Saturday, August 30, 2014

Former Defence Minister Had Asked Ex-Army Chief To Sign 197 Chopper Deal At His Own Risk, Latter Refused !!

Former Defence Minister AK Antony had asked former Army Chief (retd) Gen Bikram Singh to go ahead and sign the 197 chopper deal at his own risk, but the Chief had refused, obviously fearing controversies post his retirement.  I met former Army Chief Gen Bikram on Jan 13, 2014 (his last Army Day press conference) at Manekshaw, and asked him about the deal, he said there was a CBI inquiry on and he was waiting for the results, only after which a decision would be taken. He retired, no decision taken and deal axed. 

Above is the first story about the 197 choppers, which I broke in 2007, for which one of my colleagues rebuked me saying, I was pushing back the purchase of these much-needed choppers, as I didnt understand the pain of the soldiers on Siachen , etc ...that was the first cancellation, followed by the threat of a second cancellation, which was again broken by me in May 2010 .

French Eurocopter was in competition with Russian Kamov for the 197 LUH deal for the Indian Army.

With this cancellation, all we know is that Army modernisation has been pushed back several years now.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Defence Minister Reviews Scorpene Submarine Project At Mazagaon Dock, Mumbai

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Arun Jaitley accompanied by  Admiral RK Dhowan Chief of the Naval Staff visited Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai today and reviewed the progress of the Project 75 (Indigenous submarine construction project) as well as the other ongoing warship building projects including P-15 B class stealth destroyers . The visit of Raksha Mantri, within 3 months of taking over amply demonstrates the importance being accorded by the Government to the indigenous construction of submarines and warships.
During his visit the Defence Minister inaugurated the Mazdock Modernisation Project (MMP), which would significantly enhance the warship and submarine construction capability of the shipyard. M/s Haskoning Nederland B.V. (HNBV), world renowned consultants in the field of marine construction, were appointed as consultant for this project.  The major components created under MMP include a new Wet basin with level luffing cranes, 300-Ton Goliath Crane, Module Workshop, Stores Building, Shipyard transporter and Cradle & Assembly shop at a cost of Rs. 800 Crores approx.
It may be recalled that Project 75 submarine construction project is a very important project for the country and Indian Navy. 06 state-of-the-art submarines fitted with latest equipment are being built at MDL, Mumbai under collaboration with M/s DCNS France, giving a massive boost to the indigenous submarine construction capability of the country. With all the impediments & material hurdles resolved, the construction of the submarines is progressing on schedule to meet the planned delivery schedule of Sep 2016.
Presently, first three submarines of the project are in outfitting phase, and the systems of the first submarine are being ‘Set to Work’. The Project is being reviewed at regular intervals at all levels at Naval Headquarters and Ministry of Defence (MoD) to gear up for the launch of the first submarine in Sep 2015. Preparations to induct these submarines are in progress and the selected crew has commenced training. The submarines will be initially based at Mumbai and shifted to operational base at Karwar after completion of trials. Necessary impetus is also being given by the government to create associated shore support facilities as per the Long Term Infrastructure Perspective Plan (LTIPP).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pilatus Announces Partnership With TATA Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL)


New Delhi Aug 26, 2014 : Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is pleased to announce its partnership with TASL, a Tata Group Company, for the assembly of PC-12 aero structures at its facility in Hyderabad, India.

The long-term contract between Pilatus and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has been signed for a ten-year period and provides for delivery of the first complete PC-12 NG aero structure during the second half of 2016.

The project includes tooling, jigs and training of TASL’s personnel at Pilatus facilities in Switzerland. The training will enable TASL to supply PC-12 NG aero structures for the Pilatus global supply chain. TASL replaces an existing Pilatus supplier who was formerly responsible for producing PC-12 aero structures in Eastern Europe.

“We are delighted to enter into a relationship with TASL, which is known for its high quality aero structure assembly capability, proven to many prestigious international aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). TATA is without doubt a partner of choice for Pilatus in the continued expansion of its portfolio of international subcontractors.

The partnership is also important in the context of Pilatus’ offset obligation resulting from the sale of the PC-7 MkII Training Aircraft System to the Indian Air Force”, says Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

In 2012, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd entered into a contract with the Government of India to supply 75 PC-7 MkⅡ turboprop basic trainer aircraft to the Indian Air Force.

Located in the Telangana region, Southern India, Tata Advanced Systems Limited has set up a number of similar aero structure programmes for global OEMs since 2009 and Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is confident that TASL will prove to be a partner capable of meeting the highest standards of quality, and one with the requisite experience and certifications in the aviation industry.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd looks forward to strengthening its partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited through this significant programme. With over 1300 aircraft sold, the PC-12 positions Pilatus Aircraft Ltd as the market leader in the single-engine turboprop aircraft segment.

