Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Current Situation In Ladakh Not India’s Creation, Every Possible Step Will Be Taken To Safeguard Our Interests, Says Defence Minister Antony

Describing the current situation in Eastern Ladakh as ‘not one of our creation’, the Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony today said India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through dialogue within the framework of agreements for maintaining peace and  tranquility. Addressing the Unified Commanders’ Conference, here, Shri Antony, however, emphasized that the country remains united in its commitment to take every possible step to safeguard our interests.

“The current situation is not one of our creation.  However, we remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation, through military and diplomatic dialogue within the framework of the agreements for maintaining peace and tranquility.  At the same time, I wish to emphasise that there should not be any doubt that the country remains unanimous in its commitment to take every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard our interests.”

Shri Antony said our bilateral relations with China are, at times, bedeviled by border issues, particularly along the Line of Actual Control(LAC).  The recent developments are no exception.  Among the various initiatives to safeguard our border, the thrust has been on development of our border roads and Advance Landing Grounds.

Referring to the security situation in Pakistan, Shri Antony said, the capability of Pakistani Taliban to strike at will at innocent public and strategic targets is worrisome.  He said the growing nuclear stock of Pakistan needs to be factored in our overall strategy towards our western neighbour.
Shri Antorny reiterated the Government’s strong commitment to the modernization of the armed forces and to ensure the all round welfare of the troops.  He said, despite financial constrains, funds will never be an issue when it comes to national security.  “However the onus lies collectively on all of us to make the optimum use of the financial resources with all the honesty, transparency and fairness”, he said.

Dwelling at length on the recent changes in DPP to encourage the indigenous defence industry, Shri Antony said the objective is to bring about greater efficiency in the procurement process and to strengthen the defence manufacturing base in the country.  He expressed confidence that the changes brought about in the DPP will lead to greater integrity and transparency in the procurement process.  “We should not give any chance to any agency to point fingers at our defence procurement process and acquisitions”, he said. 

The Defence Minister said the contemporary concept of security encompasses not merely military threats, but also cyber attacks, insurgencies, organized trans-border crimes, pandemics and contingencies of natural disasters.  Such an environment of security necessitates need for constant monitoring and building up capacities to enable multi-level, multi-agency responses, he said.

The conference was attended among others by the Minister of State for Defence, Shri Jitendra Singh, the Chairman COSC & Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bikram Singh, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral DK Joshi and Defence Secretary, Shri Shashikant Sharma.


Unified Commanders Conference-2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Indian Coast Guard Ship C-425 Commissioned

Indian Coast Guard Ship C-425, the third of the series of Interceptor Boats designed and built by M/s Larsen and Toubro, Katupalli was commissioned at Paradip by Shri Bijaya Kumar Patnaik, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha. The ceremony was witnessed by Inspector General KC Pande PTM, TM Commander Coast Guard Region (North-East) and other distinguished guests from various Central and State agencies.
The 30 metres long Interceptor Boat with 90 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. The vessel is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment and medium range armament. It is designed for high speed interception,  close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, Search & Rescue and maritime surveillance.

The Interceptor Boat C-425 will be based at Paradip under the Administrative and Operational Control of the Commander Coast Guard District Headquarters No 7.

The IB is commanded by Deputy Commandant Vijay Vishwanathan and has a crew of 01 Officer and 11 Enrolled Personnel.


Finance Ministry Finally Clears National Command Post, Stuck for More Than a year

President Pranab Mukherjee Confers Shaurya Chakra At Defence Investiture Ceremony

President Pranab Mukherjee conferring shaurya chakra to Lieutenant now Captain Manish Singh of  special forces  at a solemn defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday April 27, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mt. Trishul Flagging Off Ceremony

PHOTO OF FLAG OFF CEREMONY, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
An Army team comprising of troops from Mahar Regiment and Red Eagle Division under the aegis of Army’s Jaipur based South Western Command launched an audacious expedition to Mount Trishul (7120 Meters) nestled in Garhwal Himalayas, aptly christened as ‘Portal of Lord Shiva’. The expedition is a lead up towards the eventual summit of Mount Everest by the Mahar Regiment in 2016 to commemorate its Platinum Jubilee of raising.

The expedition team comprising of 4 Officers, 3 Junior Commissioned Officers and 17 Other Ranks led by Lieutenant Colonel Amit Bisht of 1 MAHAR Regiment, a distinguished mountaineer, was flagged off today by Major General Surinder Singh, GOC, Red Eagle Division, amidst the pristine surroundings of Lucknow Cantonment.

The team will make its way by road to Garhwal hills via Joshimath, Rudraprayag and Nandprayag upto Bagad Road head. It will then traverse through the challenging and inhospitable terrain over 34 kms following the outer trail of Nanda Devi Sanctuary to reach the Base Camp. The team will set up three more camps before making an attempt to reach the Summit and conquer Trishul in the last week of May 2013. The expedition team will also contribute in preservation of the Garhwal Hills and spread awareness about our forests and ecology.

This expedition will accomplish yet another milestone achievement by the Mahar Regiment under the leadership of Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, Army Commander,South Western Command and Colonel of The Mahar Regiment.


