Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The First Two Indian Mirage 2000 I/TI Delivered To Indian Authorities

Today, the acceptance ceremony of the first two Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 I/TI was held at Istres, Dassault Aviation’s Flight Test Centre, under the high patronage of HE Ambassador Arun K. Singh, the Indian Ambassador to France. The ceremony was hosted by Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO, and Pierre Eric Pommellet, Thales Executive Vice President, Defence Mission Systems.

The signing of the contract for the upgrade of Indian Mirage 2000 fleet occurred in July 2011. The maiden flight of its first upgraded Mirage 2000 was completed successfully by Dassault Aviation on the 5th October 2013, following a two year development phase dedicated to the equipment kit provided by Thales including the radar, the electronic warfare suite and the mission computer.

“Today’s ceremony is the result of the excellent understanding between the Indian and French partners and of our commitment to India. India is Dassault Aviation’s first export client and the historical relationship we nurtured with the Indian Air Force has spanned 60 years, growing from strength to strength.

The Rafale aircraft has been chosen by India after a comprehensive selection process in the frame of the MMRCA competition, and exclusive negotiation is ongoing. The Rafale is the next logical step. HAL and Indian industries will contribute to the “Make in India” policy by developing and manufacturing the aircraft locally. The Rafale will fulfill all of the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force and the industrial requirements of India’s economic policy as the Mirage 2000 continues to do ” declared Eric Trappier, Chairman & CEO of Dassault Aviation.

“This ceremony gives us the opportunity to thank our customer, the Indian Air Force, and our long time partner, HAL, for the excellent team work we have carried out together on the Mirage 2000 upgrade programme. Not forgetting the many Indian companies with whom we are working on a daily basis, making the “Make in India” policy something concrete and real, we experiment with great success every day. Thales has been operating in India since 1953 and employs 300 people all over the country. We are trusted partners of the Indian armed forces and have developed a strong local supply chain which helped us to make the upgrade of the Mirage 2000 a real success story. We are ready to continue developing this team work in the future,” added Pierre Eric Pommellet, Thales Executive Vice President, Defence Mission Systems.

Technologically ambitious and based on the integration of the latest generation equipment and systems, the first phase of the programme was completed on schedule in France.

The rest of the fleet will be upgraded in Bangalore under the responsibility of HAL with the complete support and involvement of Dassault Aviation and Thales teams. This programme serves the strategic requirements of the “Make in India” priority policy of the Indian Authorities.

This acceptance of the first two upgraded Mirage 2000 by the Indian Air Force is a new milestone in the long term cooperation between French and Indian industry based on cutting edge technologies and the sharing of know-how and expertise.

This illustrious programme, conducted hand in hand with Indian industry and Indian Air Force, is testament to the strength of the joint partnership.

1st Indian Naval Woman Observer Casualty !! Missing In Dornier Crash Is A Woman Officer Of The Navy, Also A Naval Wife !!

Lt Kiran Shekhawat was the observer of the crashed Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft, which went down in Arabian Sea, off-Goa on tuesday evening. She is missing along with one more officer.

She is the wife of another serving officer of the Indian Navy Lt Vivek Chokker, posted as Div-O in the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala.

Women observers were allowed entry in various aircraft of the 
Indian Navy 2009 onwards

Navy Dornier Ditches During a Night Training Sortie off Goa

A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Navy on a routine night training sortie ditched at sea about 20 nautical miles South West of Goa on the night of      24 Mar 15. The Naval Air Station at Goa lost radar contact with the aircraft at 10:08 PM on 24 Mar 15. The aircraft is feared to have ditched soon thereafter. The aircrew onboard the aircraft comprised three officers (two Pilots and one woman Observer). One Survivor, Commander Nikhil Kuldip Joshi, was picked up by a passing fishing boat (Niharika – from a fishing hamlet off Karwar) and transferred to a naval Fast Interceptor Craft. He is presently in naval hospital ‘Patanjali’ at Karwar and is reported to be stable.

Eight Naval ships and four aircraft were immediately deployed to search the area to locate the remaining two officers. Presently, there are 12 ships (including two ships from Indian Coast Guard) and four aircraft involved in the SAR operations. The Next of Kin of the aircrew have been informed. Meanwhile, a Board of Inquiry has been ordered to establish the cause of the accident.

During the day Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, flew down to Goa and took stock of the SAR operation. He also met the families of the aircrew and met Cdr NK Joshi at Karwar before returning to Delhi in the evening.

IAF's C-130J Hercules Lands On Short Runway

24th March 2015, One of India's biggest defence cargo planes landed on the tiny runway at the Juhu Airport in Mumbai this morning.

The Hercules C130J was flown to Juhu as an exercise to see if the airport in the western suburbs of Mumbai could be used in case the city's main airport is attacked.

The massive transport plane, used to carry troops and supplies, stood at Juhu for 10 minutes before flying out.