About Pilatus : Founded in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is the only Swiss company to develop, produce and sell aircraft to customers around the world: from the legendary Pilatus Porter PC-6 to the best-selling PC-12, a single-engine turboprop, and the PC-21, the training system of the future. Pilatus is currently developing thePC-24 – the world’s first ever business jet for use on short unmade runways. Domiciled in Stans, the company is certified to ISO 14001 in recognition of its efforts for the environment. The Pilatus Group includes three independent subsidiaries in Altenrhein
(Switzerland), Broomfield (Colorado,(USA) and Adelaide (Australia). With over 1700 employees at its headquarters, Pilatus is one of the largest employers in Central Switzerland. Pilatus provides training for over 100 apprentices in ten different professions – job training for young people has always been a very high priority at Pilatus.

Indo-Russian Air Force Exercise (Avia Indra-2014 ) Commences At Astrakhan

With the aim to bolster ties between the Indian Air Force and Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF), Ex Avia Indra-2014 commenced today at Astrakhan region, near the Caspian Sea in Russia. The Exercise which has begun today will go on till 05 September 2014.

Ex Avia Indra-2014 which has commenced today is the first exercise of its kind between the two Air Forces and is seen as a major mile stone in military relations. This involves participation of fighter pilots, helicopter pilots, missile combat crew, as well as engineers from the Indian Air Force (IAF) along with their counterparts of the RFAF. During the exercise, fighter and helicopter pilots of Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in missions alongside 

Russian pilots in aircraft of the Russian Federation Air Force (Su-30SM fighter aircraft, Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters), while missile combat crew will interact with their counterparts from the Russian Air Force and participate in Air Defence exercises. It will also provide an opportunity to both the forces for exchange of best practices and will cement the foundation for a more professional interaction and growth in the future.

Indian Army's Vice Chief Pays Homage To Martyrs

The Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Philip Campose, paid tributes to the mortal remains of Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Grenadier Rahul Kumar, both  residents of Bulandshahar District (UP), who were martyred in the call of duty.

On 23 Aug 14, Army conducted a Counter Infiltration Operation in Keran Sector, during which Grenadier Rahul Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while engaging terrorists. In another operation in Kupwara District on 24 Aug 14, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh serving with a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion attained martyrdom engaging terrorists.

A wreath laying ceremony was held on 25 Aug 2014 at New Delhi Airport. Many senior serving Army officers also attended the ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs.

Indian Army's Vice Chief Pays Homage To Martyrs

The Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Philip Campose, paid tributes to the mortal remains of Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Grenadier Rahul Kumar, both  residents of Bulandshahar District (UP), who were martyred in the call of duty.

On 23 Aug 14, Army conducted a Counter Infiltration Operation in Keran Sector, during which Grenadier Rahul Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while engaging terrorists. In another operation in Kupwara District on 24 Aug 14, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh serving with a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion attained martyrdom engaging terrorists.

A wreath laying ceremony was held on 25 Aug 2014 at New Delhi Airport. Many senior serving Army officers also attended the ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs.

Indian Army's Vice Chief Pays Homage To Martyrs

The Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Philip Campose, paid tributes to the mortal remains of Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh and Grenadier Rahul Kumar, both  residents of Bulandshahar District (UP), who were martyred in the call of duty.

On 23 Aug 14, Army conducted a Counter Infiltration Operation in Keran Sector, during which Grenadier Rahul Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while engaging terrorists. In another operation in Kupwara District on 24 Aug 14, Naik Neeraj Kumar Singh serving with a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion attained martyrdom engaging terrorists.

A wreath laying ceremony was held on 25 Aug 2014 at New Delhi Airport. Many senior serving Army officers also attended the ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Army Chief Visits Northeast

On taking over as the Army Chief earlier this month, General Dalbir Singh had set forth an agenda of ensuring high levels of preparedness and vigil by own troops along northern and north-eastern frontiers at all times. With the month yet to get over, he has already straddled the eastern and western frontiers signaling his intent in right earnest.

Having already visited some forward areas of the most difficult sector where troops are deployed in the north -- Siachen Glacier -- within a fortnight since taking over, the Army Chief who intended to visit some of the forward areas in the northern area of responsibility (AOR) of Army's 4 Corps under Eastern Command was forced to abandon the plans on Monday due to inclement weather.
He, however, stated his intent to return at the earliest.

Addressing officers of Eastern Command at Kolkata and Tezpur, the Army Chief who has for most part served in forward areas in the two diverse sectors during his four-decade career, outlined his priorities and expectations from his officers and troops in fulfilling the mandate of safeguarding the frontiers of our nation at all costs.