Admiral GM Hiranandani Rolling Trophy Presented

Pix1 by Chindits
Pix1, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The first ever Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani Rolling Trophy was received by Lieutenant Commander Abhishek Yadav from Smt Susheel Hiranandani, the spouse of Admiral Hiranandani today at a memorable function held at the Maritime Warfare Centre at the Naval Base here. The trophy instituted in the memory of the Late Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani by the Hiranandani family, is awarded for the best performance among all Officers undergoing specialization in various disciplines of tactics and operations in the Navy. Lieutenant Commander Abhishek Yadav was undergoing specialization in Anti Submarine Warfare. Rear Admiral G Ashok Kumar, Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command who spoke on the occasion, exhorted the young officers present to be inspired by the example of Admiral Hiranandani. Commodore G Prakash, Director of Maritime Warfare Centre conducted the ceremony.

Vice Admiral Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani joined the Indian Navy in 1949, and retired as the Vice Chief of the Naval Staff in 1989. The Admiral was the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet in 1971, when they conducted the daring attack on Karachi. Vice Admiral Hiranandani has also served as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command from 1985 to 1987 and a member of Union Public Service Commission post retirement. In 1995, the Admiral commenced the important task of recording the official Indian Naval history and authored three authoritative volumes, the last of which was completed just a few hours before his death in September 2009. His final years were spent at Malakkara near Chengannur in Kerala with his son Dr Manik Hiranandani. His daughter Meera Sanyal is a banker and social activist.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Seminar On Night Fighting Capability-2013

“There is a need to change the approach from ‘acquiring technology’ to ‘development of technology’ in order to achieve desired level of indigenization. The aim should be to equip the Indian Armed forces with state of art equipments to bring them at par with the world leaders,” said Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, while inaugurating a two day Seminar on Night Fighting Capability here today. He was addressing a galaxy of senior officials from armed forces, production agencies, industry from India and abroad and scientists from DRDO and academia. Appreciating the strides made in indigenous design and development and production of equipment to enhance night fighting capabilities, Shri Jitendra Singh emphasized on self-reliance in the field of instrumentation and to reduce the import content to a minimum. He also emphasized the need of greater synergy among different stakeholders in the process of development i.e. DRDO, Public sector & private industry. Stressing on the need to further improve indigenous capabilities in this area, he said, “we are facing incursions from across the land borders and there is need to have early warning systems to handle such situations more effectively. A monograph on EO/IR technologies brought out by IRDE, Dehradun was released by Shri Jitendra Singh on this occasion.

Trekking the development of night vision devices by DRDO from its earliest days, Dr. V K Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, Secretary Deptt. of Defence R&D and DG DRDO highlighted the achievements of DRDO in the field of electro-optics. He also mentioned about the development of ‘Thermal Imaging based commander’s sight for T-72 and T-90 tanks as well as BMPs, thus removing the night blindness of these Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Mentioning about the progress made by IRDE in this critical area, he gave the example of recently developed Integrated Multi Functional Sight that weighs within 3.5 kg, as compared to the 1st generation devices of similar nature that used to weigh around 55 kg. Emphasizing the need to strengthen manufacturing infrastructure in the country, he stated that the country had to gear up to produce the advanced Thermal Detectors indigenously, “Our biggest weakness is the availability of infrared imaging detector fabrication facilities.

Delivering the keynote address, Lt. Gen. SK Singh, Vice Chief of Army Staff briefed about the army acquisition plans for the next decade & expected DRDO to match the expectations of the armed forces. The partnership of private industry could be crucial, he emphasized. The Services today are looking for innovative technological solutions to stay ahead of their adversaries.

Shri Anil Kumar, CMD, BEL in his address put forth the industry perspective. He assured that BEL centres are always ready to support the indigenisation efforts of the country and will deliver the quality instruments in time to the armed forces.

The seminar aimed at familiarizing Armed forces with the capabilities of DRDO in this field and understand their present and future requirements is attended by senior officers from the Armed Forces, the Ordnance factories, public sector giants like Bharat Electronics and private sector partners. Eight foreign firms from countries France, Belgium, Greece, Israel, Netherlands & USA also participated and exhibited their products. Convener Shri Avnish Kumar, Scientist “G” informed that the two day seminar was being attended by nearly 350 delegates including about 100 from services, 46 from public sector, 40 from Indian industries, 31 foreign delegates and delegates from various government and DRDO labs.

An exhibition of the night Vision equipments developed by DRDO and led to production by BEL, Ordinance factories and private partners was also organized. A variety of Thermal Imagers covering wide range of applications for Army, Navy & Air force. EOFCS for navy, HHTI with LRF, Commander’s TI sights for T-72, T-90 & BMP, Commander’s Panoramic sight for MBT, Holographic sight & Light-weight Laser Target Designator were the main equipment exhibited by IRDE.

The seminar is organized by the Dehradun based DRDO lab ‘Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE)’.


