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[*] posted on 27-1-2019 at 05:21 PM


NS Kohassa – a New Bird’s Nest in the Andamans

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued Jan 24, 2019)

Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur was commissioned as INS Kohassa by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff today, on 24 Jan 19. The grand ceremony was attended by many dignitaries and senior officials including VAdm Bimal Verma, AVSM, ADC Commander-in-Chief, Andaman and Nicobar Command. The ceremony included presentation of Ceremonial Guard, hoisting of the Commissioning Pennant and reading of the Ship’s Warrant by the Commanding Officer, Commander Kuldeep Tripathi. INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey, endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

NAS Shibpur was established in 2001 as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for enhanced surveillance in North Andaman. The close proximity of Coco Islands (Myanmar) and wide expanse of Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) makes the base a very vital asset. The airfield provides sustained detached operations of Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard aircraft.

The Air Station presently operates Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft and helicopters. These aircraft undertake EEZ Surveillance, Anti-Poaching Missions, Search and Rescue (SAR) and Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions within the ANC Area of Responsibility.

As a point of interest, during the search operations of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Dornier DO 228s of the Navy and Coast Guard operated from this very base.

NAS Shibpur was identified by NITI Aayog as one of the ‘Early Bird’ project as part of holistic island development. Towards this, IN has been ready in all respects to facilitate civil flight operations from NAS Shibpur. The runway extension to 10,000 ft is also planned in the near future to facilitate operations of wide-bodied aircraft.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 5-2-2019 at 01:05 PM


Indian defence budget for FY 2019/20 increases marginally

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Defence Weekly

04 February 2019

India's federal government has announced a INR3.19 trillion (USD 44.6 billion) defence budget for fiscal year 2019/20 (FY 2019/20), which represents an increase of 6.87% or INR205.12 billion compared to the previous year.

However, military officers and Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials told Jane's that the increase, which was announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on 1 February, equals only 1.52% of India's GDP and is therefore "grossly insufficient" to "adequately" modernise the country's military.

They added that the increase in defence spending would be "largely counterbalanced" by the rapidly declining value of the Indian rupee and rising inflation.

"The government appears to have focused more on programmes that will help to re-elect it in the upcoming general elections than on allocating funds to modernise the defence forces," said Amit Cowshish, a former financial advisor for acquisitions at the MoD.

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[*] posted on 13-2-2019 at 11:35 AM


Indian military concerned about budget shortfall for modernisation programmes

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 February 2019

The Indian Navy (IN) and Indian Air Force (IAF) have expressed "grave concern" over what they describe as a "severe shortfall" of modernisation funds in India's defence budget for fiscal year 2019/20 (FY 2019/20).

The budget, which was announced on 1 February, allocates fewer funds to the IN and the IAF for modernisation than what these services already owe in terms of 'committed liabilities' - annual payment of instalments for previously acquired equipment - thus leaving no funds for materiel procurements and upgrades.

The IN, for instance, is set to receive INR231.56 billion (USD3.26 billion) as capital expenditure for FY 2019/20, while its outstanding balance for committed liabilities and various ongoing upgrade programmes amounts to INR254.61 billion, leaving a deficit of INR23.05 billion.

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[*] posted on 16-2-2019 at 09:16 AM


India warns Pakistan of ‘strong response’ after attack on paramilitaries in Kashmir

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Defence Weekly

15 February 2019


Dozens of Indian paramilitary personnel were killed on 14 February as a result of a suicide car bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir. Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to send a “strong response” to Pakistan, which he holds responsible for a suicide car bombing that took place on 14 February in Indian-administered Kashmir killing 44 paramilitary personnel and badly injuring at least 24 others.

“I want to tell the terrorist organisations and their patrons that they have committed a huge mistake, and will pay a huge price for it,” Modi said on 15 February. Speaking immediately after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which included India’s military chiefs, the prime minister added that the country’s security forces have been given “full freedom” to respond to the attack, but did not elaborate.

The announcement came after Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for attacking the paramilitary convoy at Awantipora on the outskirts of Kashmir’s summer capital, Srinagar.

More than 2,700 paramilitary personnel from India’s Central Reserve Police Force were travelling to Srinagar in a 78-vehicle convoy, when a 22-year-old suicide bomber crashed a car loaded with more than 60 kg of explosives into one of the buses that was stationary in traffic.

Arun Jaitley, a senior minister in the Modi administration, pointed out that India would take all possible measures to ensure Pakistan’s “complete diplomatic isolation”. This would include India scrapping the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ trade privileges it had extended to Pakistan for several years, he said.

However, analysts, pointed out that this revocation is unlikely to have a meaningful effect on Pakistan, as its annual bilateral trade with India amounts to about USD2 billion.