Already much familiar with the operations in Eastern Command AOR having served in various appointments including as Army Commander, the Army Chief was updated on the operational preparedness and readiness status by GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, Lt Gen MMS Rai at Kolkata, and GOC Gajraj Corps, Lt Gen AK Ahuja.

The Army Chief also visited an Infantry Division in central Assam overseeing among other things counter-insurgency operations in the State.

Defence Minister Visits Eastern Theatre

Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley visited Eastern Theatre and was briefed on the upcoming Behrampore Military Station, in Murshidabad District of West Bengal on 24 Aug 14.

General Dalbir Singh, COAS, who is on a visit to Eastern Theatre from 23 to 25 Aug 14 and  Lt Gen MMS Rai, Eastern Army Commander were also present during the 30-minute briefing held near the campsite whose foundation plaque was earlier laid by the Hon'ble President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee  in February 14.

The Rs. 600 Cr project in the 250-acre land is set to be an eco-friendly 'model military camp' that will be replicated in all future infrastructural developments of similar military stations wherever feasible. Located nearly mid-way between Kolkata and Siliguri, the military station, when ready will also help boost the local economy in the area.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Govt To Re-think MMRCA/Rafale Deal, As Many Others

The new NDA Govt is said to be in re-thinking mode , as far as major defence deals is concerned, especially MMRCA, which has been won by French Dassault Aviation Rafale, and is awaiting the signing of the deal. All deals will be re-considered.

Thrust of the new govt (Modi) seems to be indigenisation (read LCA). Sources have told Chindits that MMRCA will be studied all over again, before a decision is reached. Also LCA will be pushed.

Defence Minister Asks MoD To Cut Down Layers In Procurement Procedure To Speed Up Acquisitions, Services Say It'll Bring In Corruption !!

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has asked  Ministry of Defence officials to cut down layers in the defence procurement procedure (DPP), so as to save time in acquisitions, and speed up deals. Jaitley has asked MoD bureaucrats to explore the idea of cutting down certain layers in DPP - which has seven steps, so as to minimise decision-making. Services meanwhile have told the Ministry that this might bring in corruption, as accountability would be reduced.

There are big ticket deals waiting in the wings, and the new defence minister wants to speed up all of them.

At a recent DRDO awards function Jaitley said,"This slow pace needs to be expedited and in is expedition itself, the Government has recently taken a large number of steps."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Modi To Sign US-2i Amphibious Plane Deal On Visit To Japan, To Be Integrated With Weapons Systems in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to sign the $ 2 billion deal for 12 US-2i amphibious planes from Japan, on his visit to Tokyo beginning end of this month.   The plane will be used for recce, surveillance , search and rescue. It ill come from Japan with Japanese avionics, EW and surveillance systems but will be integrated with weapons in India ( most probably to be done by HAL).

Israel's Rafael Set To Win IAF's SDR Contract

Israel's Rafael is set to bag Indian Air Force (IAF) 's contract for software defined radios (SDR) to be installed in all IAF aircraft in the future. Navy too has shown interest. The pilot project is for 400 SDRs and later around a 1000 SDRs are to be ordered, for this more than a billion dollar contract. These radios would enable all aircraft (transport and fighters) to be connected digitally/electronically.

In February this year the shortlisted candidates were announced, who were IAI and Rafael, who were in competition with BEL and Tata-Rockwell. Rafael was L-1. BEL did not get its Radio and Tata-Rockwell could not meet certain parameters in the RFP, for which they asked for a period of 6 months, which was not granted. To be noted here, that those parameters were not met by the Israeli companies also. The contract was announced 2 years ago. 

Photo : Suman Sharma/Defexpo-2014, Tata-Rockwell SDR

India's First Indigenously Built Stealth Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship- INS Kamorta- Commissioned

Breaking new grounds in the makingof warships in the country, India today commissioned the first indigenouslybuilt stealth Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, INS Kamorta, at an impressiveceremony at Visakhapatnam naval dockyard. The Defence Minister Shri ArunJaitley who commissioned the warship, described the development as ‘the comingof age of our ship building industry’.
Thecommissioning of INS Kamorta has added a new dimension to the ASW capability ofthe Indian Navy and in particular, the Eastern Fleet.  The multifarious missions that can beundertaken by the ship truly reflect the enhanced multi-dimensional capabilityof the Indian Navy.

AdmiralRK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag OfficerCommanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral AK Verma (Retd), CMD,Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and various other dignitarieswere present during the commissioning ceremony.

INS Kamorta is first of the four ASW Stealth Corvettes designed by the Navy’sin-house organisation, the Directorate of Naval Design (DND), under Project 28,with an indigenous component of about 90%. Measuring 110 meters in length, 14 meters in breadth and displacing 3500tons, the ship can achieve speed of 25 Knots. The ship is fitted withAnti-submarine Rockets and Torpedoes, Medium and Close-in Weapon Systems andindigenous surveillance radar Revathi.  The ship is also capable of carrying anintegral ASW helicopter.

