Saturday, March 23, 2013

Focus On Priority Areas: Antony To DRDO, Pics -- Defence Investiture Ceremony

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today complimented the top brass of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for their remarkable achievements in recent years, most notably, for Agni-5 and the BrahMos missile systems.

Inaugurating the 37th Directors’ Conference of DRDO here, Shri Antony said, these successes should not, however, make us complacent and the unfinished projects, which are in the pipeline for a very long time, should be concluded at the earliest. In this connection, he drew the attention to the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project and said DRDO must not extend further the date beyond 2014, set by the DRDO Chief Dr VK Saraswat, for the Final Operational Clearance of the Tejas for induction into the Indian Air Force.

Shri Antony asked the DRDO scientists to focus on priority areas and said the ultimate test of success of the organisation lies in the satisfaction of the users i.e., the Services.

 Referring to some recent developments which have put the defence acquisition process under the scanner, Shri Antony said, such incidents highlight the need to look within and make us realise that there is absolutely no substitute to self reliance.

“If our indigenisation goals are to be realised, DRDO will have to take the lead in this regard. Other stakeholders, for instance, the Services, the Ministry of Defence and private industry in the defence sector too must cooperate to ensure quick, honest and transparent acceptance of the systems”.

He said, all the stakeholders must meet at regular intervals to undertake periodic reviews and suggest corrective action. Both DRDO and the Services must place more trust and confidence in each other’s abilities and work with close synergy. “The concept of block acceptance and spiral development that is being followed in most leading countries of the world must be embraced after due deliberations and required changes”, Shri Antony said.

Responding to the DRDO’s request for enhanced budget, Shri Antony said, allocation of funds will not be a constraint but at the same time, spending the money most judiciously and with all the transparency at our command must be your watchword. He said, continuous funding would be required for R&D to survive, but with more emphasis on indigenisation and self reliance, we would save a lot of money in the long run, although, we might have to invest more to begin with.

Others who spoke on the occasion included the Minister of State for Defence, Shri Jitendra Singh, the National Security Advisor, Shri Shiv Shankar Menon and the DRDO Chief Dr VK Saraswat.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

India, Egypt Hold Defence Talks

INDIA-EGYPT DEFENCE TALKS, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The Egyptian Defence Minister (EDM), Gen. Abdel Fattah al Sisi called on the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony here today. Gen. al Sisi is part of the delegation accompanying the Egyptian President during his visit to India.

Both sides took note of the gradual building up of defence exchanges and interactions, particularly in the area of training exchanges, since the establishment of the Joint Defence Committee in 2006. It was agreed that there was scope for enhancing bilateral defence cooperation in various areas, including by way of increased interactions between the Armed Forces of both countries and through technology collaboration between industries. It was decided that opportunities for increasing cooperation will be discussed by both sides during the next meeting of the Joint Defence Committee, which is expected to be held in the near future, at the mutual convenience of both sides.

The Egyptian Defence Minister also briefed Shri Antony about the security situation in West Asia and in Egypt’s neighborhood. The Egyptian Defence Minister extended an invitation to Shri Antony to visit Egypt. Shri Antony has accepted the invitation.

India Successfully Launches BrahMos Missile From Underwater

The submarine-launched version of BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired at 1410 hrs on Wednesday (20th March 2013)  from a submerged platform in Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam.

Creating history, the missile took off vertically from the submerged platform for its full range of 290 kms. Following a   pre-defined trajectory, the missile emerged from underwater, took a turn towards the designated target meeting all mission objectives. All the telemetry and tracking stations, including Indian naval ships positioned throughout the flight path, confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission.

This is the first time that any supersonic cruise missile is launched vertically from a submerged platform. BRAHMOS vertically installed in a modular launcher in the pressure hull of the submarine will increase the ‘offensive power’ of the vessel without compromising on its ‘defensive power’ as the torpedo tubes can be fully utilised for defence. This new variant of the supersonic cruise missile will add more fire power to the Navy’s underwater weapon delivery capabilities.