IAF's Western Air Command Station Commanders Conference

2 by Chindits
2, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
The two-days Station Commanders’ Conference of New Delhi based Western Air Command began today. The annual Conference which was inaugurated by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM AVSM VM ADC, is being attended by Commanders of all formations under Western Air Command and the Principal Staff Officers of the Command.

Addressing the Commanders, Air Marshal Arup Raha, Air officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, said, “ The accelerated pace of development of operational infrastructure and new inductions, has helped the Command to achieve enhanced firepower and consequently a high level of operational preparedness. The dedication and commitment displayed by our personnel in making the newly inducted SU-30, C-130J and MI – 17 V5 squadrons, Air Defence sensors and communication systems fully operational in a short span of time deserves appreciation. These latest inclusions into the Command arsenal have increased our potency manifold and catapulted our offensive potential to newer heights”. He said that the IAF was fast becoming a technology-driven, network-centric force boasting of an impressive array of technological acquisitions. He added that in order to effectively contribute in this transformational phase of the IAF, the Commanders needed to have an absolute clarity of vision, single-minded approach to mission accomplishment and right priortisation of tasks.

Emphasising the need for maintaining a balanced perspective amidst this rapid capability enhancement, he said that the technological advancements in the IAF demanded high standards of technical expertise and an excellence oriented approach from all our personnel. He said that in order to exploit our fighting potential to the fullest, we need to concentrate our efforts towards qualitative improvement of the workforce in terms of professional skills and acumen. Adding, he said “we must commit ourselves to a progressive growth in professional efficiency of our personnel through continued training and by affording opportunities for significant exposure and experience”.

Acknowledging the collective efforts of the stations in meeting the increasing operational demands of this Command, he said that the emerging security environment of the region calls for persistent focus and relentless vigil. He said that optimum utilisation of our resources and safety and security of our valuable assets would give us an advantage as a cutting-edge fighting force and would give a fillip to our endeavours in meeting newer and bigger challenges.

In the course of this Conference the Commanders will focus on key issues such as operations, infrastructure development, inductions, aerospace safety and human resource development. Jointmanship with the three affiliated Army Commands would also be discussed and reviewed to bring greater synergy in air-land operational plans and concepts.

Statement By Permanent Resident of India In UNSC On Situation In The Middle East

Statement by Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India to United Nations at  the Security Council Open Debate on  “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”

"Thank you, Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you on your Presidency of the Security Council for the month of April. I also would like to express our appreciation for convening this quarterly open debate, which will allow the Council to take stock of recent developments in the Middle East, including the State of Palestine. I would like to thank Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman for his comprehensive briefing.

2.Mr. President, the Middle East Peace Process is passing through its most difficult phase in recent times. For more than two years, the parties have not held any official meeting. Efforts of the international community, including that of the Quartet, have failed to make any impact on the ground. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, intensification of settlement activities is fast eroding the very foundation of a two-state solution. The plight of ordinary Palestinians is worsening everyday due to roadblocks and related infrastructure of occupation that put restrictions on the free movement of persons and goods.

3.The blockade of Gaza has also continued causing a great deal of hardships to Palestinians. The plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails requires immediate attention. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is facing one of the worst financial crises that threaten to erode the progress made in building Palestinian state institutions. If the present situation persists, the international community will risk a serious destabilization in the region. It is therefore imperative that efforts aimed at breaking the deadlock and resumption of peace process are reinvigorated.

4. Mr. President, any political process in order to be meaningful must put an end to Israeli settlement activities. Continuing settlement activities are a violation of international law and harmful to the peace process. We join others in urging Israel to stop settlement activities in order for the Palestinian side to come to the negotiating table.

5. Mr. President, we have noted that Israel has recently taken some measures to allow flow of essential goods into Gaza. Still the continuing blockade remains in force, and is adversely affecting essential services, economic activities and infrastructure development. We continue to call for complete lifting of the blockade. The parties should also fully implement the provisions of the ceasefire agreement reached in November 2012.
6.Mr. President, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in its recent meeting in Brussels last month underscored the urgent need of closing the Palestinian Government’s financing gap, estimated at $1.2 billion for the current year. In this context, it is important that international community continues to support financial needs of the Palestinian authority.

7. Mr. President, since the time of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s support for the Palestinian cause has been strong and unwavering. India was the first non-Arab country to recognize the State of Palestine in 1988. Since then, India’s bonds of friendship with the Palestinian people have been strengthened and reinvigorated by regular interactions.   As a member of this Council during 2011-12, India supported Palestine’s bid for full and equal membership of the United Nations. Continuing this support, India co-sponsored the General Assembly resolution in November 2012 that upgraded the status of Palestine to a non-member Observer state. India has consistently supported a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, side by side and at peace with Israel as endorsed in various United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the Quartet Road Map.

8. India has also partnered Palestine in socio-economic development and extended material assistance to the Palestinian Authority. As in previous years, India pledged an amount of US $ 10 million in 2012 as budgetary support to Palestine. India also contributes US$ 1 million annually to UNRWA. India is in the process of implementing projects, bilaterally and through IBSA fund, including in the fields of information and communication technology, vocational training and construction of schools.