 Shri Jaitley said in the last threemonths, both the Prime Minister and he had been associated with many anaccretions made into the Indian Navy namely, INS Vikramaditya, INS Kolkotta and INS Kamorta. But this one was special because of the high indigenous content.He said, at the moment, 42 warships are under construction in various shipyardsof the country which is a welcome sign of the health of the ship buildingindustry.    He expressed confidence thatthe measures taken by the government will infuse healthy competitive spiritbetween the public and private shipyards.

Kamorta also boasts of other “firsts” such as a foldableHangar Door and a Rail-less Helo Traversing System, which will give helicopteroperations from the corvette a significant edge over other warships.
Enhanced stealth features have been achieved by ‘X’ form of Hull, full beam superstructure, inclined ship sides and use of Infrared Signature Suppression system for cooling the Engine and Generator exhausts. The Ship has a ‘Combination of Diesel and Diesel’propulsion system with 2 Diesel Engines along with one gear box on each shaft.The common raft mounted Gear Box and Diesel Engines give the vessel very lowradiated underwater noise. This is well complemented with an efficientpropeller which has high cavitation inception speed. The design alsoincorporates active shaft grounding system and multi zone Impressed CurrentCathodic Protection for suppression of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagneticsignature. The very low under water acoustic signature makes it a ‘silentkiller on the prowl’.

INS Kamorta has a multitude of systems such as TotalAtmospheric Control, Integrated Platform Management, Integrated Bridge, BattleDamage Control and Personnel Locator System. This provides a contemporary andprocess oriented System of Systems for optimal functioning of the warship.

With her state of the art weapons and sensors, INS Kamorta is well equipped to fight in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare conditions. The ship, in essence, showcases the nation’swarship design capability and industrial prowess

The ship has a complement of about 15 officers and 180 sailors. The accommodationand living spaces have been designed with special emphasis on ergonomics andhabitability. The ship is commanded by Commander Manoj Jha, a GunnerySpecialist.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Soldier Who Went Missing 18 Yrs Ago Laid To Rest

The COAS, Gen Dalbir Singh, paid tributes to the mortal remains of Havildar Gaya Prasad of 15 RAJPUT on 20 Aug 14 in Delhi, who was declared “Missing Dead” 18 years ago while serving at Khanda Post in Siachen (Northern Glacier).

Havildar Gaya Prasad was collecting stores dropped by  helicopter at Khanda Dropping Zone, when he fell into a crevasse, on 09 Dec 1996. All attempts to rescue him could not succeed despite sustained efforts over three days.

Recently, a unit deployed in the area recovered the body which had partially surfaced and was identified as that of Havildar Gaya Prasad.  He is survived by his father, Shri Gajadhar (Retired Subedar), his wife Smt Rama Devi, one son and two daughters.

His mortal remains were flown from Leh to Delhi and are being transported by road to his native village of Kurlia, Police Station – Kishni in Mainpuri District of Uttar Pradesh, where the last rites will be performed on 21 Aug 2014. 

Defence Correspondents' Course-- I Was Not Permitted In This Course, As I Was Considered Far Too Over-Qualified For It !!

A month-long Defence Correspondents Course 2014 (DCC- 2014), got underway at the Maritime Warfare Centre (MWC), Southern Naval Command (SNC), Kochi, today . attended by 31 journalists drawn from a cross-section of media from the country
Rear Admiral MS Pawar, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command delivered the inaugural address. Shri Sitanshu Kar, Director General (Media & Communication), Ministry of Defence conducted the first session. The first week of the course consists of the Navy and Inter-Services capsule, which will be followed by Air Force and Army capsules at Sirsa, Haryana and Pathankot, Punjab. This would be followed by a 'Forward Area Tour' (FAT) in Jammu and Kashmir. The course will culminate at Nagrota, on September 19. While addressing the gathering the Admiral conveyed a militaryman’s perspective of the media, the expectations and concerns of the service from the media . He expressed hope that the participants would carry the valuable lesson of the sensitivities of the services and the need for objectivity in military reportage. Shri Sitanshu Kar ,in his address highlighted the frenetic pace of advancement of communication process posing a challenge to both the communicator and the receiver. He said that MoD is adopting various modes of communication to keep the journalists abreast of the developments taking place in the security environment and policy decisions in the ministry.
DCC is conducted annually by Directorate of Public Relations (DPR), MoD for journalists from the print and electronic media, to acquaint them with the nuances of the armed forces to help them become specialist Defence journalists. Eminent speakers and Defence experts from the three Services, DRDO and Coast Guard among others will share their expertise and views with the journalists on varied military subjects.
A 'Day at Sea' on board a naval warship, visit to Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) are included in the Navy capsule. Senior officials from the DPR, MoD and Indian Navy witnessed the inauguration.