When contacted by Journalists, Dr. Pillai, CEO & MD BrahMos said that “BRAHMOS missile is fully ready for fitment in P75 (I) of Indian Navy in vertical launch configuration which will make the platform one of the most powerful weapon platform in the World.”
Congratulating the team, Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and DG DRDO termed it as yet another landmark technological breakthrough and a significant step towards boosting India’s military strength.

Defence Minister Shri AK Antony congratulated the scientists of DRDO and Russian specialists along with members from Indian Navy associated with the project for successful test launch of BRAHMOS missile from underwater platform and said “It is a wonderful achievement & proud moment for India.”

The naval variant of BRAHMOS missile has already proved its mettle in both vertical and inclined launch configurations from moving warships. The missile has been successfully inducted in number of frontline Indian Navy warships and will be deployed in other future surface ships. They are capable of both maritime strike and land attack.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Passing Out Parade At Officers Training Academy, Chennai

A total of 215 gentlemen and 57 lady cadets including 01 foreign gentlemen cadet passed out from the portal of Officers Training Academy (OTA) here today, before they move on to join operational regiments across the length and breadth of the country. There were a total of 07 representation from Tamil Nadu out of which 03 are from Chennai.

The parade was reviewed by General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Army Staff. In his address the general officer highlighted the glorious achievements of the Armoured Forces and especially of the Indian Army. An Officer has to be vigilant and cautious while discharging his duty irrespective of terrain, climate and personal comfort. “Being a soldier means devoting yourselves to the Nation”, says General to the passing out cadets.

General Bikram Singh awarded the Sword of Honour to Academy under Officer Chandra Mauli for his outstanding all rounder performance, Gold Medal to Battalion under Officer Seema Nayal and the Chief of Army Staff banner to the ‘Basantar Company’ for best all rounder company.

The spectacular parade was followed by a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Martyrs Memorial and the Pipping Ceremony. The joyful eyes of the parents assembled near the pipping lawn to witness their children shouldering new responsibilities to guard the Nation were an amazing sight to watch.

The passing out parade (POP), as it is generally called, is the most significant and spectacular event in the life of the cadets, as it marks their entry into the officer cadre of the Indian Army. It also means the end of an arduous training and the beginning of the privileges and thrills of the life in uniform. The arduous and grueling preparation is only one salient of the military training imparted at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai.

CB Kumar

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Photos : Nirbhay Long Range Cruise Missile


First F-35 With Marietta-Built Centre Wing Flown

BF-25 CO-1 by Chindits
BF-25 CO-1, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II with a Center Wing Assembly (CWA) built at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga., was flown for the first time this week. The aircraft, known as BF-25, is an F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant that will be delivered to the U. S. Marine Corps at Yuma, Arizona. The CWA is a major structural component and represents approximately one quarter of the aircraft’s fuselage. Approximately 350 people work on the F-35 program in Marietta. In addition to building the CWAs, technicians also apply specialized stealth coatings to F-35 horizontal and vertical tail control assemblies and also coat spare and repaired aircraft doors, panels and covers.


Govt Defends Itself In Parliament, Says Italian Black Shark Torpedo Deal For Navy Not Yet Finalised !!

Defence Minister in Parliament : "The contract for procurement of Black Shark torpedoes has not yet been finalised.

Representations/references have been received from different quarters including from one competing vendor and Members of Parliament. Special Technical Oversight Committee was constituted with approval of DAC (Defence Acquisition Council) to review the evaluation process and complaints received. The STOC has opined that the procurement has been progressed in accordance with the laid down procedures, in keeping with the provisions of the RFP (Request for Proposal) and DPP-06 in transparent and fair manner. The DAC has considered the STOC Report and accepted the same in September, 2012. Government has not taken a final decision on the procurement.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Yashvir Singh and others in Lok Sabha today."


197 Chopper Deal Not Yet Cancelled, Says Govt

Page_5(1) by Chindits
Page_5(1), a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Mid-Way, Long Range Cruise Missile Nirbhay Deviates, Fails Debut Test!!

