New Delhi, Aug 19 : India has successfully test-fired indigenously designed and developed long-range precision-guided anti-airfield bomb that was dropped from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
The Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) system was successfully tested at the Chandan firing range in Rajasthan. A total of three tests with different release conditions were conducted from August 16 to 18, a defence spokesperson said.
"The weapon system was integrated with live warhead and destroyed the targets with high precision. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events. All the mission objectives have been achieved."
The 120-kg class smart weapon is capable of destroying ground targets using precision navigation up to a range of 100 km. It is capable of destroying runways, bunkers, aircraft hangers and other reinforced structures.
The guided bomb is considered to be one of the world-class weapons systems, developed by state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the IAF and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
The bomb, which is said to have higher precision and much cheaper compared with missiles, can be carried on IAF's various aircraft like Jaguar and MiG.
The weapon has so far undergone eight developmental trials and performance of the system for different ranges under multiple launch conditions has been demonstrated.
Senior officials from DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the IAF participated and witnessed the flight tests.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the DRDO, IAF and HAL on the successful tests for further boosting the defence capabilities of the country.
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Hong Kong, Oct 25: Amnesty International said Monday it would close its two offices in Hong Kong this year, becoming the latest non-governmental organization to cease its operations amid a crackdown on political dissent in the city.
The human rights group said its local office in Hong Kong would close this month while its regional office will close by the end of the year, with regional operations moved to other offices in the Asia-Pacific region.
This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong's national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty's board, said in a statement.
Hong Kong implemented a sweeping national security law in 2020 following months of massive anti-government protests. The law outlaws secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign collusion to intervene in the city's affairs. More than 120 people, many of them supporters of the city's democracy movement, have been arrested under the law.
The majority of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists are behind bars for taking part in unauthorized assemblies, and dozens of political organizations and trade unions have ceased operations out of concern for their members' personal safety under the security law.
Bais said the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signaled authorities were intensifying their campaign to rid the city of dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment, she said.
Critics in Hong Kong say the national security law is an erosion of freedoms, such as those of expression and assembly, that were promised the city for 50 years when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.