INS Kolkata Enters Service

The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri NarendraModi, commissioned INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy at a glittering ceremony heldtoday at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. Kolkata is the lead ship of theindigenously designed and constructed Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers,built by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. On his arrival, the Prime Minister was receivedby Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff and accorded a 100-man Guard ofHonour, before embarking the ship for the commissioning ceremony, which wasconducted in accordance with the traditions of IN. The function was attended by a host of senior dignitaries, fromboth the civilian as well as naval community. 

Among the VIPs present at today’sceremony were His Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri K Sankaranarayanan, the ChiefMinister of Maharashtra Shri Prithviraj Chavan, the Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley,the National Security Adviser Shri Ajit Kumar Doval, Members of Parliament ShriArvind Savant and Smt Poonam Mahajan, the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur, FlagOfficer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Anil Chopraand the Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Docks Limited, Rear AdmiralRK Shrawat (Retd).

On this momentous occasion the Admiral RK Dhowanwelcomed the Prime Minister and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Navy. Duringhis address the Admiral said that commissioning of INS Kolkata is a milestonein the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation ofplatforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as privatesectors, will continue to remain a focus area. He emphasized that the ‘Roadmapfor the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored onSelf-reliance and Indigenisation’.

The Project 15A Kolkata class destroyers are follow-onof the legendary Project 15 ‘Delhi’ class destroyers which entered service inthe late 1990s. Conceived and designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of NavalDesign, the ships have been christened after major port cities of India viz. Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai. The keel of Kolkatawas laid on 26 Sep 03 and the ship was launched on 30 Mar 06. Regarded as themost potent warship to have been constructed in India yet, this magnificentship measures 164 meters in length and approximately 18 meters in width and hasa full load displacement of 7400 tonnes. The ship has a Combined Gas and Gas(COGAG) propulsion system, consisting of four powerful reversible gas turbinesand can attain speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship’s electric power isprovided by four gas turbine generators and one diesel alternator, whichtogether produce 4.5 Mega-Watts of electrical power, enough to light up a smalltown. The ship has a complement of 30 officers and 300 sailors.

INS Kolkata incorporates new design concepts forstealth and has many firsts to her credit, including a very large indigenouscombat component. The ship is packed with the most sophisticatedstate-of-the-art weapons and sensors including the vertically launched LongRange Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) coupled with the MF-STAR multi-functionactive phased array radar, which is fitted for the first time on an Indian Navalship. She is equipped with advanced supersonic and long range BrahMos Surfaceto Surface Missiles – a joint Indo-Russian venture. The 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount(SRGM) and AK 630 CIWS, both manufactured indigenously, can take on air and surface targets. The entire anti-submarine weapon and sensor suite fittedonboard, consisting of Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tubeTorpedo Launchers (ITTL) and a bow-mounted New Generation HUMSA Sonar are a fineexample of our indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. Thesensor suite includes other advanced surface and air surveillance radars and anindigenous Electronic Warfare system. A state-of-the-art Combat Management System (CMS-15A) has been integrated with the onboard weapons and sensors. Theship is equipped to operate two Seaking or Chetak helicopters.

The ship can betruly classified as a ‘Network of Networks’ as it is equipped withsophisticated digital networks, such as ATM based Integrated Ship Data Network(AISDN), Auxiliary Control System (ACS), Automatic Power Management System(APMS) and Combat Management System (CMS). The AISDN is the information highwayon which data from all the sensors and weapons ride. Whilst remote control and monitoringof machinery is achieved through ACS, the intricate power supply management isdone using APMS. The CMS is used to integrate information from own data sourcesand collate information from other platforms using indigenous data-link system,to provide maritime domain awareness.

The unique feature of this ship is the high level ofindigenisation achieved with most of the systems onboard sourced from withinthe country which has generated a sound vendor base for future ships. Some ofthe major indigenised equipment/ systems onboard INS Kolkata include CombatManagement System (CMS), Auxiliary Control System (ACS), Automatic PowerManagement System (APMS), Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing System and bowmounted HUMSA NG system. Crew comfort is a significant feature of INS Kolkataand has been ensured through ergonomically designed accommodation and galley compartmentson modular concept.

