Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MMRCA-Rafale: Statement By The President Of The French Republic

The President of the French Republic has learned of India’s selection of the Rafale for the acquisition by the Indian Air Force of 126 fighter aircrafts.

France is pleased with the Indian government’s decision to select the French aircraft to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault.

This announcement comes at the end of a very high-level, fair and transparent competition involving two European finalists.

The Rafale has been selected thanks to the aircraft’s competitive life-cycle costs, after the April 2011 pre-selection on the basis of its top-level operational performance.

The negotiation of the contract will begin very soon and has the full support of the French authorities. It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government.

The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India./.

(31 January, 2012)

*Flash* : Yes, Rafale Wins!! ..Finally!!

Dassault Aviation's Rafale is MMRCA's lowest bidder. Commercial negotiation to begin now, and will take some time before the deal is inked.

35th Indian Coast Guard Anniversary --- ‘Focussed On Maritime Safety & Security’

The Indian Coast Guard is celebrating its 35th anniversary tomorrow. Since its inception, the service has grown into a multi-faceted and vibrant force, maintaining ‘round the clock’ vigil in the Maritime Zones of India, by deploying its multi-role ships and aircraft.

Beginning with a modest inventory of two ex-naval frigates, the service today boasts of a force-level of 68 ships and 52 aircraft. During the past year, one ship, four interceptor boats, four Dornier aircraft and two Chetak helicopters have been commissioned into service, in addition to the establishment of six CG Stations and two Air Enclaves.

The Indian Coast Guard today, is on a path of rapid expansion, as a large number of state-of-art ships, boats and aircraft are under-construction at various shipyards/PSUs. The service is expected to attain a force-level of 77 surface platforms and 56 aircraft by end 2012. The Coast Guard will also have 42 CG Stations, four Air Stations and 11 Air Enclaves functioning all along the coast, by the end of 2012.

On the manpower front, the service has initiated several measures to augment its manpower viz. introduction of short service appointment for women officers and CPL holders, increase in number of recruitment centres, departmental promotions of outstanding Subordinate Officers and conduct of special recruitment drives.

As far as CG operations are concerned, an average of 18 ships and five aircraft are tasked daily, to keep the vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and coastline under constant surveillance. Further, the establishment of Coastal Surveillance Network (CSN) is being progressed to boost the surveillance capabilities along the coastline. 46 CSN Stations are being set-up under Phase-I of the project.

Coastal Security has been on the fore-front of CG operations for the past few years. Today, Coast Guard stations and coastal marine police stations are functioning as ‘Hub and Spoke’ for information outflow. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for coastal security of all the coastal States / Union Territories have been promulgated by the Indian Coast Guard. Synergy amongst various stake-holders is achieved by conduct of regular exercises and operations, and subsequent review of the SOPs. 17 such exercises and 19 operations have been conducted during the last one year.

The service has also formed a bond with fishermen, by conducting regular community interaction programmes, so that they act as ‘eyes and ears’ for coastal security. About 400 such community interaction programs have been conducted since Jan 2011. Provisioning of biometric identity cards for fishermen and uniform registration of fishing boats for precise identification at sea, is under progress.

Search and Rescue operations within the Indian Search and Rescue Region are undertaken by the Indian Coast Guard. Professional and dedicated efforts of the service have resulted in saving of 415 lives last year. A Search and Rescue exercise was also conducted off Mumbai on 14 Jan 12, in which international observers from seven countries participated.

The Indian Coast Guard has carved a niche for itself at the international level and is today recognised as a leading Coast Guard in the region. Institutionalized visits as per Memorandum of Cooperation/Understanding with Japan Coast Guard and Korea Coast Guard are being conducted regularly. On 29 Jan 12, a combined Indo-Japan Coast Guard exercise was conducted off Chennai. The Indian Coast Guard, also hosted a Capacity Building Workshop with ReCAAP (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia) in Nov last year, at Goa. In addition, a bi-annual Joint exercise ‘Dosti’ is also conducted with the Maldives National Defence Force.

The Indian Coast Guard has evolved into a mature and highly capable maritime force with state-of-the-art ships, boats and aircraft. The theme of the Indian Coast Guard for the year 2012 is ‘Focused on Maritime Safety and Security’, which aptly reflects the commitment and resolve of the service, and is in tune with its motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ meaning ‘We Protect’.


MMRCA Will Take 6 Months To Be Signed After L-1 Is Announced!!


Annual Refit Conference – 2012 (ARC-12)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Indo-Japan Coast Guard Meeting & Combined Exercises Conclude

The visit of a high level Japanese delegation led by Admiral Hisayasu Suzuki, the Commandant, Japan Coast Guard (JCG), for the XI High Level Meeting and Combined Exercises with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) concluded today. The five-day visit, was in pursuance of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), signed between the two Coast Guards on 24 November 2006, which stipulates that the heads of the two organizations meet alternately in India and Japan, to discuss maritime issues of mutual concerns and formulate a cooperative approach to address these.

The Memorandum of Cooperation between the two Coast Guards encompasses issues of maritime search and rescue, combating marine pollution, technical assistance for responding to natural disasters and exchange of information regarding crimes at sea, including smuggling and illicit trafficking.