Long range cruise missile Nirbhay was successfully launched today at 1150 hrs from launch complex, Chandipur, Odisha,  meeting the basic mission objectives successfully.  After travelling approximately mid-way, deviations were observed from its intended course.  Further, flight was terminated to ensure coastal safety.

Friday, March 8, 2013

GoC-in-C Eastern Command Visits 101 Area, Shillong

. by Chindits
., a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C) Eastern Command, Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Dalbir Singh, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishsht Seva Medal (UYSM, AVSM, VSM) arrived in Shillong, Headquarters 101 Area, on a 2-day visit. He was received by Lt Gen RS Panwar, VSM. 

During his visit, the Army Commander had wide ranging discussions with Senior Army Officers of Shillong, and was briefed on various issues and steps taken to improve the quality of life of all ranks and their families. He also addressed the officers and men in the Station. He appreciated the infrastructural developments, high standard of training and high morale of troops. Lt Gen Dalbir Singh visited 58 Gorkha Training Centre (GTC), in his capacity as Colonel Commandant of 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) and interacted with the troops of GTC over tea.


Maximum Human Rights Violation Complaints Against Indian Army, This Year : 51 In Northeast

The Indian Army has 51 cases of human rights violations in the northeastern sattes in this year alone. Defence Minister A K Antony informed Parliament this week that 51 complaints in this year had been filed against the Indian army in the northeast, for violation of human rights.

An officer told this newspaper that in this year's 51 complaints in the northeastern states, seven complaints are of custodial deaths, meaning civilians arrested by the Indian army for interrogation and killed while in custody.

The rest of the complaints are about raiding, checking, molestation and harassment of civilians by the army personnel. But all allegations have been refuted by the army, with no major punishment awarded to its personnel. Only some junior-level personnel have been punished and in most cases the petitioners have withdrawn their complaint cases.

A Naik from the Indian Army's 287 Field Regiment, Anil Kumar Upadhyay, at Nawjan area in Sibsagar district, Upper Assam,was handed over to the police when he tried to molest a 19 year girl. The girl was collecting firewood in Dolopa village when the incident took place in July 2012. The Army human rights cell demoted the soldier and sentenced him to three months rigourous imprisonment in military custody.
It may be noted that the Parliament reply comes at a time when Irom Sharmila of Manipur was in Delhi to appear before a Delhi court on charges of allegedly attempting suicide as she has been been fasting for 12 years, demanding withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), from Manipur.

Among all the northeastern states Manipur and Assam are the most volatile and have the maximum army presence. The 3 Corps of the Indian army is headquartered in Dimapur, Nagaland, while the 4 Corps is is Tezpur, Assam, both are sensitive formations. All northeastern formations come under the Kolkata-based Eastern Command.

In 2010, complaints about human rights violations recieved were 29, in 2011 they were 25, in 2012 they were 26, while in 2013 till now they are 51, totalling upto 131 in the last four years.

Human Rights cells were established in the year 2003, beginning with Jammu and Kashmir. These cells are at the Command and Corps level, headed by a Colonel-ranking officer.

In Jammu and Kashmir in 2010 human violations cases have been 18, they were five in 2011, four in 2012 and none in 2013 so far.In all other states there have been only 20 cases in four years.

Antony informed the Lok Sabha that the ,"Army takes suitable action to dispose of above complaints in consultation with units/ formations and other agencies concerned in the matter. Further, in order to strengthen Human Rights Division, the Human Rights set up has been expanded down till Corps level."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Golden Jubilee Celebrations At Officers Training Academy

001 by Chindits
001, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Today, in a glittering ceremony that marked the 50 years of glorious existence of Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, this prestigious institution stood high with pride boasting of its illustrious history imprinted fully with valour and service to the Nation. The august gathering assembled in the visitors’ gallery witnessed a splendid parade by the cadets of Officers Training Academy, which terminated with the release of a Postage Stamp, a First Day Cover and a Coffee Table Book named “The Golden Milestone” comprising wonderful photographs of the Officers Training Academy, Chennai since its inception till date.

