Friday, June 27, 2014

Southern Naval Command Passing Out Parade

Rear Admiral M S Pawar VSM, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command reviewed the Passing Out Parade of officers of the 14 Naval Orientation Course at Naval base today.  A total of 38 young Lieutenants and Sub Lieutenants completed the final shore based training from various establishments under Southern Naval Command since Jul 2013.

Lt Rajkumar R (07168 R) bagged most of the awards and honours. He received the prestigious Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal for standing first in overall order of merit during the midshipman training phase. He also received Admiral Ramdas Katari trophy for standing first in overall merit from induction till Sub Lieutenant (X) Technical courses. Lt Bharath Sridhar (07172 Z) received the prestigious Chief of the Naval Staff Silver Medal for standing second in overall order of merit during the midshipman training phase. He also received the Chief of the Naval Staff Rolling Trophy for standing first in Sub Lieutenant (X) Technical courses. Lt Ravi NR (07178 N) received the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Rolling Trophy for standing second in Sub Lieutenant (X) Technical courses.  
The officers after fifty weeks of professional training will now proceed to frontline warships for final phase of sea based training prior to taking up staff appointments on the Indian Naval Ships.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Naval Commanders Conference : Navy Chief Says ' Navy's Expansion & Future Growth To Remain Anchored On Self Reliance & Indigenisation'

The first edition of the bi-annual Naval Commanders' Conference was conducted at New Delhi from 24-26 Jun 14. The Hon'ble Raksha Mantri inaugurated the conference and complimented the Indian Navy on its all round performance.

 Senior naval commander's discussed several important issues during the conference, including operational readiness, coastal security, maintenance philosophy and quality of refits for ensuring combat effectiveness of platforms, infra-structure development and foreign cooperation initiatives, amongst others.

 Admiral RK Dhowan chaired the conference and addressed the Navy’s top leadership in his first Commanders’ Conference as CNS. The Admiral outlined three inter-related priorities i.e. sustaining combat readiness, building capabilities for the future and addressing human resource challenges.

 CNS emphasised that combat readiness of the fleet and other operational formations is of prime importance and focussed efforts, as hitherto, are required at all levels to ensure sustained growth of the Navy into a formidable multi-dimensional force. Asserting that induction of Vikramaditya with integral fighter aircraft is a substantial boost to the Navy’s capabilities, the Admiral said the Navy’s surface capability is further poised for a quantum jump with the planned induction of Kolkata (P15 A Destroyer) and Kamorta (P 28 ASW Frigate) in the near future.

 The CNS expressed satisfaction at the steady augmentation of assets in the aviation arm of the Navy with progressive induction of P 8I LRMR aircraft, commissioning of ALH squadron and induction of AJT aircraft. Discussions were also held on the ongoing LCA (Navy) project. Capability gaps resulting from the ageing submarine fleet, shortage of integral helicopters in the fleets and the need for Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs) were also discussed.

 The Admiral discussed the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as private sectors, should remain an area of focus. He emphasized that the ‘Roadmap for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain anchored on Self-reliance and Indigenisation’.

 The CNS reviewed the 'coastal security construct' and was satisfied with the steady progress made in strengthening the coastal security apparatus viz. induction of FICs, ISVs and NC3 I project. He asserted the need to remain ever vigilant and focussed towards our coastal security responsibilities, through proactive coordination with other maritime agencies and coastal states.

 CNS highlighted that our foreign cooperation initiatives and engagements are growing considerably and past efforts have borne fruit in various forms. He appreciated the quick response of the ships and aircraft deployed towards SAR of ill-fated missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner MH 370.

During the course of the conference, the CNS reviewed progress of various infrastructure projects that are in pipeline and shall contribute towards futuristic capacity building. The need to adopt sustainable green technologies, re-cycling and waste management to reduce carbon footprint of our bases, in pursuance of the energy goals of our country were impressed upon by the CNS.

 The Admiral also discussed about the utilisation of resources allocated to the Indian Navy. Ensuring that every rupee is stretched to the maximum and optimally utilised through adherence to cost consciousness, especially in the acquisition of spares, equipment and machinery, was stressed upon by the CNS.

 Bringing the focus on Human Resource Development and Management, the CNS stated that our men and women are our greatest assets and their morale and well-being should always remain a primary concern. The need to attract and retain quality manpower by focusing on measures to provide a high quality of life at all stages of their career was also discussed. CNS also applauded the contribution of civilian personnel, who form a large component of naval human resources. He reiterated his vision to run a taut, effective and happy Navy.