9. In conclusion, Mr. President, let me express our deep concern at the deterioration of the situation in Syria. We believe that the Joint Communiqué of the Action Group, adopted in June 2012, provides a good basis for resolution of the Syrian crisis. A Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society can alone resolve the crisis, and must be seriously pursued by all parties concerned.

I thank you."

IAF ALH From IAF Station Sulur Airlifting People From Fire Accident Site At Axis Bank, Kovai District, TN !!

Details awaited.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Commissioning Of Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) Indian Coast Guard Ship -- 'Rajdoot' , In Kolkata

Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajdoot, the sixth in the series of eight Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs) designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata was commissioned at Kolkata by Shri Arunava Dutt, IDAS, the Controller General of Defence Accounts in the presence of Inspector General KC Pande, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region(North East) and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State Govt.

The 50 meter indigenous IPV displaces 300 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 34 knots, with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at an economical speed of 16 knots. Equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment, it makes an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast missions such as surveillance, interdiction, Search and Rescue, and medical evacuation. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS) and an integrated gun mount with indigenous Fire Control system (FCS).

ICGS "Rajdoot", literally meaning "Royal Messenger", will be based at New Mangalore under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West).

The ship will enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s capability to undertake operations to further Maritime and Coastal Security on the Western Seaboard.

With the commissioning of ICGS Rajdoot, the force level of ICG has gone up to 82 ships and boats. With the planned inductions, the ICG force level is slated to double by the end of the decade.

The ship is commanded by Commandant Anupam Rai and has a crew of 05 Officers and 30 Enrolled Personnel.


P-8I Program (Video)

P-8I program put to the test (Video)

A military derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8I is a sister ship to the P-8A, the United States Navy’s maritime surveillance and submarine hunter that is the replacement for the P-3 Orion. The P-8 is designed to carry weapons both under the wing and in a weapons bay; both are firsts for a Boeing commercial derivative airplane.
The additional flight testing demanded installation of test specific instrumentation during production, which meant additional work for an already busy factory team.
Jeanette Croppi is a Boeing Test & Evaluation test program manager, tasked with getting an aircraft prepared for and through testing on time and on budget.
“For P-8I we had to do something we’ve never done before, -- drop simulated weapons from the wing of a commercial airplane and nobody’s ever done that before in The Boeing Company,” said Croppi. “We only have a few people left who have done store drops from an aircraft and they were fighters.”

Check the video above


Saturday, April 20, 2013

SQRs To Freeze Before AoN, Says DAC

With the twin objective of infusing greater efficiency in the procurement process and strengthening the defence manufacturing base in the country, the Defence Acquisition Council, the apex decision making body of the MoD, took a series of decisions today, including amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony, who chaired the Council meeting, said the only way forward for the country is rapid indigenization of defence products, with both the public and the private sectors playing  pivotal roles in this endeavour. Shri Antony said the government will make all efforts to create genuine level playing field for Indian manufacturing industries vis-à-vis Global Players.

Following are the highlights of the amendments to the DPP-2011:

1.  Prioritisation of Various Categories for Capital Acquisitions under Defence Procurement Procedure

Preference for indigenous procurement in the Defence Production Policy 2011 has now been made a part of DPP through an amendment that provides for a preferred order of categorisation, with global cases being a choice of last resort. The order of preference, in decreasing order, shall be: (1) “Buy (Indian)”; (2) “Buy & Make (Indian)”; (3) “Make”; (4) “Buy & Make with ToT”; and (5) “Buy (Global)”. Any proposal to select a particular category must now state reasons for excluding the higher preferred category/ categories.

2. Release of Public Version of Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP)

The DAC has approved the release of a public version of its 15-year perspective document (LTIPP), outlining the “Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap” (TPCR) against LTIPP 2012-2027. The TPCR will provide useful guidance to the Indian Defence Industry for boosting its infrastructural capabilities and directing its R&D and technology investments.

3. Maintenance ToT (MToT) no longer through Nomination

MToT has been hitherto reserved largely for OFB and DPSUs through the nomination process. A DPP amendment has been approved that does away with nomination by Department of Defence Production and facilitates selection of MToT partners by Indian bidders. This measure is expected to have a positive impact on private sector participation in maintenance, repairs and overhaul work.

4.  Advance Consultations for “Make” Procedure

The DAC has approved an amendment mandating consultations to begin sufficiently in advance of actual procurement by Service Head Quarters (SHQs), so that capital acquisition plans can be translated into national defence R&D and production plans. In addition, a high-level Committee has also been constituted for simplification of “Make” procedures, with a view to unleash the full potential of this important category.

5.  Simplification of  “Buy & Make (Indian)” Procedure

The DAC has approved an amendment further simplifying this complex category. Its procedures have been brought on par with other categorisations, resulting in faster processing of cases under this category.

6.  Clear Definition of Indigenous Content

Increased indigenisation is important for our Armed Forces, in order that they have access to reliable supply chains in times of urgent need. Indigenous content has now been defined in an unambiguous manner, providing requisite clarity and a common understanding.