Most aircraft of this size require a runway with conventional dimensions of a fully functional airport, but the Hercules can land on much shorter lengths of unpaved or paved runways. The runway at the Juhu aerodrome is 3750 feet long, very short compared to the 12008 feet long runway  at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA).

The Hercules C130J has earlier, in August 2013, landed at the runway at Daulat Baig Oldie in Ladakh, one of the highest and most inhospitable runways the world over.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MoU Between Indian Army & Axis Bank

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and Axis Bank on the Defence Salary Package today. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma and was attended by officials of Axis Bank headed by Shri Anirudh Maheshwari, Vice President & Salary Channel Head-Central Office, Mumbai. 

The first MoU between Axis Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years. The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. Number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts. Army is confident that this MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who are having their accounts with Axis Bank and also provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities. 

The basic features of the MoU are the same as before. Some additional features which have been further improved from before are Personal Accident Death Cover which has been linked to Defence Salary Package account and over draft of upto Rs One Lakh. In addition, all facilities of the MoU are also available to the pensioners, including overdraft and ‘Personal Accident Insurance’, irrespective of any age restrictions. 

Indian Navy's 4th LCU Of Mk IV Project Launched

Adding yet another milestone in India’s quest for self-reliance in sophisticated shipbuilding, the fourth ship in the series of eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk IV project - Yard 2095 - for the Indian Navy was launched at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata, here today (23 Mar 2015).

The launching of Yard 2095, designed and built by GRSE was done in the presence of Vice Admiral RK Patnaik, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff and Smt. Seli Pattanaik.

Invocations from Atharva Veda were recited and Smt. Pattanaik named the ship ‘LCU L54’ and wished the ship good luck before launch.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Pattanaik asserted that Indian Navy has been the torch-bearer in the drive for indigenous construction of warships and acknowledged the role of GRSE as a reliable partner in pursuing the national goal of ‘Make in India’.

The DCNS also extended warm felicitations to the entire team of the GRSE for their significant contribution towards meeting the Navy’s growing requirements of state-of-art warships.

Two LCUs were earlier launched on March 12 and September 23, last year. The third LCU was launched on January 16, this year.

These ships will play significant role in transportation of main battle tanks, armoured vehicles and troops of the Indian Army during amphibious operations.

The ship can be deployed for maritime roles like maritime security, beaching and un-beaching operations, humanitarian relief operations and evacuation from distant islands, search and rescue operations besides peacekeeping missions.

Three Immediate Support Vessels Commisioned At Visakhapatnam

The second batch of three Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs), comprising T-38, T-39 and T-40 were commissioned today, 24 March 2015 by Vice Admiral Satish Soni, PVSM, AVSM, NM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command at an impressive ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. These three ISVs are in addition to the first batch of ISVs commissioned last year on 04 Jun 14 and will constitute the 84th Immediate Support Vessel Squadron based at Visakhapatnam. Two ISVs have been built by Rodman Spain whereas one ISV has been built by the Abu Dhabi Ship Builders (ADSB). The project was a joint collaboration between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd, Ship Builders and the Indian Navy. 

Vice Admiral Satish Soni was received on arrival at the Naval Jetty by Commodore KA Bopanna, Naval Officer-in-Charge(NOIC), Andhra Pradesh. The Admiral was presented a Fifty-man Guard and introduced to the Commanding Officers of the ISVs thereafter. The inaugural address was delivered by the NOIC, Andhra Pradesh. Lieutenants Jai Kishore, Shobhit Saxena and Vaibhav Bhardwaj, Commanding Officers of T-38, T-39 and T-40 respectively, read out the Commissioning Warrants. Hoisting of the Naval Ensign onboard for the first time and ‘Breaking of the Commissioning Pennant’ with the National Anthem being played marked the completion of the Commissioning Ceremony. 

"These ISVs were brought to Naval Dockyard Mumbai where Delivery Acceptance Trials were carried out. These ships have sailed 1,200 nautical miles from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam over duration of 12 days before getting commissioned at the Eastern Naval Command," Vice Admiral Satish Soni said while addressing the gathering, adding that the ISVs proved their sturdiness as they crossed successfully the Gulf of Mannar facing strong winds and high seas. 

The ISVs are armed with Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) and are fitted with state of the art radar and navigation equipment. They are fitted with two caterpillar engines of 1600 MHP each to provide water jet propulsion which provides the vessels a high speed of 40 knots and an endurance of 500 nautical miles. These ships are capable of carrying out day and night surveillance and can be used for rapid insertions/extraction of MARCOS for military intervention. 

The induction and deployment of these ships will augment the ongoing efforts to bolster coastal security and provide protection to our offshore assets from asymmetric threats. These ships would enhance Indian Navy’s capability in furthering its mandate of maritime safety and security over the Offshore Developmental Areas on the Eastern sea board. 

Army Commander Visits Samba

Army Commander Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh visited Samba Military Station on 22 and 23 March 2015. The Army Commander said “Sabaash” to the Officers and Jawans who had professionally eliminated two terrorists trying to enter one of the unit locations but were successfully foiled by the alert sentry on the post. 

