to find a way out on the issue through dialogue.
"We've been quite public about any country that decides to use the S-400. We think that is dangerous and not in anybody's security interest. That said, we have a strong partnership with India," Sherman said.
"We want to be very thoughtful about the ways ahead, and discussions between our countries try to solve problems and I hope we will be able to in this instance as well," she said.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary on Tuesday said that the first batch of S-400 missile defence system will arrive in India from Russia by this year.
The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for the purchase of S-400 missile defences from Russia.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.
India made the first tranche of payment of around USD 800 million to Russia for the missile systems in 2019. The S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
Following US sanctions on Turkey, there have been apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures against India.
2 Comments Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said in April that both Russia and India do not recognise bilateral sanctions as they are "illegal tools" of "unlawful and unfair" competition and pressure.