One of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity naval commanders' had to interact with the MoD officials and the other service chiefs. General Bikram Singh, COAS and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, CAS also addressed the naval top brass and discussed with them issues pertaining to joint operations and military synergy.

 The CNS concluded the conference by complimenting all personnel of the Indian Navy for their professionalism and patriotism, and exhorted them to prepare themselves and the Navy to meet the maritime security challenges being faced by the nation. “We need to pull on the oars together to propel the Navy to greater heights”, he said. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Indian, Sri Lankan Coast Guard Chiefs Meet, Discuss Fishermen

A three member delegation led by Rear Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne, WV, RWP & Bar, RSP, USP, ndc,psn the Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG), visited India from 24-28 Jun 2014, for High Level Meeting, with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The Indian delegation was led by Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, AVSM & Bar,Director General Indian Coast Guard. The visit was in continuation of the various efforts by the governments of the two countries towards cooperation between the Indian Coast Guard and Sri Lanka Coast Guard and pursuance of the discussions on maritime issues of mutual concerns to formulate a cooperative approach.

The establishment of Sri Lanka Coast Guard on 04 Mar 2010 has been a way forward in meeting the challenges in the new global safety and security regime in this region. The recent visit is very significant in providing a fresh impetus to the existing ties between the two organisations as the meeting is being held in the back drop of the evolving maritime security situation in the region. The focus of the meeting was on further strengthening the operational level interaction for Search and Rescue, preservation & protection of maritime environment, revalidating standard operating procedures & communication procedures between the two Coast Guard. 

During the visit, the SL CG delegation also called on the Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy and the Defence Secretary and deliberated on issues of common maritime interests.

During the 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 and further streamlining the procedure for release/ repatriation of fishermen.

DCNS Performs Over 50 Combat-System Trials On FREMM Normandie!

The FREMM Normandie multi-mission frigate, second of the series ordered by OCCAR* on behalf of the French DGA (General Directorate for Armament) and the French Navy, has just completed five weeks of intense activities off the Toulon coast. These trials have allowed the validation of the frigate’s combat system performance before its delivery to the French Navy at the end of 2014.

Indigenously Built Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes To Enter Service In Indian Navy

There is visible alacrity seen in the frenetic activities onboard India's newly-built anti submarine warfare (ASW) corvette Kamorta docked at the fitting-out jetty (FOJ) of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), Kolkata, one of the four Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) shipyards in India.

Kamorta, a super-sophisticated frontline warship with stealth features is readying to sail out from the GRSE FOJ to join the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet in its role as Indian Navy's newest submarine hunter/killer.

Known earlier by its GRSE 'Yard-3017' nomenclature where the keel was first laid and launched in 2010, the sturdy warship Kamorta is the first in its class of four ASW corvettes being built under Project-28 (P28) for the Indian Navy.

ASW corvettes Kadmatt, Kiltan and Kavaratti are to follow suit progressively. The lethal quartet will bring to easy recall names of the four islands in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshwadeep archipelago after which they are named.

They will be feared platforms for lurking enemy submarines and possibly their nemesis too when detected lurking in our territorial waters. They would also be deployed as advance screen for the Carrier Battle Group to counter any submarine threat to the force.

Clearly, the rules of the game below sea-level are set to change drastically with no room for enemy submarines to manouevre.

Meanwhile, Kamorta's designated Captain -- Commander Manoj Jha -- and the ship's company (officers and sailors) are meticulously carrying out checks of all systems and equipment onboard including the crucial gas-leak checks as per drills as the date for the formal acceptance of the warship from GRSE draws closer.

The formal acceptance will take place in a ceremony -- D-448 Handing/taking Over -- later this month. The warship is slated to be commissioned by Indian Navy at Vishakhapatnam in July 2014, where significantly a nuclear submarine - Arihant - is also being built indigenously.

Shaping a Builder's Navy - Realising a vision in self-reliance

The ASW corvette brings to fruition a significant project in India's pursuit for self-reliance in indigenous warship building, bringing closer home Indian Navy's quest to be a 'Builder's Navy' as well as a true 'Blue-water Navy' with ships and submarines designed and built within the country.

ASW corvette project was conceived with indigenous design effort in the year 2005, which was followed by evolvement of detailed design ab-initio by GRSE in succeeding years. The equipment fit of the ship comprises of large number of state-of-the-art equipment which are being installed on a naval warship for the first time.

Designed by ‘Directorate of Naval Design’ (DND), the successful construction of ASW corvettes with advanced stealth features also bears testimony to Indian Navy's growing capabilities in designing state-of-the-art naval combatants comparable with the best in the world.