In a further reaction, India’s Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood to protest about the attack and demand that Islamabad take “verifiable action” against the JeM. India also recalled Ajay Bisaria, its High Commissioner in Islamabad, for “consultations”, officials said.

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[*] posted on 26-2-2019 at 10:16 AM


Indian threat to restrict Pakistani water supply indicates pursuit of broader measures against Pakistan, including FATF blacklisting

Asad Ali and Deepa Kumar - Jane's Intelligence Weekly

25 February 2019


Indian demonstrators burn a Pakistani flag during a protest in New Delhi on 17 February 2019, after an attack on a paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force convoy in the Lethapora area of Kashmir. Source: Ajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

India's water resources minister, Nitin Gadkari, said on 21 February that the Indian government would restrict flows of excess river water to Pakistan as per the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. The move is the latest punitive measure by the Indian government, which has accused Pakistan of involvement in the 14 February suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack by Kashmiri separatists in Pulwama that killed 40 Indian soldiers. Pakistan has denied the allegations. India's first action against Pakistan following the 14 February attack was to withdraw its Most Favoured Nation status targeting two-way bilateral trade, which totalled almost USD2.2 billion in 2017.

Indian military casualties are creating pressure on the Indian government to respond, although any military retaliation would probably be limited to contained exchanges of fire near the Line of Control (LoC). We assess that neither India nor Pakistan are eager to escalate military confrontations, and both countries in any case lack the means to achieve a decisive outcome in the disputed Kashmir region. Although artillery and small-arms skirmishes between the Indian and Pakistani militaries across the LoC in Kashmir will increase in frequency in the coming weeks, this is unlikely to satisfy growing domestic Indian demand for meaningful action against Pakistan. India is also unlikely to retaliate by staging a rare and high-risk cross-border raid against suspected Kashmiri separatist bases in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Such a raid would risk unintended military escalation with Pakistan, while a failed operation would likely be very politically damaging to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the upcoming Indian general election scheduled in April-May 2019.

India is likely to pursue economic measures against Pakistan, probably intensifying pressure for Pakistan's 'blacklisting' on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). India's targeting of bilateral trade is unlikely to have a meaningful impact on either the Indian or Pakistani economies.

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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 12:22 PM


India conducts airstrikes against militant training camps in Pakistan

Caron Natasha Tauro, Bangalore and Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - Jane's Defence Weekly

26 February 2019

The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted airstrikes against militant training camps in Pakistan on 26 February, the Indian and Pakistani governments have announced, marking the first time since the 1971 war between India and Pakistan that IAF combat aircraft have crossed the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries.

The strikes targeted training camps run by Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) jihadists in Balakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan and were ordered in response to a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack (SVBIED) on 14 February, which killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama, Kashmir.

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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 05:22 PM


Balakot: India ‘Strikes Kashmir Militants in Pakistani Territory' (excerpt)

(Source: BBC; posted Feb 26, 2019)


A formation of 12 Indian Air Force Mirage 2000H fighters struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan this morning using GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, and supported by AEW&C and tanker aircraft and Heron UAVs, according to local media. (Indian AF file photo)

India says it launched air strikes against Kashmiri militants in Pakistani territory in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.

A top Indian minister said strikes targeted a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group in Balakot.

Pakistan said it scrambled fighter planes in response.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been strained since a suicide attack earlier this month that killed more than 40 Indian troops.

India accuses Pakistan of allowing militant groups to operate on its territory and says it played a role in the 14 February attack - claims that Pakistan denies.

Tuesday's strikes are the first launched across the line of control - the de facto border that divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir - since a war between the two countries in 1971.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told a news conference that the strikes had killed a "large number" of militants, including commanders, and had avoided civilian casualties.

"Credible intel [intelligence] was received that JeM was planning more suicide attacks in India. In the face of imminent danger, a pre-emptive strike became absolutely necessary," he said.

Quote:

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor
✔ @OfficialDGISPR

Indian aircrafts intruded from Muzafarabad sector. Facing timely and effective response from Pakistan Air Force released payload in haste while escaping which fell near Balakot. No casualties or damage.

(I've seen the videos, and the missiles hit both people and camps)

41.4K 9:36 AM - Feb 26, 2019 Twitter Ads info and privacy 22.2K people are talking about this


(end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the BBC website.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47366718

(ends)

Statement by Foreign Secretary on 26 February 2019 Strike on JeM Training Camp at Balakot

(Source: Indian Ministry of External Affairs; issued Feb 26, 2019)

On 14 February 2019, a suicide terror attack was conducted by a Pak based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammad, leading to the martyrdom of 40 brave jawans of the CRPF. JeM has been active in Pakistan for the last two decades, and is led by MASOOD AZHAR, with its headquarters in Bahawalpur.

