Monday, January 31, 2011

Time For New UN Conference On Laws Of Seas, Say International Experts

An international conference of the SLOCs (Sea Lines of Communication) Group here today called for a United Nations Laws of the Seas conference to safeguard the massive volume of trade through the seas.

The two-day 16th SLOCs Group conference, organised by Observer Research Foundation, focused on the need to have a fresh and inclusive look at the international law, including traditional concepts like the Freedom of Seas.

Delivering the keynote address here today, Vice Admiral (Retd) K.K. Nayyar said collective and cooperative security mechanisms are likely to be the norm rather than exception as the world move forward.

“Time has come for a new UN Law of the Seas conference,” Admiral Nayyar said pointing out that “unless and until that is done, a new law is considered with all the regulatory provisions that are essential, we are not going to succeed in safeguarding international trade at affordable costs.”

He cautioned that unless sea routes are regulated and safeguarded, ‘this disproportionate costs will have to be paid by all of us”.

“If there is no regulated traffic, there will be no adequate security for the traffic. And piracy and interference will affect the multi-million dollar shipping industry,” Admiral Nayyar said.

Calling for concrete and appropriate steps to safeguard sea routes, Admiral Nayyar said “we wait for disaster to happen or things go wrong” before taking the rights steps.

“In so far as security is concerned, despite the fact that conflicts and disputes can be seen more often in this region, non-traditional threats like terrorism and piracy remain the biggest challenge, particularly in the waters off Somalia,” he said.

“While regional and global cooperation to counter these menaces are already the order of the day, many challenges still need to be overcome,” Admiral Nayyar said.

Noting that non-state actors are already in play and even traffic Suez Canal has gone down 20 per cent because of fears of piracy, Admiral Nayyar said if piracy is hosted by failing or ungovernable States, Asia Pacific region is also going to have problems.

“The question is how to counter this. Sending Task Forces is not the answer. It is an untenable proposition,” Admiral Nayyar said, stressing that circumstances will force the world to regulate traffic either on the model of air traffic or any other model.

The conference has sessions on ‘global issues and challenges’, ‘regional trends in trade and shipping’, ‘response strategies’ and ‘the way forward’.

The conference is being attended by Judge Jin Hyun Paik (judge at International Tribunal Law for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany), Cdr. John Bradford (US Navy), Dr. Stanley Weeks (US), Andrew Forbes (Australia), Prof. Seok Woo Lee (South Korea), Prof. Joon Soo Jon (South Korea), Dr. Connie Rahakundini Bakrie (Indonesia), Capt. Laurene Lin (Taiwan), Mr. Nazery Khalid (Malaysia) and RAdm Kawamura (Japan).

From India, Capt. P.K. Ghosh (ORF), Ms. Lydia Powel (ORF), Prof. GVC Naidu, Cdr. D. Chakroborty and Amb. Leena Ponnapa presented papers. Security experts, maritime security analysts, academics, officials from the Indian Navy and other institutions took part in the discussions.


French Army Chief Arrives Before Aero India-2011


'Somalian Pirates Moving Closer To India, ICG Academy In 5 yrs, 42 New Stns By Next Year, Manpower-Biggest Constraint' : DG Coast Guard

UK Royal Naval Chief Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope Visits India


Sunday, January 30, 2011

INS Vindhyagiri Collides With Merchant Vessel During Family Day At Sea

An Indian naval ship INS Vindhyagiri, with family members of Navy personnel on board, today collided with a foreign merchant vessel at the Mumbai harbour, resulting in fire on the naval ship, Coast Guard officials said.

The incident occurred this evening when the family members of the Navy were celebrating "Day at Sea", they said, adding, there were no reports of casualty or oil spill.

According to an official, INS Vindhyagiri was returning to the dockyard while the merchant vessel was leaving Mumbai harbour when the two collided.


Photos : Nation Celebrates Martyrs Day At Rajghat


Indian Army Wins Offshore Sailing Race

The EME Sailing Association team of the Indian Army, won the Kochi- Lakshadweep- Kochi Offshore Sailing Race. The team from the Western Naval Command came second. The Race which was flagged off on 18th of this month, and held under the aegis of Offshore Sailing Club of India, tested the seafaring and seamanship skills of the crew to the extreme and had a course of 650 Km.

Vice Admiral KN Sushil Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command gave away the Cash Award and Trophy to the winning team, while Commodore K Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director Cochin Shipyard Limited gave away the Cash Awards and Trophy to the Runners Up. The Admiral in his address complimented the participants and promised more frequent ocean sailing races. Cochin Shipyard Limited was the title sponsors and the units of Southern Naval Command provided safety and administrative support.


Indian Navy Opens Fire To Thwart Piracy Attempt


Thursday, January 27, 2011

26/11 Martyr To Be Honoured Posthumously

26/11 martyr Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan will be honoured posthumously with the Maharashtrian 'Maharana Pratap Shaurya Puraskar' in Thane for his supreme sacrifice for the nation, to be received by his parents.