Stealth capabilities in the ASW corvettes have been designed by featuring the full-beam superstructure with contemporary ‘X-form’ and optimally-sloped surfaces to reduce RCS (radar cross section) signature.

The ship’s hull form has been made highly efficient for excellent sea-keeping and manoeuverability. The ship has an overall length of 109 meters and is nearly 13 metres wide at its maximum bulge.

The hull of the ship is built with special grade high-tensile steel (DMR249A) developed by Indian Navy and procured from SAIL (Steel Authority of India) for which GRSE trained its team of welders to achieve conditions of near zero-rejection state.

This grade of steel is being used for the first time on any indigenously built naval ship making the ship very cost effective, fuel-efficient, powerful and well suited for the service intended.

With an approximate displacement of 3400 tonnes, the ships can achieve a maximum speed of 25 knots. Powered by four indigenously designed 3888 KW diesel engines at 1050 rpm, the ship can cover nearly 3,500 nautical miles at 18 knots.

Each ship would be manned by 14 officers and 150 sailors. Ergonomy and crew comfort in manning equipment onboard has remained a focus area. Further, the ship has a modern galley (kitchen) for ship’s company.

With about 90 per cent of the ship being indigenous, P28 corvettes introduce many features for the first time in any naval warship. Many of these features bear testimony to commendable indigenization efforts undertaken by Indian Navy jointly with Indian industries for furthering our self-reliance in warship building capability.

Among the many firsts, the ASW corvette incorporates a state-of-art low-noise CODAD (combined diesel and diesel) propulsion system with hydraulic coupling between main engines and gearbox.

Two controllable pitch propellers driven by two raft-mounted gear boxes are capable of twin output or single output as required. This mechanism reduces underwater noise making detection of the ship by hostile underwater threats extremely difficult.

The four engines are mounted on the rafts - two on each - for driving the propellers. Indigenously developed IRSS (infrared signature suppression system) devices are fitted in engine exhaust for reducing infra-red signatures enabling it to stealthily operate.

With reverse osmosis plant for freshwater generation, sewage treatment plant with vacuum toilet facilities totally compliant with International Maritime Organization regulations, the warship measures up to all stringent regulatory needs to operate across oceans of the world.

The ship is also provided with an operator friendly TAC (total atmospheric control) system for high combat readiness with improved habitability and features a fully air-conditioned modular type accommodation. 

Electrical power for the ship is generated by four diesel-engine sets powering to 3 MW connected with the ship’s network ensuring 100 percent redundancy at all times.

The ship is also fitted with sophisticated, indigenously made stabilizing systems. The propulsion as well as the power generation systems with damage control system is enveloped by an 'Integrated Platform Management System' for achieving a superior state of control and integration.

Equipped with an 'Integrated Bridge System', operational watch-keeping needs have been given a high priority in its design with optimal space availability for other watch-related activities.

The ship is also fitted with latest communication systems and navigational aids. It is also the first naval ship fitted with bow-mounted 'sonar' (sound navigation and ranging) for enhanced underwater surveillance. Integration of indigenous surveillance radar (Revathi) for surface and air surveillance is another first on any Indian warship.

The weapon suite of the ship is formidable and will be capable of engaging ships, aircraft and shore targets besides having astounding anti-submarine capability. It will be the first warship armed with an indigenous rocket launcher for ASW warfare, while also being the first warship armed with trainable chaff launcher (Kavach).

The weapons and sensors include fire-control radar, surface-to-air missiles, close-in weapon system, medium-range gun system, surveillance radar, chaff system for counter-measures against enemy radars and missiles, torpedo launcher, anti-submarine rocket launchers, EW system, combat management system and advanced sonar system.

These multi-performance features will also provide effective naval gunfire support during amphibious operations.

The ship is also capable of deploying a helicopter, adding considerable punch to the ship’s anti-submarine capability. With a foldable hangar door fitted for the first time with a rail-less helicopter traversing system fitted -- also a noteworthy first on any naval ship -- helicopter operations from the corvette decks will have a significant edge over existing platforms of other warships.

GRSE now a DPSU role model

Currently engaged with projects worth 10,000 Crores and credited with an 'Excellent' MoU rating for last three years, GRSE manufactures a wide range of high-tech modern warships and hovercraft including frigates, corvettes, ASW corvettes, landing ship tank, fleet replenishment tankers, landing craft utility ships, survey vessels, water-jet fast attack craft and interceptor boats.