The first ICG-JCG combined exercises were carried out in November 2000 off Chennai, in which one JCG ship participated and was overseen by a high level delegation of JCG, led by the then Commandant of JCG. This also laid the foundation for development of close interaction between the two organisations that included regular visits and exercises, sharing of information and expertise and training visits.

During the 11th ICG-JCG High Level discussions, it was mutually agreed to strengthen the cooperation on evolving collaborative approach, in addressing a spectrum of maritime issues concerning safety and security. The visit was also very significant in providing renewed impetus to strong ties that exist between the two Coast Guards as the Japan Coast Guard Ship has visited India, after a gap of six years, for the combined exercises with the ICG off Chennai.

A delegation from the Information Sharing Centre, Singapore established under the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) also participated in the exercise. This was significant in furthering the interaction among the participating agencies on anti-piracy issues.


Coast Guard Chopper Bids Delayed

The Sunday Guardian

Friday, January 27, 2012

INS Sudarshini Sail Training Ship Commissioned Today

Engine Failure Halts Naval Tableau Vehicle Mid-way Rajpath At RD Parade!!

Luckily it happened after it had crossed over the VVIP dias. The naval tableau vehicle stopped mid-way, and the contingent halted and began marching-on-the-spot. Probable reason given is engine failure, but it was embarrassing, as the vehicle had to be dragged out of the way. Inquiry most probably coming, with contingent commander and other officers to be blamed!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Italian Air Force Eurofighter In Air-To-Air Refuelling Mission

In this picture, taken during one of those missions in January 2012, four Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) Typhoons (three single seat and a twin seater), belonging to the 4° Stormo (Wing) based at Grosseto airbase, refuel from a KC-130J of the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) from Pisa.


Pix : Republic Day


Nation Celebrates 63rd Republic Day


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

10th Flight Of Lakshya-II PTA

Flying at sea skimming height of about 15 meters at DRDO’s test range near Balasore, Lakshya-II the advanced version of DRDO’s Pilotless Target Aircraft today demonstrated its full capability. In a flight lasting over 30 minutes, it was made to dive down from an altitude of around 800 m to just 12 m and maintained required altitude for the specified time before demonstrating auto climb-out. The entire flight was pre-programed and was totally successful. It demonstrated various technologies and sub-systems including software correction to auto rudder scheme done to prevent loss of mission, engaging and flying in way point navigation mode while carrying 2 tow targets. During the flight one of the tow targets was released and the other was deployed while way point navigation was on. This was the 10th flight of Lakshya-II PTA and this was the first time that the ultimate capability of the Lakshya-II, was demonstrated achieving all the user’s objectives. Lakshya-II has been designed and developed by the Bangalore base Aeronautical Development Establishment, a premiere DRDO lab specializing in UAVs and flight control systems.

130 Helicopter Unit Launches Fresh Rescue Operation In Snow Bound Remotest Part Of J&K

130 Helicopter Unit under the leadership of Wg Cdr Anurag Kumar of Air Force Station Jammu lunched a fresh rescue and relief operation in remotest part of Kishtwar region in J&K today morning. The synergized rescue operation between Civil Administration and Air Force was supervised by Air Commodore Nitin Sathe, AOC Air Force Station Jammu and Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Divisional Commissioner Jammu.

Though J&K Govt had already requested for airlift of stranded civilians in these region, the Jammu based Helicopter unit was on stand by for last few days due to blowing snow and poor visibility over the Natha Top and Patni Top region. “As soon as we got clearance, we immediately took off from Jammu air field early morning today to rescue these snow trapped civilians of Jammu & Kashmir” said Captain of the mission Wg Cdr Anurag Kumar.

Tehsildar, Kistwar, Inderjeet Singh told that approx 300 passenger are stranded in between Kistwar, Marwah, Nawapachi and Soundar region after snow fall started on 07 Jan 12. Nb Tehsilder Kishtwar Mr. Bhat told that civilians from remotest part of this region came for official job or medical treatment were stranded due to heavy snowfall. He also told that these all regions are connected by foot only. There is no vehicle communications. There are villages which takes 2-3 days by walking to reach those villages. So far, 108 civilians excluding children have been air lifted. He also told that the communication for these places are on foot only.

Braving cold waves and extremely chilly condition, in a dare devil rescue mission, Wg Cdr Anurag Kumar along with his crew members Flt Lt Ashim Momin, JWO Nautiyal and Sgt MK Sharma rescued these snow trapped civilians to bring a sigh of relief and smile on their face. The visibility was very low and it was snowing in Nawapachi during first landing. The temp was also chilling with minus 5-6 degree centigrade.

After rescuing 108 civilians and 13 children the operation was suspended due to severe blowing snow in Nawapachi, Inchan area in Kishtwar. The pilots were waiting for weather clearance.

Md Abbas of Marwah and Hasina Banu of Nawapachi who also been airlifted by AF along with their children and family said “ We were stranded here for two weeks. We had to go to Kishtwar for treatment, but everything was closed. Every Year we faced these problem but Air Force Helicopter is always reach us as an angel to rescue us.” The other stranded civilians also thanked the civil Administration for their safe transit. The unit motto of 130 Helicopter Unit is COUNT ON US –who are always with the people of J&K.