7.  Ensuring faster progress in “Make” and “Buy & Make (Indian)” cases

The Ministry has a limited number of acquisition cases under “Make” and “Buy & Make (Indian)” categories, with an estimated value of Rs. 1,20,000 crore. Instructions have been issued for speedier conclusion of these cases.

8. Defence Items List

Indian defence industry was opened up in May 2001 for 100% private sector participation subject to licensing. The Defence Items List has been finalised by the Ministry and sent to DIPP for notification, which will bring required clarity in the licensing process.

9.Licensing for Dual Use Items

The Ministry has categorically clarified to DIPP that dual-use items will not require licensing, thereby bringing added clarity to the licensing process.

10.Consultations on Security Guidelines for Indian Defence Industry

Draft Security Guidelines that will apply to all licensed defence industries have been circulated for consultations with various stakeholders. It is expected that a complete security framework for Indian private industries participating in defence cases will be in place in the near future.

11. Resolution of Tax-related Issues

Resolution of deemed exports status for certain defence projects and rationalisation of tax and duty structures impinging on the Indian defence industry has been taken up by the MoD with the Ministry of Finance.

12. Funds for MSMEs in the Defence Sector

The Defence Production Policy 2011 requires the setting-up of a fund to provide necessary resources for development of defence equipment. In order to ensure regular supply of funds to MSMEs involved in manufacturing of defence products, SIDBI has decided to earmark an amount of Rs. 500 crore for providing loans, and further, a fund of Rs. 50 crore for equity support out of “India Opportunities Fund” managed by its subsidiary, namely, SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd.

13. Efficiency and Transparency in Defence Procurement

A stipulation to freeze the SQRs before the “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) stage has been accorded, and the validity of AoN has also been reduced from two years to one year. These measures are expected to expedite the acquisition process and increase transparency.

14. Enhanced Delegation of Financial Powers

The financial powers of Service Chiefs/ DG Coast Guard have been enhanced from Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 150 crore for capital acquisition cases.

15.Powers to DAC

Approval for all deviations from the Defence Procurement Procedure will henceforth be sought from the Defence Acquisition Council instead of the Defence Minister.

More Photos : Joint Indo-UK Exercise -- 'Ajeya Warrior'

The Indo-UK Joint Military training aimed at enhancing counter terrorism skills got underway on 04 April 2013 at the hills of Belgaum.  The Joint Training code-named Exercise Ajeya Warrior will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together on a joint operation in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment.  This is one of the major ongoing bilateral defence cooperation endeavours between the two countries and is the fifth in the series which initially started as a biennial feature in 2007 to be held in India and UK alternatively.
The four-week exercise will witness about 100 personnel of the Royal Welsh Regiment of the UK Army and a similar strength of a battalion of the Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army.  The troops of the two countries are in the third week of their joint exercise.  The first week comprised of familiarization with the organisation, weapons and equipment of both the armies.  In the second week tactical drills of the two countries were demonstrated and practiced.
Both countries have troops deployed in active Counter Insurgency/ Counter Terrorism operations and thus sharing each other’s operational experiences in such diverse environment is of immense value. The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants are initially made to get familiar with each other’s organisational structure, weapons, equipment, confidence training and tactical drills.  Subsequently, the training advances to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies are coherently unleashed.  The exercise is a great step for the armies of the two democratic countries to train together and gain together from each other’s rich operational experiences.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Maldives Defence Minister Visits India

The Minister of Defence and National Security of the Republic of Maldives, Mr. Mohamed Nazim had a one hour long meeting with the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony at South Block on Monday, 15 April, 2013, followed by a meeting with the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and CAS and the Vice Chiefs of Army and Navy and DG, Coast Guard. The Maldivian Minister is on a 4 day official visit to India during which he would be visiting military establishments in various parts of the country.

During the meeting with Shri Antony on 15 April, the Maldivian Minister was accompanied by the High Commissioner of Maldives in India and other senior officers of the Maldivian National Defence Forces. On the Indian side, Defence Secretary, DGAFMS , the Indian High Commissioner in Male and senior officers of the Armed Forces and from the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs were present. The official meeting was preceded by the Maldivian Defence Minister's visit and laying of a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and a ceremonial tri-Service Guard of Honour at South Block.

During the meeting, both sides noted that defence cooperation between India and Maldives has been growing over the years, to the mutual benefit of both sides. As close neighbours sharing common security concerns, there is scope to further develop the relationship in mutually agreed areas. Shri Antony conveyed that India stands committed to enhance the ongoing defence and security partnership with Maldives. Ongoing exchanges between the Armed Forces of both sides in areas of training, exercises and strengthening of infrastructure and capabilities were reviewed by both Ministers. It was decided to take measures to further enhance such exchanges. Both sides also agreed that there is a need for India and Maldives to continue to work together to tackle security concerns, in the interests of peace and stability in the region.


MiG Celebrates 50 Years Of Successful Cooperation With India

IMG_4536 by Chindits
IMG_4536, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Who Will Pay Liquidated Damages-Dassault Or HAL, MoD Steps In

1404_Page_05 by Chindits
1404_Page_05, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Modi Says Its Not Govt's Business To Do Business, Congress Takes 1st Step, HAL To Disinvest, Shares To Go Public !!