Much to the dismay of the mandarins at Delhi till not so long ago, GRSE was once touted as an example of how a DPSU should not be. Besotted with labour problems among other things, GRSE began to be the pariah of sorts. But remarkably, GRSE has managed to overhaul both its relevance and stature by being among the profit-making DPSUs since 2006.

Former National Security Advisor and currently West Bengal Governor, Shri MK Narayanan, while speaking at GRSE Raising Day on April 19, stated: "I am well-aware of many facets of its (GRSE) functioning. Today, it is a flourishing ‘Mini Ratna’ with Category-1 status. There was, however, a time when many of us in Delhi had written off the GRSE, treating it as a hopeless case in view of the many problems – specially labour troubles -- which plagued the unit leading to prolonged work stoppages.

The GRSE was then seen as the kind of role model that a Defence PSU should not be. Today, thanks to the approach and attitude of workers, officers and specially the dynamism of more recent Chairman/Managing Directors, the situation has been completely transformed. It is today the model or a Defence PSU that every other PSU – whether in the Defence or non-Defence sector – should emulate."

GRSE turnover has since tripled in a little over five years, thus reflecting the healthy growth of the undertaking. GRSE now boasts of a strong shipbuilding division which includes design and manufacturing sub-divisions, and is perhaps the only Defence shipyard in the country which has its own engineering division.

The successful handing over the first P28 ASW corvette to the Indian Navy within this fortnight will surely bolster GRSE's growing stature as a major warship builder not just within India but also on the global stage.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Defence Minister Inaugurates Naval Commanders' Conference at New Delhi

The biannual Naval Commanders` Conference of 2014 commenced in New Delhi today. This conference is held to discuss issues of operational relevance, identify capability gaps and to review the future plans of the Indian Navy. 

The Defence Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley inaugurated the conference and congratulated the men and women of the Indian Navy for discharging their duties with utmost diligence and professionalism. He met Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan, Commanders’-in-Chiefs of various commands of the navy and other top commanders and held discussions with them. 

Sh. Jaitley referred to the prevailing security environment in our neighbourhood and complimented the Navy`s efforts for working in tandem with a large number of central and state agencies. He stated that the deployment of our assets has been highly effective and needs to be continued to secure the country’s economic and maritime interests. Taking note of the capability shortfall of conventional submarines, ship-borne helicopters, mine counter measure vessels and other weapons and sensors in the Navy, he assured that all efforts would be made to ensure operational preparedness of the Indian Navy. 

Taking note of the overseas deployments and bilateral exercises by naval ships with the regional navies in the South China Sea, Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf, he said that these have further strengthened our bilateral relationships, enhanced inter-operability and built, as well as renewed `bridges of friendship`. 

Appreciating the indigenisation efforts of the Indian Navy, Sh. Jaitley made a mention of the fact that all 44 naval ships and submarines under construction are being built in Indian shipyards. He stressed that these efforts need to be further strengthened for timely inductions of the platforms. 

Addressing the challenges pertaining to human resource development in the Navy, which are unique due to high levels of technical skills required to operate nuclear submarines, state-of-the-art ships and deck launched fighter aircraft, Sh. Jaitley assured that all efforts will be made to reduce the existing shortfall of manpower. 

Sh. Jaitley said the Indian Navy personnel have always risen to the challenges and have conducted themselves in the best traditions of the service. He said that the establishment is aware of the sacrifices made by the men in uniform and would accord necessary thrust to welfare measures, both for the serving as well as retired community. 

The Defence Minister complimented the Navy for adopting Green initiatives and environment protection measures by reducing the carbon footprint and rationalizing use of energy resources. Sh. Jaitley expressed confidence that the Senior Commanders of the Navy will take a close look at all the important issues and take decisions to address the shortcomings and chart out a futuristic, visionary roadmap for the Navy. 

The Naval Commanders are discussing matters related to combat readiness of the fleet and other operational formations, building capabilities for the future and addressing human resource challenges amongst others. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Army Chief Visits South Western Command

General Bikram Singh, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) accompanied by Mrs Bubbles Singh, President Central Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), visited HQ South Western Command at Jaipur on 22 and 23 Jun 2014.  They were received by Lt Gen Arun Kumar Sahni, GOC-in-C (Army Commander), South Western Command and Mrs Vineeta Sahni, President Regional AWWA, South Western Command on 22 Jun 2014.