This organization, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible of a series of terrorist attacks including on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

Information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time. Pakistan, however, denies their existence. The existence of such massive training facilities capable of training hundreds of jihadis could not have functioned without the knowledge of Pakistan authorities.

India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to take action against the JeM to prevent jihadis from being trained and armed inside Pakistan. Pakistan has taken no concrete actions to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism on its soil.

Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary.

In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by MAULANA YOUSUF AZHAR (alias USTAD GHOURI), the brother-in-law of MASOOD AZHAR, Chief of JeM.

The Government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism. Hence this non-military preemptive action was specifically targeted at the JeM camp. The selection of the target was also conditioned by our desire to avoid civilian casualties. The facility is located in thick forest on a hilltop far away from any civilian presence. As the strike has taken place only a short while ago, we are awaiting further details.

The Government of Pakistan had made a solemn commitment in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India. We expect that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment and takes follow up actions to dismantle all JeM and other camps and hold the terrorists accountable for the actions.

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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 06:47 PM


I saw a news article that Indian Air Force aircraft were shot down today. I'm looking for more info on it.



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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 07:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
I saw a news article that Indian Air Force aircraft were shot down today. I'm looking for more info on it.


Pakistan has released images of the two alleged shot down Indian 'fighters'.

One is actually a helicopter and the other is a MiG-27 that crashed in 2016...

There is some 'face' saving going on...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 08:15 PM


Appears Pakistan has managed to down a single Indian Air Force MiG-21, allegations are this MiG-21 was within Indian air space...



In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 10:09 PM


India confirms loss of MiG-21 in Pakistan skirmish

27 FEBRUARY, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: DOMINIC PERRY LONDON

India's foreign ministry has confirmed that one of its air force's Mikoyan MiG-21 fighters has been shot down amid escalating tensions with its neighbour, Pakistan.

In a televised statement, a foreign ministry official said Pakistan had launched an incursion into Indian airspace "targeting military installations" in the disputed region of Kashmir on 27 February.


Farooq Khan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

"But due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully. The Pakistan air force was detected and the Indian air force responded immediately."

During the aerial engagement that followed, one aircraft from each side was shot down, the official says.

"The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side [of the border]," he says.

Pakistan claims to have captured the Indian pilot – identified on social media as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan – and to have also shot down another aircraft.

New Delhi is "still ascertaining the facts" in the case, the foreign ministry official says.

Islamabad's action was a retaliation for air strikes conducted the previous day by India against alleged militant training camps on the Pakistani side of the border.
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 10:23 PM


Quote:
"But due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan's attempts were foiled successfully. The Pakistan air force was detected and the Indian air force responded immediately."


By getting immediately shot down. in their POS MiG-21's, going up against Block 52, F-16's... :lol:




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 10:28 PM


Why TF they have any MiG 21's on that border is beyond me.................
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[*] posted on 27-2-2019 at 11:59 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
Why TF they have any MiG 21's is beyond me.................


Fixed...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 2-3-2019 at 03:36 PM


India, Pakistan look to ease tensions after dogfights over Kashmir’s LoC

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi and Peter Felstead, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

01 March 2019


An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 drops freefall bombs during the 'Vayu Shakti 2019' firepower demonstration at the IAF's range in Pokhran, Rajasthan, on 16 February. Ten days later Indian Mirage 2000s were dropping ordnance in a live operation over Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Source: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Key Points

- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the release of an IAF pilot downed over Kashmir
- Indian and Pakistani fighters clashed over Kashmir's Line of Control after Indian aircraft conducted an airstrike on a militant camp inside Pakistani territory on 26 February

India and Pakistan appeared to be stepping back from the brink of open conflict at the time of writing, with Pakistan handing over an Indian pilot on 1 March who was captured following the first dogfights over the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries in Kashmir since 1971. A long-established protocol prohibits fixed-wing aircraft from both countries from operating within 10 km of the LoC without informing the other side beforehand.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said the release of the Indian pilot, identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was a "peace gesture" intended to de-escalate the situation.

The series of hostile actions were initially sparked by a suicide car bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir on 14 February that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary personnel and badly injured at least two dozen others. In response, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted airstrikes against militant training camps in Pakistan on 26 February, marking the first time that IAF combat aircraft had crossed the LoC in Kashmir since the 1971 conflict.

The airstrikes targeted an alleged militant camp in Balakot, 50 km from the LoC in Pakistan's northwestern Pakhtunkhwa province. Indian sources stated the camp was occupied by the Islamist Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group, which had claimed responsibility for the suicide car bombing.