1404_Page_04 by Chindits
1404_Page_04, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

IAF Airbase Hasimara In North Bengal Completes 50 Years

Air Force Station, Hasimara, a premiere Indian Air Force (IAF) airbase under Eastern Air Command (EAC), established in the sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal after the Sino-India War of 1962, completed 50 years of operational existence last week.

A week-long celebration was held to mark the golden jubilee celebrations at the airbase from April 7, which ended on Saturday.

The airbase was activated on April 7, 1963, when an IAF Caribou aircraft landed and dropped off its first Station Commander, Wing Commander DG King-Lee. The airbase is presently commanded by Air Commodore N Bahri. 

The airbase was initially home to IAF Toofani squadrons. Over the years, various IAF fighter units operated from here flying the Gnats, Ajeets, Hunters, MiG-21Bis and the Mig-27 ML fighter jets.

Incidentally, the first aerobatics team of the IAF, famously called "The Thunderbolts" flying the Hawker Hunter aircraft was formed here at this base. The aerobatics team that enthralled the nation with scintillating displays was set up on the occasion of IAF's golden jubilee in 1982 and flew till the end of 1990.

On Saturday, three IAF Sukhoi-30 MKIs from EAC's Tezpur airbase flew in from neighbouring state of Assam for a glorious fly-past over the airbase heralding the golden milestone of the airbase. 

Aerial display by Mi-17 V5 helicopters, special heli-borne operations by IAF Garud commandos and skydiving display were also held. A large number of visitors including civilians viewed the static display that showcased Mig-27 ML fighter, Mi-17 V5 helicopter and air defence radars. A military band also performed at the event.

The decision to establish the air base here was taken after the 1962 war, which had just ended. The airbase took active part in the Indo-Pak conflict of 1965 and the Indo-Pak war in 1971. One Mahavir Chakra, three Vir Chakras, one Vayu Sena Medal and six Mention-in-Despatches were awarded to the valiant air warriors of this airbase in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Online Bill Processing Of Medical Bills for Veterans Inaugurated In Kochi

Pix1 by Chindits
Pix1, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Shri AK Antony, Defence Minister of India today inaugurated the online processing of medical bills under the The Ex Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) here. The ECHS is an important initiative of the Government of India wherein the veterans are afforded the best and latest medical care available in the country through 28 regional centers and poly clinics. The online bill processing system inaugurated today would speed up the reimbursement of money incurred by the empanelled private hospitals on medical care provided to the veterans. The medical bills incurred at the civil empanelled hospitals were hitherto processed manually resulting in significant delays due to the overwhelming usage and popularity of the scheme.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Antony narrated the tough service conditions under which the Indian Armed Forces serve in land, sea and air and said that the welfare of the veterans who have given the best years of their life for the nation, is uppermost priority for the Government of India. Shri Antony also informed the audience of the several pension enhancements the Government of India has provided recently despite prevalent economic conditions. While lauding the Government of Kerala for its slew of initiatives for Ex Service men welfare, he also exhorted the Government official machinery at the local levels to pay special attention to resolving problems raised by serving Armed Forces personnel as well as Ex Servicemen. Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Naval Command presided over the function.

Prior to the implementation of the ECHS , the veterans were treated in Armed Forces hospitals and were referred to advanced civil hospitals only in rare cases. Under the ECHS, veterans can enroll with an initial entry fee after which there is no financial limit for treatment as well age or medical condition restrictions.However, with the online processing of the bills , implemented at the Regional Centre at Kochi, the claims would be settled fast and the amount credited to the empanelled hospitals electronically. The online bill processing is a web based user friendly application implemented by UTI Infrastructure Technology and Services Limited, a company owned by the Government of India. Kerala has presently nearly 4, 80,000 Ex Servicemen who would avail of the ECHS facility. Union Minister Shri KV Thomas, Peoples representatives from the area and Major General J George, Managing Director of ECHS and a large number of veterans attended the function. Commodore MR Ajayakumar, Station Commander of the Navy at Kochi proposed vote of thanks.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bodies Of Indian Army Personnel Killed In South Sudan Flown Back Home

The bodies of five Indian peacekeepers who were killed in an ambush in South Sudan on Tuesday reached here early this morning. Four other personnel, who were injured in the attack, have also been brought back in a UN chartered aircraft.
The five army personnel killed in the incident were Lt Col Mahipal Singh, Naib Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal, Havaldar Hira Lal, Havaldar Bharat Singh and Sepoy Nand Kishore. They belonged to the 6 Mahar regiment and the 9 Mechanised Infantry battalion.
The body of Lt Col Singh, who belongs to Mahendragarh in Haryana, was taken to his native place in an ambulance by road. The IAF's AN-32 and Avro aircraft would be used to send the bodies to far off places such as Pithorgarh in Uttarakhand and Midnapore in West Bengal. There are around 2,200 Indian Army personnel comprising two battalions, one based in Jonglei and the other in Malakkal, Upper Nile, on the border with Sudan.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the attack saying it could amount to a war crime. The South Sudan Government has blamed followers of rebel leader David Yau Yau for the ambush. Government forces have been battling the rebels in Jonglei while UN peacekeepers are trying to maintain order and
minimise civilian causalities


Indian Navy Denies Sexual Harassment In Southern Naval Command, Dismisses Naval Wife's Claims !!