During his visit, the COAS addressed all officers of the Command.  While 400 officers were present in Jaipur, the others were addressed using Video Conferencing.  The COAS complimented them on the professionalism exhibited during various exercises, including those with foreign armies.  He reiterated the prevailing external and internal security environment and emphasized the efforts required to overcome the myriad security challenges.  The COAS stated that transformation and modernization of the Armed Forces, including induction of state of art equipment, jointness and development of network centricity were the prerequisites for operational readiness and excellence.  He stressed upon the rich military traditions, ethos and the value system and the importance to remain committed and well focused to discharge our onerous responsibilities, while catering for all contingencies.

He further reiterated that Veterans were part of our extended family and it is our sacred duty to look after them.  He complimented the Sapta Shakti Command for taking numerous initiatives in this direction.  The COAS also visited 61 Cavalry being the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment and interacted with all ranks of the unit.

Mrs Bubbles Singh, President Central AWWA, interacted with the families of Sapta Shakti Command.  She complimented them for their wholehearted efforts towards the implementation of the inclusive welfare schemes through AWWA and impressed upon all families to lead happy and progressive lives in an enriching and conducive environment.  The COAS departed for Delhi in the afternoon of 23 Jun 2014.

Naval Commanders Arrive For Commanders Conference

 Vice Admiral Satish Soni, PVSM, AVSM,NM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam and Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema PVSM, AVSM, NM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Kochi called on Admiral RK Dhowan PVSM AVSM YSM ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff  at his office today.
Being their first official ‘call-on’ after assuming office, both the Flag officers’ were received at the South Block lawns by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff  and were presented a ‘Guard of Honour’. Various issues of ‘operational and administrative’ nature were discussed during the meeting later. 
It may be recalled that Vice Admiral Satish Soni had taken over the command of Eastern Naval Command on 16 Jun 14 and Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema had taken over the command of Eastern Naval Command on 19 Jun 14.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Inducts 400 Officers

Over 400 management and design trainees – selected through stringent procedures amid lakhs of applicants have formally been inducted in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as officers at a convocation program held on June 21, 2014. Some of them have graduated from NITs, IITs and other premier engineering a management institutes.

Addressing the young officers Dr. RK Tyagi, Chairman, HAL, urged them to start contributing their mite in the Company’s progress. “This is a defining moment for the country and you have all the opportunity to make your presence felt in India’s defence preparedness”, he said. Dr. Tyagi called upon them to translate their individual talent into meaningful achievements by being a part of a large HAL family.

The trainees belong to 41st batch of HAL and are posted to Korwa, Lucknow, Kanpur, Koraput, Nasik, Hyderabad, Barrackpore and Bangalore. A comprehensive one year training program included industry orientation and management programs. Eminent speakers from institutions and industries interacted with them. The training also included experimental learning through various activities such as group projects, theatre work, visits to charitable institutions and art classes. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. VM Chamola, Director, HR, pointed out that organization is as good as its people and trainees besides bringing new ideas should incorporate values of the older generation which has left a rich legacy. The Directors and MDs of HAL were present on the occasion.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Delayed Naval Commanders Conference To Be Held From 24-26 June, Op Status Of New Inductions To Top Agenda

After a delay of more than two months, the Indian naval commanders conference will be held here from 24-26th June. It had to be held in April, but got postponed, due to delay in announcement of top naval appointments, as was reported here . Now with all naval commanders appointed and settled, the much awaited conference will take place, next week, with operational status of new inductions and operational support infrastructure likely to top agenda/discussions.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Astra BVR-AAM Successfully Test Fired From Su-30MKI

ASTRA BVR-Air-to-Air Missiles was tested successfully from Su-30MKI by the Indian Air Force from a naval range off Goa. The launch conducted on 20th Jun 2014 from over 6 km altitude was a control and guidance flight which successfully demonstrated interception of an electronically simulated target at long range. Both, tests, today's test and earlier launch on 09th June 2014 conducted to demonstrate the aerodynamic characteristics of the missile, have demonstrated the repeatability, robustness and endurance capability of Astra BVR-AAM as a weapon system.

Congratulating the team, Dr.Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri and DG, DRDO attributed the continuing success of the development trials to the joint efforts by DRDO and Indian Air Force working together as team. He especially congratulated the Air Force Test team from ASTE for carrying out the trials inspite of the heavy monsoons in the west coast.

Dr.VG Sekaran, Director General (MSS) said that “the continuous success of ASTRA development trials is a confirmation of the maturity of DRDO in air-to-air missile design and implementation”.

The air-launch trials of Astra BVR-AAM are going on as scheduled with the full support of Air Force and will meet all performance requirements of the IAF said the Project Director Dr.S Venugopal.