The parade was reviewed by Lieutenant General Surendra Nath, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Army Training Command (ARTRAC). The momentous occasion was graced by more than 500 Alumni of Officer Training Academy and their family members, who came from all over India to be part of this grand event. Maharana of Udaipur and Prince of Arcot were the other distinguished guests who blessed the occasion with their presence.

The parade was followed by Wreath Laying Ceremony at the War Memorial in remembrance of all those who have laid their lives protecting their motherland. Since raising in 1963 this Academy has commissioned more than 27,000 Officers, 2,500 Lady Officers and 400 approximately Officers from friendly foreign countries. The Officers/Lady Officers commissioned from this esteem institution have won many a laurels. They have ensured that the flag of the Academy remains fluttering high. The Academy is proud of being bestowed with 01 Param Vir Chakra, 07 Ashok Chakra, 10 Maha Vir Chakra, 18 Kirti Chakra, 60 Vir Chakra, 101 Shaurya Chakra, 511 Sena Medal and many more.

The celebration will continue till 08 March 2013 evening. An Officers Training Academy Alumni Association meet also has been planned on 08 March 2013 which will be presided over by Honourable Mr Shekhar Dutt, Governor of Chhattisgarh who himself is an alumni of this Academy.

The Commandant of the Academy Lieutenant General SS Jog congratulated all on the occasion including the civilian staff who have also contributed largely for the development of this Academy.

CB Kumar

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Defence Minister In Parliament On Finmeccanica: 'No Decision To Blacklist The Company Has So Far Been Taken'

On the report of the arrests of the Finmeccanica Chief and Chief Executive of Agusta Westland Spa in connection with the investigations in Italy regarding alleged wrong doing and unethical conduct by M/s Finmeccanica, parent company of M/s Agusta Westland, U.K., the CBI was asked on February 12, 2013 to conduct an enquiry into the matter. Further details will be available on receipt of report of CBI.

A Show Cause Notice has been sent to M/s Agusta Westland, U.K. on 15th February, 2013 asking them to explain as to why steps should not be initiated for cancellation of the Contract. The operation of the Contract has been put on hold and further payments to M/s Agusta Westland, U.K. stopped. No decision to blacklist the Company has so far been taken.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Devender Goud T in Rajya Sabha today.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Brazil's Scorpene Submarine Construction Facility Comes Up

On 1 March 2013, Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, officially inaugurated the Metal Structures Manufacturing Unit (UFEM), which comprises all the industrial facilities and special tooling needed to manufacture the outfitted hull sections of Scorpene submarines under the PROSUB programme (PROgrama de SUBmarinos).

Choppergate Fall-Out : DPP To Undergo Changes , Antony Informs Lok Sabha !!

In the wake of chopper scam, the government today announced it would change its defence procurement policy, which will be unveiled in a few months. "Within a few months we are going to change the defence procurement procedure again," Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Head Quarter Maintenance Command, Nagpur Gets New Senior MaintenanceStaff Officer

Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh Vishisht Seva Medal assumed the responsibilities of Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at HQ Maintenance Command, Nagpur. Born on 01 Nov 1955 in Delhi, he was commissioned in the Electronics stream of Aeronautical Engineering branch in IAF on 02 Jul 1979. He has done his schooling from St George’s High School, Agra. He is a graduate engineer in Electronics and Communication from REC Kurukshetra (now NIT) and post graduate in Integrated Electronics from IIT Delhi. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College, Wellington. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in Jan 1999 for his distinguished service in IAF. He has rich experience in the field of maintenance management of aircraft, radars and guided weapons.

Prior to assuming the present assignment, the Air Officer has held various important staff and field appointments notably, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Engineering B) at Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan), Senior Maintenance Staff Officer at South Western Air Command at Gandhinagar, Chief Engineering Officer of an Air Base and Chief Research & Projects Officer at Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment, Bangalore.

Air Marshal is married to Mrs Manjit Kaur, a home maker. They are blessed with a daughter and a son. Daughter Dilmeet Kaur, an Electronics and Communication Engineer is married to Angad Singh. Younger son Gurjot Singh is pursuing Telecommunication Engineering at Bangalore. Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh is also an avid golfer.

Defence Budget Goes Down More Than Three Times