Indian Navy Statement : "We have received queries from more than one national TV channel about certain allegations levelled by the estranged spouse of a  young Lieutenant at Kochi. Whilst not taking sides in a dispute between two adults,  we would like you to be informed of our version.

A marital discord between a serving Officer and his spouse has resulted in the spouse of the Officer lodging an FIR with the local Police here. In cases of marital discord, there are bound to be bitter acrimony and mutual accusations and counter accusations. Such issues need to be dealt with sensitivity and as per laws of the land. Unlike the corporate world, in the Navy, the support system including the superior officers, and families of colleagues also endeavour to resolve such issues in the traditional esprit de corps, prevalent in the Forces.

However, in this specific case, the wife of the officer has leveled unfair allegations against superior officers in her husband’s chain of command, their spouses and other officers who have interacted with her. These officers accompanied by their respective spouses had tried to unsuccessfully resolve the issues dogging the couple’s personal life in a bid to leverage the strength of the Naval community bond. 
Unfortunately the Lady had resorted to such methods of dragging her estranged spouse’s colleagues into the vortex of their unhappy relationship, in the past too in other units in which her husband has served. The couple was also sent to a marriage councilor under the aegis of the Navy Wives Welfare Association. Southern Naval Command will co operate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure speedy completion of investigation to clear the fair name of the officers who intervened in the line of duty to resolve the domestic discord of a young officer."

Wife swapping story I broke in December 2011, which was denied by the Navy

 Naval denial to my story of Dec 2011 

 After Kochi, I reported a similar case happening in Bombay--Western Naval Command, in December 2011.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Brazilian Defexpo To Have A Comprehensive Line-Up Of Eurocopter's Light & Medium-Lift Choppers !!

This week’s LAAD Defense & Security exposition will feature a comprehensive lineup of Eurocopter light- and medium-lift helicopters, underscoring the company’s position as a rotorcraft supplier to Brazil’s civil and military operators while also highlighting its role as a strategic partner to the country’s aviation industry.

Exhibited at the Riocentro convention center in Rio de Janeiro are a Brazilian Army AS350 Fennec, two EC725s from the Brazilian Air Force and Navy fleets, a modernized Panther K2 for the Brazilian Army, an EC145 operated by police in the state of Bahía, and the enhanced AS350 B3e.

INS Vagli To Become A Heritage Museum in Chennai

 After 36 years of glorious service, INS Vagli, the oldest operational submarine of the Indian Navy that was decommissioned in Visakhapatnam in December 2010, is set to become an added tourist attraction in Mamallapuram. The submarine which was towed in by the Navy from Visakhapatnam to Chennai Port last month was handed over by Vice Admiral Anil K Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command to Thiru O Panneerselvam, Minister of Finance, Govt of Tamilnadu and Thiru P Chendur Pandian, Minister of Tourism, Govt of Tamilnadu in a function held at Chennai Port today. The submarine will be converted into a museum and set up alongwith the Heritage Museum being set up by the Govt of Tamilnadu in the shores of Mamallapuram. Commodore Amar K Mahadevan, Naval Officer-in-Charge (Tamilnadu & Puducherry), Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma, COMCG (East), Shri Rajagopal, Principal Secretary, Home, Shri R Kannan, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Shri T Sridhar, Additional Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Revenue Administration,  Commodore S Sekhar (Retired), prominent commissioning crew of Vagli, Commodore SH Subramaniam (Retired), one of the Commanding Officers of the submarine, senior serving and retired officers from Army, Navy, Air Force and other dignitaries from civil administration attended the function.

INS Vagli, a Foxtrot class submarine type 641B was commissioned by then Lieutenant Commander Lalit Talwar on 10 August 1974 at Riga, Latvia, in the erstwhile Soviet Union. She was the first of the ‘Vela’ class of submarines to be commissioned into the Indian Navy. INS Vagli has completed 36 years of dedicated service under 23 Commanding Officers and is probably the oldest unit in the Indian Navy. The submarine in her operational life participated in almost all major tactical exercises off both the sea boards and elsewhere. The first submarine to be based at Mumbai, Vagli later shifted base port to Visakhapatnam in 1993. Despite being the oldest unit commission in the Indian Navy, Vagli continued to serve with distinction. Even in its last operational cycle she completed 137 days at sea and 1232 dived hour. That the Indian Navy was able to operate a boat of this vintage so effectively also bears testimony to the dedication and skills of generations of maintainers and operators.


Commissioning Of Indian Coast Guard Ship H-191

DSC_0501 by Chindits
DSC_0501, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Indian Coast Guard Ship H-191, the fifth of the series of twelve Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) designed and built by M/s Griffon Hoverworks Limited (GHL), UK was commissioned at Mumbai by Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM Director General Indian Coast Guard. The commissioning ceremony was witnessed by Inspector General SPS Basra, YSM, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (West) and other dignitaries from Central and State Government.