Southern Naval Command To Celebrate World Hydrographic Day

21st of June is celebrated as World Hydrographic day each year under the aegis of the World Hydrographic Organisation (WHO) of which is India is also a member. The theme this year is ‘Hydrography- Much more than just Nautical Charts’. 

The profession is very vital for the maritime infrastructure and thereby the economy of our country. This is a very important national responsibility carried out by the silent service of hydrography.This National responsibility is shouldered by the Indian navy and discharged by its hydrographic department. Southern Naval Command has a sizeable component of the surveying capability of the Indian Navy comprising 03 survey ships and shore based survey unit. These units are doing a yeoman’s service to the nation through the dedicated efforts and thorough professionalism. 

The Hydrographic ships of the Indian Navy also spearhead the Naval diplomacy in the Indian Ocean region fostering bilateral relations with our neighbours across the seas by way of providing hydrographic assistants to these nations. Apart from the extensive survey related tasking of SNC ships, INS Jamuna recently undertook important survey missions in Kenya and Tanzania. This work of SNC Ships has boosted co-operation with host countries and spurred diplomatic activities as well as defence interoperability.

As part of the world hydrographic day this year, the Southern Naval Command is organizing a presentation on the importance of hydrography and the role of National Hydrographic Organization on 25th visits of students from CUSAT, NCC and Navy Children School to the survey ships INS Jamuna, INS Sutlej and INS Survekshak on World Hydrographic Day to enhance awareness amongst the young minds.

Air Chief Sorties Basic Trainer Pilatus PC7 MKII At Airforce Academy

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Indian Navy's Southern Command Gets A New Chief

Vice Admiral Surinder Pal SinghCheema PVSM, AVSM, NM assumed command of Southern Naval Command as itsCommander in-Chief at an impressive ceremonial parade held at INS Garuda today.The Flag Officer prior to assuming the command laid wreath at the War Memorial tooffer remembrances to thousands of martyrs who had fought for the country.

TheAdmiral was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1977.  He is a graduate of the National DefenceAcademy (NDA), Khadakwasala, The Defence Services Staff College (DSSC),Wellington and the College of Naval Warfare (CNW), Mumbai. A specialist in Missile and Gunnery, he spentmajority of his time on afloat and operational appointments. He has had thedistinction of being the Commanding Officer of five frontline ships, namely, themissile boat INS Nishank, Mauritian Coast Guard OPV Vigilant, the missilecorvette INS Khanjar, the stealth frigate INS Trishul and the prestigious Aircraftcarrier INS Viraat.

Hisappointments ashore include the Commandant of the Naval Academy and CommandingOfficer INS Mandovi. He also has the unique distinction of winning both the Lentaigne(Best Dissertation) and Scudder Medals (First in overall order of merit) whileundergoing course at DSSC.

On promotion to the Flag rank in May2006, he was appointed ACNS, Information Warfare and Operations (IW & Ops)at IHQ, MoD (Navy).  His other flag appointmentsinclude the Chief of Staff, Western Naval Command, Flag Officer CommandingWestern Fleet, Controller Personnel Services, IHQ MoD (Navy), DCIDS PerspectivePlanning and Force Development (PP&FD) and DCIDS (DOT).  His appointment as the Flag OfficerCommanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command is a unique distinction being histhird Command as a Commander-in-Chief since being promoted to C-in-C grade on31 Aug 12. Prior to this he has been the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff(CISC) to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee as also the Commander-in-Chiefof the Strategic Forces Command - a Tri-Services Command responsible for allnuclear forces of the country.

The Officer has excelled anddistinguished himself in several operational appointments at sea earning‘Mention in Despatches’ for duty in the face of enemy during operations in SriLanka. He was also awarded the Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry) when in Command ofINS Nishank; AVSM when in Command of INS Viraat and PVSM as the C-in-C, StrategicForces Command.  He is a keen sportsmanand plays Squash and Golf. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Video : Akash Missile Flight Tested Successfully in Very Low Altitude Near Range Mission