The ship derives her name from the cultural capital city of India and state capitalof Bengal – Kolkata- 'The City of Joy'. The crest of the ship depicts the 'Howrah Bridge' inthe background and a leaping 'Bengal Tiger' in the foreground, both symbolic ofthe city of Kolkata, riding above blue and white ocean waves. The crew of theship abides by the Sanskrit motto on the crest “Yudhay Sarvasannadh” which means “Always Prepared for Battle”.
The Commanding Officer, Captain Tarun Sobti, read out the Commissioning Warrant,prior to the hoisting of ‘Colours’ (the national flag and naval ensign) for thefirst time in the life of the ship. Followingher commissioning, INS Kolkata will be placed under the operational andadministrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western NavalCommand. On completion of some additional sea trials of ship-borne systems, shewill be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be home-ported at Mumbai.

Indo Nepal Joint Army Exercise- Surya Kiran-VII

In the series of ongoing military co-operation with Nepal, Indo-Nepal Combined Training Exercise, Surya Kiran-VII, will be conducted from 18 to  31 Aug 2014.
The combined training will be carried out in the mountain terrain of Pithoragarh in the Northern Himalayas at an altitude of 5000-6000 feet under the aegis of GARUD DIVISION.
Based on an agreement during the 7th Indo-Nepal Bilateral Consultative Group on security, the two countries commenced combined training at Platoon Level in 2011, enhanced to Company Level in 2012 and currently stands upgraded to Battalion Level. This will be the Second Battalion Level Combined Exercise and approximately 300 personnel including Officers and JCOs from both the armies will participate in the two weeks long combined exercise.
The aim of the exercise will be to hone Sub Unit level tactics and develop interoperability between Indian Army and Nepalese Army in Jungle Warfare, Counter Terrorism Operations in Mountainous Terrain, as also to provide working knowledge of Disaster Management to include Pandemic/ Epidemic diseases control and Aviation aspects. 
The Joint Training Exercise will commence from 18 Aug 2014. Senior Army officials of Indian Army and Nepalese Army are expected to attend the two week long exercise and they will also interact with the members of the contingents. 
This combined training, mutual interaction and sharing of experience amongst both the countries would not only further the strategic cooperation between both the armies but also aid in strengthening cultural & historical ties.  

INS Kamorta

IAF Mi- Helicopters In Flood Relief Ops In UP

On 17 Aug 14, two MI-17 helicopters were positioned at Bakshi-Ka Talab(BKT) from Air Force station Gorakhpur for undertaking flood relief operations in the flood hit areas of Bahraich and Nanpara (U.P).
The IAF helicopters commenced operations from Nanpara Helipad (Shahadat college ground) on 17 Aug 14 and immediately swung into action flying extensively over the flood affected areas. The helicopters carried out 05 missions, and flew 05 hours and 45 minutes to drop 2500 Kgs of food supplies (490 packets) over the flood hit villages.
On 18 Aug 14, the helicopters again undertook extensive relief operations, carried out 07 missions, utilising 06 hours and 25 minutes  to drop 4900kgs of food supplies and essential medicines(1000 packets).
On 19 Aug 14, the helicopters once again undertook extensive relief operations, carried out 06 missions, utilising 05 hours and 45 minutes  to drop 6450 kgs of food supplies and essential medicines(3000 packets).
More than 100 villages had been marooned due to unprecedented floods in the vicinity of Saryu and Ghaghra rivers. The villages had been cut off from rest of the country due to rivers breaching the danger mark and washing away roads and bridges. The IAF helicopters flew missions continuously in the last two days over the flood hit areas and provided the much needed succour and relief to the inundated villages.

Indian Navy's Gallantry Awards




On 27 Sep 13, Cdr KVK Gosavi, while borne with 842 Squadron (Helicopters) was required to undertake medical evacuation of two crew from a merchant ship      (MV Kurobe) located 35 NM into the sea off Mumbai. At that time both the helicopters in the Squadron were under maintenance. The officer exhibited professional competence and planning skills of a high order in ensuring that the helicopter was made available for the mission without compromising in maintenance tasks.
Considering the prevalent adverse weather, extended range of the ship at sea and the available experience in the Squadron, the officer led from the front and piloted the mission as Captain of the aircraft.
During the mission, the officer displayed superior flying skills and landed the helicopter safely in hostile sea conditions with utmost precision on an improvised helipad precariously located between two large cranes about 25 meters apart. The low visibility, ongoing rains and strong winds along with rough sea state required resolute and CPR was provided to both the patients, Commander KVK Gosavi innovatively embarked the patient, Mr Retituto Manlapaz, a Philippines national who required an immediate medical evacuation in the helicopter which was in SAR role on a Neil Robertson stretcher catering for the medical and flight safety. Thereafter the officer brought the patient to Mumbai safely transiting through the enroute adverse weather and heavy rains thus effecting a successful MEDEVAC at extended range.
Commander KVK Gosavi, the pilot in Command of the helicopter maintained his composure, reassured his crew, and displayed a high level of professionalism and skill in piloting at aircraft whilst effecting a successful MEDEVAC of a foreign national at extended ranges at sea. The high levels of professionalism and resoluteness towards accomplishment of the mission in hostile weather conditions, whilst operating at fringes of Chetak helicopter ranges are beyond the call of duty, highly praiseworthy and in keeping with the highest traditions of the Services. Commander KVK Gosavi, has been awarded Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) for the same.        