Then, on 27 February, a spokesman for Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor, tweeted that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had shot down two IAF fighters after they strayed into Pakistani airspace, with one of the pilots captured.

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[*] posted on 8-3-2019 at 09:34 PM


Indian army to be deeply reformed

POSTED ON FRIDAY, 08 MARCH 2019 08:35

In a major move, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved the first batch of reforms in the Army which include relocation of 229 officers from the Army headquarters, creation of a new post of deputy chief for military operations and strategic planning, and setting up new wings for vigilance and human rights issues, official sources said Thursday, reported by The Economic Times.

Finalised after twelve independent studies, the transformative reforms in the Army are being implemented to make the 1.3 million-strong force leaner and meaner as well as to enhance its combat capabilities. The Defence minister has approved the first batch of long-pending reform measures in the Army. The number of officers being moved out is 20 per cent of the total officers in the Army headquarters in the national capital, and they be deployed in forward locations along the borders with China and Pakistan.

The post of Deputy Chief of the Army Staff Strategy DCOAS (Strategy) is being created to deal with military operations, military intelligence, strategic planning and operational logistics. At present, the DG (Military Operations) and the DG (Military Intelligence) report to the Army Chief.

The Defence minister also approved creation of a new information warfare wing in keeping the needs of the future battlefield, hybrid warfare and social media reality, the sources said.

The government has approved merging of the separate verticals of the DCOAS (planning and strategy) and the Master General Ordnance (MGO) into one office of the DCOAS (Capability Development and Sustenance). "Towards the Army's capability based modernisation needs, this would synergise and coalesce all revenue and capital spending under one organisation and effectively prioritise competing requirements with an operational focus to get better value for funds allocated by the government," said a senior Army official.

Sources reported by The Economic Times said the government has also approved the creation of two new branches to deal with vigilance and human rights issues, reflecting the Army's commitment to probity and transparency. Both the branches will be headed by Major General rank officers. The new ADG, Vigilance will function directly under the Chief of Army Staff and the new ADG Human Rights will function under the VCOAS. the ADG (Vigilance) will also have a new Vigilance Investigation Unit under him, the sources said.

The reform initiatives were finalised by top commanders of the Army in October last year to usher in transformative reforms in the force.

The reforms will also include restructuring the Army's officer cadre, bringing down age of key commands, arresting rising revenue expenditure and "right-sizing" the force.

The Army headquarters had instituted four studies with an overall aim to enhance the operational and functional efficiency of the force, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate modernisation and address aspirations.

The first study on 're-organisation and right-sizing of the Indian Army' was focused on the operational structures to make the force efficient and future-ready by taking into account the operational situation on western and northern borders, the spokesperson said.

The second study was on 're-organisation of the Army headquarters with an aim to bring in "integration and preclude the redundancies".

The third study was on 'cadre review of officers' and its focus was to recommend how to carry out reorganisation and restructuring to meet the aspirations of the officers' cadre.

The fourth study on 'review of terms of engagement of rank and file' was aimed at harnessing the higher life expectancy and ensuring younger profile of key commands and motivation of the personnel.
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[*] posted on 21-3-2019 at 09:23 AM


American weapons and parachutes for Indian special forces

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 20 MARCH 2019 13:50

India has decided to buy US-made assault rifles, ammunition, parachutes and several other specialised equipments for its special forces. Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is going to chair an important meeting where the proposal to buy this equipment will be discussed, the Indian News Agency reports.


Indian special forces of the Parachute Regiment armed with Israeli IWI Gtar-21 rifles (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Defense Minister will hold discussions over several types of equipment including assault rifles, ammunition and free fall parachutes for the Special Forces units of the Parachute Regiment of the Army. “If the proposal goes through, the equipment would be acquired from the United States in a government-to-government deal under the Foreign Military Sales route,” the ministry said.

The Indian Army already has American M4A1 carbines, which are used extensively by security forces in counter-terrorism operations. The government is also planning to equip the Special Forces with the same Belgian FN Herstal rifles that are currently used by the Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister. This unit is armed with FN Herstal F2000 and P90 rifles, IWI, Gtar-21 (Tavor) rifles, HK MP5 submachine guns, FN Herstal Five-seven and Glock 17 or Glock 19 pistols (uniformed officers and special agents).

In February, the Defense Ministry had inked a deal to procure 72,400 7.6mm Sig Sauer assault rifles under fast-track procedures for the infantry. The Sig Sauer assault rifles are already being used by armed forces in the US and several European countries. The Defense Ministry has asked the US firm to deliver the rifles within a year. The Indian Army will receive a bulk – 66,400 – of the assault rifles, while the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will get 4,000 and 2,000 rifles respectively.
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