Akash Missile Flight Tested Successfully in Very Low Altitude Near Range Mission

Akash, missile was successfully test fired in very low altitude near boundary mission today i.e. 18th June 2014 by the Indian Army. This flight trial was last among the validation trials being carried out by Army on the first off production models of Akash supersonic missile. The supersonic missile intercepted the very small unmanned fast moving Banshee aerial vehicle at 30 m altitude above sea level proving the system capability against subsonic cruise missile. The sophisticated multi-function radar with built in features tracked the low flying target continuously throughout its course. Special algorithms / techniques developed by DRDO for overcoming the multiple target reflections coming from the sea worked perfectly in the mission. With this flight trial, Indian Army accomplishes all the validation trials on the first off production models and the system is being delivered for induction.  Shri Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri, Secretary Deptt of Def. R&D and DG DRDO congratulated the teams from DRDO, Production agencies and Army for successful demonstration of intercepting the target in a low altitude near boundary mission and said, “While indigenous development, production and induction of Akash is making very significant contribution to India’s self-reliance in air defence technologies, Akash also has great export potential”.
The trials were supervised by Shri G Chandramouli, Project Director Akash and were witnessed by Director General Army Air Defence, other senior Army officials, Dr RV Narayana, Associate Director  LRDE, Shri MVKV Prasad, Director ITR, Shri MM Handa GM,BEL, Shri NB Singh, Director Technical, BDL.

Akash mobile Air Defence Weapon System has been designed, developed and led to production by DRDO for defending and protecting the important assets of the country from penetrating aerial attacks. It has completed all the development flight tests, user trials and the system is in production for Army and Air Force. The sophisticated technology has been successfully transferred to lead production agencies BEL and BDL. More than 250 industries are engaged in production and supply of various subsystems / components with military / aerospace grade quality for Akash missile and ground systems. BEL and BDL are engaged in executing the production orders worth more than Rs 20,000 Cr placed by armed forced for the Akash missile systems. In addition, independent orders for 3D-Central acquisition radar, an offshoot of Akash missile system have also been placed by the three services. The Akash missile systems worth Rs 3500 Cr have already been produced and delivered to the services. 

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Visits India

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Indian Coast Guard Interceptor Boat Renders Assistance To Fishing Trawler

In the wee hours of 15 Jun 14, a distress signal was received by Coast Guard Station Vizhinjam regarding a stranded fishing trawler FV St George(Regn No TN 15 MFB732) with nine fisherman approximately 47 NM off Vizhinjam from MRCC, Mumbai. At about 0715 hrs, the newly commissioned interceptor boat of Indian Coast Guard, ICGS C-407 sailed out for rendering assistance to the trawler in distress. Overcoming the heavy swell and strong winds, C-407 rendezvoused the vessel in distress at around 1030 hrs approx 47 nm away from the Vizhinjam. Detailed investigation by the Coast Guard personnel revealed that the vessel under Tamilnadu Registration, sailed out form Colachal Harbour on the 04th this month. The vessel was adrift since 06 June 2014 following engine failure due to a shaft malfunction. In spite of their best efforts, the engine failure couldn’t be rectified at sea due to the rough weather conditions, Mr Johnson, Master of the vessel said. The vessel had 09 fishermen onboard including the master and is owned by Mr Robinson, St Thomas Nagar, Thoothoor, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu. Further, communication sets of the vessel also malfunctioned leading to difficulty in communication. 

Following rendezvous, the highly trained and competent personnel of the Indian Coast Guard undertook the daunting task of rescuing the vessel in distress by towing the vessel back to harbour. Towing operation for taking it towards the safe shelter commenced at around 1100 hrs.

FV was towed continuously for almost 10 hrs despite inclement weather conditions. Further, the vessel was brought alongside the harbour and was handed over to Asst Director, Fisheries, Dept of Fisheries, Thiruvanathapuram at around 1830 hrs. “The conditions at sea were not conducive for towing operations and the mission was successfully accomplished due to competence and hardwork of the personnel onboard” said the Commanding Officer of the Ship, Dy Commandant Deep Chandra Mathpal. Station Commander of Indian Coast Guard, Vizhinjam, Commandant Athinarayanan, who was continuously monitoring the progress of the mission since morning said that the newly commissioned vessel has given a cutting edge to the Coast Guard in providing humanitarian assistance in times of need. He added that C - 407 undertook the challenging and herculean task despite forecast on inclement weather conditions prevailing along the Kerala coast. ICGS-407 has been recently commissioned on 30 May 2014 by Shri KS Balasubramanian, Diector General Of Police, Kerala during an impressive ceremony at Vizhinjam 

With the onset of monsoons, fishing ban has already been imposed across the Kerala Coast wef 15 Jun 2014. Adequate warnings and notices regarding safety at sea during monsoons have already being issued from time to time by the Fisheries department, added Mr Sreekandan, Additional Director, Department of Fisheries, Thiruvanathapuram.