New Delhi: Shravana 23, Saka 1934
Thursday, Aug 14, 2012
On 25 Feb 14 with a crew of 94 personnel embarked onboard, INS Sindhuratna sailed for sea examination post completion of refit. During the early hours of 26 Feb at about 0530 hrs, excessive build-up of smoke was reported in the IIIrd compartment which also houses one-half of the submarine’s main batteries. Lt Cdr Manoranjan Kumar and Lt Cdr Kapish Singh Muwal in their capacity as the Officer-in-charge (IIIrd compartment) & Deputy Electrical officer respectively immediately mobilized all available personnel and damage control assets and commenced valiant effort towards controlling the grave emergency. As the ambient temperature in the compartment increased due to heat and as the visibility reduced, both officers, unmindful of their personal safety continued to fight the emergency.
At one stage, they realised that conditions for human survival in the vicinity of damage had deteriorated and they immediately ordered evacuation of the damage control team comprising 13 personnel to safer areas thus drastically reducing the number of casualties. They not only did the fire-fighting themselves but also provided extremely vital inputs to the Command Post on the status of damage control and further likely implications. They limited the damage area preventing the spread of fire to the battery compartment, thus obviating an extremely dangerous possibility of damage to entire submarine. Even the breathing had become extremely difficult both continued pushing the crew to safety and fought the emergency undeterred.  They were last seen fighting the fire/smoke, rather than saving themselves. Their exemplary effort to douse the smoke in extremely hazardous conditions was beyond the call of duty, which ensured survival of 94 crew members and safety of submarine.
The officers laid down their life keeping with their responsibility as the Compartment officer & Electrical officer, safety of the submarine and personnel above their own. Their singular act of courage and bravery resulted in the damage being contained, casualties being minimised and extensive structural damage to the submarine being averted. Their valor and dedication is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy and ethos of the officer corp. Both the officers have been awarded Shaurya Chakra (Posthumous).

26th Indian Army Chief

General Dalbir Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC,  has taken over as the 26th Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army today.  The General is an alumnus of Sainik School, Chittorgarh.  He joined National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1970 and was commissioned into 4/5 GR (FF) in Jun 1974.  He holds a Masters Degrees in Management Studies from Osmania University and Strategic Studies from Chennai University. The General Officer has attended various career courses in India and abroad which include ‘Long Defence Management Course’ at CDM, Secunderabad, NDC Course at New Delhi, Executive Course in USA and Senior  Mission  Leaders Course (UN) in Kenya. 

In a distinguished military career, spanning four decades, he has tenanted critical Command and Staff appointments which include tactical and operational levels of command in active counter insurgency and proxy war environment in the North East and Jammu & Kashmir. The General possesses tremendous operational experience which includes a tenure as a Company Commander in Op PAWAN in Sri Lanka, raising and commanding a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Nagaland and  an Infantry Brigade deeply committed in intense Counter Insurgency Operations in the Kashmir Valley.  He also holds the distinction of commanding a Mountain Division in Jammu & Kashmir, deployed on the Line of Control in High Altitude Area. 

Prior to taking over the appointment of ‘Vice Chief of the Army Staff’ on 01 Jan 2014, the General Officer was General Officer Commanding of a Corps, looking after the dual responsibility of Counter Insurgency Operations in the North Eastern States, as well as conventional operational tasks along the Indo-China Border and later as General Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Command.

The General has served as an Instructor in Army School of Mechanical Transport (ASMT), Bangalore as well as Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. He has also tenanted important staff appointments at the Divisional and the Corps levels.  He has also held important assignments in Army Headquarters, both as a Colonel and as a Brigadier.

The General Officer has tenanted the appointment of IG SFF, Cabinet Secretariat prior to his promotion as a Corps Commander.  The General has been holding the appointment of Colonel of the Regiment, 5 GR (FF) from 19 Apr 2011 and the President Gorkha Brigade from 01 Jan 2014.

The General is highly decorated and is the proud recepient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.

The General is a keen sportsman and takes special interest in Riding and Swimming.  He is married to Mrs Namita Suhag, who is a Political Science graduate from Delhi University.

Ascent of a General

(A profile feature on India’s 26th Army Chief)

General Dalbir Singh PVSM UYSM AVSM VSM ADC has taken over as the 26th Chief of Army Staff in New Delhi, today (July 31, 2014).