The 21 metres long Air Cushion Vehicle with 31 tonnes displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots. The ACV is capable of undertaking multi-farious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and rendering assistance to small boats/craft in distress at sea.

The Air Cushion Vehicle H-191 will be based at Okha under the Administrative and Operational Control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West).

The hovercraft is commanded by Commandant IJ Singh and has a crew of 02 Officers and 11 Enrolled Personnel.


Pics : Indian Navy's Dornier Pilot--Abhilash Tomy, Circumnavigates The World Solo !!!

He is the 79th person in the world to go round solo and circumnavigate the world, 28,000 miles in 5 months, onboard INSV Mhadei.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Five Indian Army UN Peacekeepers Fatally Ambushed in South Sudan

In an incident in South Sudan at 1130 hrs (IST), a contingent of the Indian Peacekeeping Force under the UN Mission in South Sudan was ambushed by a rebel group while escorting a UN convoy. In the ensuing gun battle, five Indian peacekeepers- one officer, one JCO and 3 jawans- were martyred. Three others- One Officer and 2 jawans- received non-fatal injuries.

The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has expressed his condolences at the unfortunate loss of lives of Indian soldiers in the incident. Shri Antony has also conveyed his grief to the families of the fallen soldiers and lauded their bravery in the highest traditions of the Indian Army and in contribution to the peace and security in the world. 

The bodies of the deceased soldiers are being brought to India for their final rites with full military honours.

SUA To Apply On Marines


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Foundation Stone Of Indian National Defence University To Be Laid Next Month

Decks have now been cleared for the laying of foundation stone of Indian National Defence University (INDU). The final touches to the plan were given at a meeting presided over by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony here today.

The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is likely to lay the foundation stone in the last week of May. INDU will be a fully autonomous institution and will be located on over 200 acres of land at Binola near Gurgoan in Haryana. The university will have a mandate to provide knowledge based higher education for management of defence of the country keeping its participants abreast of emerging security challenges through scholarly research and training. INDU will be a unique institution of national importance.

Binola has been chosen owing to its proximity to the national capital and availability of land.  It is expected that a large number of international officials / students as well as own security leaders, civilian and defence officials would visit the main campus at Binola for courses and training.

The Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, the  Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC)  and the  Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, the Chief of the Army Staff General Bikram Singh, the Defence Secretary Shri Shashi Kant Sharma, the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral PK Chatterjee and Additional Secretary Shri Anuj Kumar Bishnoi attended the meeting.

The University will be headed by its President, who would be a three star serving General / equivalent officer with C-in-C status on appointment.  The Vice-President will be a civilian.  66% of students would be from the Armed Forces, whereas 33% of students would be drawn from other government agencies, police & civilian.  The teaching faculty will comprise both military personnel and civilians in the ratio of 1:1.  The University is being planned on the lines of IIT / IIMs.  

The idea of a National Defence University was first mooted in 1967.  This was followed by the Sethna Committee in 1980, Kargil Review Committee in 1999, Group of Ministers and Committee on National Defence University in 2001.  All of them had recommended setting up of a Defence University.

This long awaited University will be instituted by an Act of Parliament with President of India as the Visitor and Defence Minister as the Chancellor.  It will be governed by its own norms and will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction between Armed Forces & non-Armed Forces institutions / establishments in the country.   It will focus on higher education in defence studies, defence management and defence science & technology.  The University will offer post graduate studies and doctoral / post doctoral research.

Education Consultants of India Ltd (EdCIL), which is a Public Sector Enterprise set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has been appointed by Ministry of Defence as consultant for formulation of Detailed Project Report, Layout Plan and INDU Act & Statutes.


Army Chief Reviews Operational Preparedness Of Eastern Theatre

DSCN9153 by Chindits
DSCN9153, a photo by Chindits on Flickr.
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Bikram Singh who arrived Kolkata on Friday on a three-day visit to Eastern Command, was briefed on the operational preparedness of the Command by Army Commander, Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh on Saturday.

The Army Chief reiterated that the eastern theatre will be given due importance and all issues highlighted by the Army Commander are in keeping with his thrust on development of infrastructures to support the troops deployed in difficult areas.

The COAS also spoke to officers, Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and Other Ranks (OR) and emphasised on the Army as an organisation being akin to a family where every member must be proud to be a part of the Indian Army.

General Singh emphasised on the status and importance of the JCO, which gives them more responsibility and therefore, makes the more accountable. He also stated that he was happy with the state of morale in the army. He also informed the audience about some of the welfare measures initiated especially for the jawans.

The Army Chief is scheduled to meet nearly 12,000 ex-servicemen during a rally being organised at Barrackpore on Sunday.

"Ex-servicemen must be looked after the organisation because it is these servicemen who have been the bed rock of our Army and committed towards the security of our borders and nation building," Army Chief stated while addressing the gathering comprising officers, JCO and OR in Fort William.