Defence Minister Visits Forward Areas In Uri Sector Of J&K

Raksha Mantri Shri Arun Jaitley, who on his two day visit to valley from 14 to 15 Jun 14, visited the forward post on the Line of Control in Uri sector of North Kashmir today. He was accompanied by General Bikram Singh, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen DS Hooda, Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, Chinar Corps Commander and other senior officials of Army and Ministry of Defence (MoD).

 Raksha Mantri was briefed about the trends in infiltration of the terrorists and the Counter Infiltration grid established by Army along the Line of Control. He also interacted with the troops deployed on the Line of Control.

Back in Srinagar, Shri Arun Jaitley attended the Special Security Review meeting held at Sher-e- Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), attended by the Chief Minister, the Chief of Army Staff, the Northern Army Commander, the Chinar Corps Commander and other official of state and civil administration. Security related issues were discussed during the meeting. Later in the day, he left for Delhi.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Prime Minister Spends A Day Onboard INS Vikramaditya

In his first visit to an operational military formation after assuming office, thePrime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the country’s new aircraft carrier,INS Vikramaditya to the Nation. The Prime Minister embarked the aircraftcarrier at sea off Goa, which was operating in the company of ten otherfrontline warships of the Indian Navy’s ‘Sword Arm’ – the Western Fleet.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by theChief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Minister of State for DefenceRao Inderjit Singh, the National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, the Chief ofNaval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan and the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur. He wasreceived onboard INS Vikramaditya by the Commander-in-Chief, Western NavalCommand  Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, andFleet Commander, Western Fleet Rear Admiral AK Chawla,.
On arrival at the Naval Air Station INS Hansa earlier in the morning, the PrimeMinister was received by Admiral RK Dhowan and accorded a ceremonial Guard ofHonour. Thereafter, Shri Modi embarked the aircraft carrier at sea byhelicopter.
During the day, the Prime Minister witnessed ‘Air Power Demonstration’ by variousnaval aircraft including MiG 29K, Sea Harriers, P 8 I Long Range MaritimePatrol Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft, TU 142M, IL 38 SD, Dorniers, Kamov andSea King helicopters. He also witnessed high speed manoeuvres by Western Fleetships including the other aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi class destroyersMysore and Mumbai, stealth frigates Tarkash, Talwar and Teg, guided missilefrigates Betwa and Godavari and fleet tanker Deepak amongst others.

Shri Modi also interacted withofficers and sailors onboard and congratulated them on their hard work anddedication in fully operationalising the INS Vikramaditya in such a short period.  In his address to the personnel of the fleet,the Prime Minister stated that INS Vikramaditya will significantly enhance the‘Blue Water’ capability of the Indian Navy.
TheWestern Fleet, also known as the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy consists of manyfrontline warships including the Aircraft Carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INSViraat.  Commissioned on 16 Nov 2013 atSeverodovinsk, Russia, the 44,500 tons displacement INS Vikramaditya marks thecoming of age for the navy and its commitment to safeguard the maritimeinterests of the country. 
Withan overall length of 284 meters and a width of 60 meters measuring over threefootball fields, this floating airfield is equipped to carry a maximum of 34aircraft such as MIG 29 K fighters and Kamov 31 helicopters.  The ship is now fully operational with Indianpilots taking off and landing the MIG 29K naval combat aircraft.  Manned by a highly professional and competentcrew of 110 officers and 1500 sailors, the ship can propel at speeds over 30knots on the strength of her eight boilers producing a combined thrust of1,80,000 Shaft Horse power.
Forthe first time, the Naval communication satellite, Rukmini, was used totelecast live the events on board INS Vikramaditya. It was significant that thelive telecast took place from a moving platform.       

Defence Minister Visits Valley, Forward Areas In J&K

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Arun Jaitely, arrived at Srinagar on his two day maiden visit to Valley on 14 Jun 2014. He is accompanied by Gen Bikram Singh, Chief of the Army Staff.       
On arrival, the  Raksha Mantri was received by Lt Gen DS Hooda, Northern Army Commander and Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, Chinar Corps Commander. The Raksha Mantri visited Headquarters of Chinar Corps wherein he was given a comprehensive briefing on the overall security situation in the Valley including the Counter Infiltration grid along the Line of Control and Counter Terrorism grid in the hinterland. Later in the day, Shri Omar Abdullah, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of J&K called on the  Raksha Mantri at Nehru Guest House. Subsequently, Raksha Mantri called on His Excellency, Shri N N Vohra, Hon’ble Governor of J&K.

On 15 Jun 2014, Raksha Mantri is scheduled to visit the forward areas along the Line of Control where he will be interacting with commanders and troops. He is also scheduled to attend special Unified Headquarters Meeting at Srinagar.