His elevation to the coveted post is an inspiring saga of a young village boy's aspirations who wanted to be an army officer one day. By sheer hard work, resolve and dedication he not only succeeded in becoming an army officer, but also its topmost General, this day.

The story of his life is what dreams are made of; dreams that millions of youth see, but few realise. The story of the ascent of India's new Army Chief will most certainly inspire the youth who can now believe in themselves and their dreams, and with efforts, realise them too.

For the records, he is the third Army Chief after and Gen S.H.F.J. Manekshaw (later conferred the Field Marshal's rank) and Gen G.G. Bewoor, who were either commissioned into or were associated with the Brigade of Gorkhas.

Gen Dalbir Singh was commissioned on June 1974 into 4/5 GR (FF), more easily understood as the 4th Battalion of the 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) for those not too familiar with such military nomenclatures.

It was a conscious choice I made as I wanted to join only the infantry,” says Gen Dalbir of his choice to seek out the Gorkha Regiment, whose soldiers are inarguably among the finest in the world, also much-feared and renowned for their bravery.

With a lean and muscular frame at six-feet, the new Army Chief literally and figuratively stands tall not just in the army but also is the revered patriarch for the Gorkha troops as their senior-most serving General. By virtue of the same, he holds the twin ceremonial appointments of 'Colonel of the Regiment' 5 GR (FF) since April 19, 2011, and as 'President Gorkha Brigade' since January 1, 2014.

However, traditionally an Army Chief also becomes 'Honorary Colonel' of several other 'Arms' and 'Regiments' of the Indian Army by age-old customs.

Born to be a warrior

General Dalbir Singh was born in Bishan village in Haryana's Jhajjar district on December 28, 1954. Although essentially an agrarian village like so many others in the region, large numbers of able-bodied men from these predominantly Jat villages, who inherit a martial ancestry and legacy, also choose to serve in the army.

His father and uncles followed their father and uncles into joining the army, mostly serving in cavalry and infantry units. Joining the army only seemed a natural choice for young Dalbir.

It may seem an odious inference but the coincidence is nearly hard to miss. Hailing from a nearby town – Kurukshetra -- made famous in the Indian epic Mahabharata for its warring generals and an enduring battle, it seems as if ordained that a warrior would one day emerge from around here to be bequeathed as a modern-day General for the Indian Army.

Early life, humble beginnings

In a script that belies belief, the boy who would one day be a General and Chief of the Indian Army in the 21st century had a far more humble beginnings than many would ever imagine. Dalbir began his schooling in the village primary school that had just about two brick-laid rooms to speak for any modicum of a school. The rooms were also the exclusive preserve of the senior classes, he recalls. Others including him had an earthier and shaded space beneath the trees.

Life in a village for a young boy then was much the same as is perhaps even today, in most rural settings. Nearly every village lad lends a helping hand in tilling or attending to the fields in their spare time or when the harvest season so demanded.

Young Dalbir too would also help his family members in his own way. This would nurture a deep sense of respect for the motherland that bore them their daily bread. It also instilled a great deal of pride in the young lad who was destined for a far bigger role in future, to protect this very land and its frontiers from external aggressions and threats, someday.

A cadet's life beckons at school

In 1961, the Government of India set out to establish Sainik Schools, a residential Public School for boys in several states that would serve as feeder schools to various officers training establishments such as the National Defence Academy (NDA) among others.

Sainik School, Chittorgarh (SSC) in Rajasthan was also among them. Gen Dalbir's granduncle was an equestrian instructor in the school, who suggested that he studied there. Thus began a journey of a life in uniform for Cadet Dalbir Singh on January 15, 1965, now almost half a century.

Suhag, incidentally is indeed his surname and although not averse to being addressed as such, it may only be prudent to address the General by his duly listed name -- Dalbir Singh -- to rule out any speculation on the correctness or lack of it, in so far as addressing him on record is concerned.

The flight from his village Bishan to his eventual alma mater at Chittorgarh would greatly shape his future to be an officer in the army. The process of transforming him with all-round abilities, conviction, courage and a steely resolve would be set forth here under the tutelage of some of the finest teachers of those times.

Those who taught him are today, understandably, a proud lot. Among them, Shri K.S. Kang who is in his 90s, exclaimed he felt “18 again” on hearing the news that a protégé of his is set to be the Army Chief. Shri Kang had a 10-year stint as an instructor at Indian Military Academy (IMA) before joining SSC in its formative years. His experiences would prove invaluable.

Shri H.S. Rathi, a national-awardee teacher who retired in 1996, describes Cdt Dalbir as a “very sincere, hard-working and obedient student,” and also makes a special mention of his sporting excellence. “He was also very good in sports and was a gifted basketball player,” he recalls.