Operational Typhoons Achieve 100,000 Flying Hrs !!!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Post LTTE Collapse Sri Lankan Navy To Return Back Leased Indian Coast Guard OPV, ICGS Vigraha, This Month

As a first indicator of the return of stability in Sri Lanka after the collapse of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), the Sri Lankan Navy is all set to return back the Indian Coast Guard Ship, ICGS Vigraha, back to India, which it had hired in 2007, by the end of this month. Colombo had leased three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) from India, one of which it eventually bought. All three ships belonged to the Indian Coast Guard.

ICGS Vigraha was called SLNS Sayurala after it was commissioned into the Sri Lankan Navy in 2009, and will get back her original name after she joins the Indian Coast Guard.

The other OPV , ICGS Varaha, called SLNS Sagara in the Sri Lankan Navy, is undergoing refit and repair at the Kolkata-based GRSE.

Lt Gen Rath Found Guilty In Sukna Land Scam

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Friday, January 21, 2011

*Flash* : For First Time Serving Lt Gen Tried, Found Guilty In GCM, Three Out Of Four Charges Proven On Sukna Accused!

The 3 charges are : --- Gave a no objection certificate (NoC) to a private real estate developer--Dilip Agarwal.

--- Entered into a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the real estate developer.

--- And did not inform his Command headquarter-the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command of the NoC and the MoU issued, for the 72 acres of barren land, next to the cantonment area.

Dilip Agarwal is former MS Lt Gen Avdhesh Prakash's cousin.

Italian-Built Fleet Tanker INS Deepak Commissioned Into Indian Navy

INS Deepak, the first of the two Fleet Tankers to be built by M/s Fincanteri Shipyard, Italy, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai by the Honourable Raksha Mantri (RM), Shri AK Antony, today 21 Jan 11 at an impressive ceremony. The Naval Dockyard wore a festive look with all warships ships dressed overall with flags of different colours and shapes.

On arrival at the South Breakwater of the Naval Dockyard, the RM was received by Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, Chief of the Naval Staff, and Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. The Defence Minister was presented a 50-man Guard of Honour. At the commissioning ceremony which was held on the Helicopter deck of INS Deepak, the ships Commanding Officer, Captain VK Madhusoodanan, read out the commissioning warrant which was followed by the hoisting of the National flag and the Naval Ensign for the first time and breaking of the Commissioning pennant on the ships mast. The RM unveiled the Ship’s name plaque thus marking the formal induction of INS Deepak into the Indian Navy and the Western Fleet.

Addressing the gathering, the Defence Minister stated that our Navy has embarked on an ambitious shipbuilding programme to provide it with the required maritime assets to meet its mandate. “Indian defence shipyards are working to their full capacity to meet the country’s warship requirements” he said. “India’s continued presence in Indian Ocean waters necessitates pursuing our strategic and diplomatic interests for which a ship such as Deepak, with an ability to sustain the Indian fleets at sea for prolonged periods, is a vital asset to ensure Indian Navy’s continuous presence in our area of interest”, he added.

Designed by Fincanteri Shipyard specifically for the Indian Navy, this ship is one of the largest ships of the navy, 175 metres long, 25 metres wide and has a full load displacement of 27,500 tonnes. The ship has been designed, constructed and delivered in a record time of 27 months and is a second generation ship. The erstwhile Deepak, commissioned in Nov 1967 was decommissioned in Apr 1996 after a glorious 29 years of service in the navy.

She is of double hull configuration in keeping with the latest MARPOL and SOLAS regulations. Though INS Deepak is essentially a tanker it is a thoughtfully designed and versatile platform capable of a large number of roles. In addition to its traditional role of supplying fuel to ships at sea, the ship is also capable of transporting and supplying ammunitions, materials and provisions. It is also capable of undertaking Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations with its modern medical health facilities.

The Deepak class Fleet tankers will be the mainstay tankers/ support ships of the Indian Navy in the first half of the 21st century. The ship has a maximum draft of 9.1 m and displacement of 27000 tons of which a large percentage (17900 tons) is the cargo carrying capacity. This includes 15250 tons of fuel, 510 tons of solid cargo (including ammunition and spares) and 6 containers. The ship has a maximum speed of 20 knots and an endurance of 10,000 Nautical miles at a speed of 16 knots. The ship is equipped with four AK-630 guns for close defence supplied by Ordnance Factory Board and high–tech fire control system supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited. In addition the ship has sophisticated electronic surveillance and communication equipment supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited. The ship is also capable of carrying an integrated helicopter flight and can stage all helicopters being used by the Indian Navy.

The ship is specially designed to function as a command platform. The sensors and other equipment fitted onboard have a large percentage of indigenously manufactured components, especially the communication and Combat Information Management System. The ship has state -of -the art aviation facilities and can operate various types of helicopters from its deck including the Seaking and the indigenously manufactured ALH. The ship presently has a crew of 15 Officers and 182 sailors.

The commissioning of INS Deepak is a mile stone achievement for the navy as it would revolutionalise the combat support operations at sea and extend the reach of the naval power of the nation. The ceremony was also attended by HE Sanfilece Monteforte the Italian Ambassador in India, senior officials from the Indian Navy as well as the Italian Shipyard Fincantieri.