The Army Commander in his visit met troops deployed in the forward area and applauded their role in ensuring the peace and security of the area. The alertness and timely action not only foiled the terrorists’ attempts in gaining entry inside the Military Station but also prevented any loss of life of any citizen of our country. 

The Army Commander also felicitated three civilians who had assisted the security forces during the operation. He took stock of the present security scenario in the region in view of the two back to back terrorists attacks. In this interaction with the local Formation Commanders and intelligence agencies he re-emphasised the need to maintain a strong vigil against inimical design of terrorists. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Defence Investiture Ceremony : President Confers Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards

President Confers Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards 

The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred one Kirti Chakra and eleven Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here today. Three of the Shaurya Chakra were given posthumously.

The President also conferred fourteen Param Vishisht Seva Medals, three Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and twenty six Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service of an exceptional order. The following is the list of awardees in order of presentation:-

Param Vishisht Seva Medal











·        VICE ADMIRAL KR NAIR, AVSM, VSM, (50575-T)











·        VICE ADMIRAL JK KORDE, VSM, ( 01912-W)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

India’s BVR Air-to-Air Missile ‘ASTRA’ Successfully Test Fired

India’s Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile ASTRA was once again successfully test fired today by the Indian Air Force off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test Range, Balasore. The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In today’s test flight an ASTRA missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead was fired from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft against a Lakshya (Pilotless Target Aircraft) target. The target was successfully engaged and it was captured by Telemetry and Electro-optical tracking stations.

A successful trial of ASTRA, conducted yesterday, was also launched from a Sukhoi 30 aircraft, which was aimed at confirming missile’s capability to undergo manoeuvre involving very high gravitational forces upto the order of 30 ‘g’. These fourth and fifth launch campaign were coordinated by Air Headquarters including the flight of Lakshya target. 

The Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad of the Missile Complex is the primary development agency for the missile. Dr. K. Jayaraman, Director, DRDL was present at the mission centre overseeing the trials along with Dr. Subhash Chandran, the Programme Director. Dr. VG Sekaran, Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) has congratulated the team of designers, technologists, production and quality agencies, and Air Force for developing and testing such a complex system which is comparable with the best in the world.

The Project Director Dr. S Venugopal said that “the fourth and fifth Air Launch of ASTRA was once again perfect in all respect and engaged the target with precision. More tests will follow to prove its repeatability.” He said Astra has proved its capability as a formidable weapon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO & Academia Hold Seminar On Scientific Communication

For qualitative research and scholarly output, the researchers and authors need to have required knowledge of methodologies of publishing and presenting. Knowledge of technical writing improves the quality of the scholarly communication, research reports, etc. It is in view of this a National level Seminar cum training Workshop on publishing and presenting would benefit the budding researchers and authors. The aim of the programme was to enable scientists and researchers to efficiently publish their work and present it in an effective and confident manner. Knowledge of IPR, Copyright, rights authors retain while signing away to commercial publishers and the terms of Creative Commons licenses for Open Access Resources and terms of archiving in their Institutional Repositories would benefit the researchers and authors in their publishing activity. Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO, Delhi and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, (DMRL), DRDO Hyderabad in collaboration with University College of Science, Saifabad, Osmania University jointly organised a Seminar cum Training Workshop on Publish and Present: Strengthening the Quality of 
Scientific Scholarly Communication during 16-18 March 2015, at DMRL, Hyderabad.Dr Rajeev Vij, Director of the Program gave brief about the Program during the inauguration of this Seminar. Dr. Amol A Gokhale, Distinguished Scientist & Director, DMRL, delivered the welcome address.

Prof. D Balasubramanian, Director Research LVPEI  and Former Director CCMB inaugurated the event. Chief Guest delivered a rousing and high impact Inaugural Address, emphasizing  on quality in scientific publications and presentations. Dr R P Tripathi, Outstanding Scientist & Director INMAS and Prof Syed Rahman, Principal UCSS, OU were the Guests of Honor. 94 participants from various DRDO laboratories from all over the India and students from Osmania University participated in this interactive workshop.  Eminent resource persons from India and abroad shared their wisdom during the three-day workshop. Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam, Prof. Vangari VishwaMohan,  Prof. C.K. Ramaiah, Dr A. L. Moorthy,  D. G. Mahesh,  Dr Divakar, Prof. S. Sudarshan Rao,  Mr  Chandrashekar D. P. and  Ms Nitisha Balay were the resource persons from India. Dr Peter Suber, Mr Trevor A. Grigoriev Dawes, Ms Naomi House and Mr James Agee conducted online sessions for the participants from abroad. Presentations made by the faculty were distributed to the participants for future use and reference.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DGCA Approves Maintenance & Repair Of Dornier & Avro Aircraft At HAL

HAL’s Civil Aviation business got a boost with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) according an approval to HAL’s Transport Division at Kanpur for maintenance and repair of Dornier (Do-228) and Avro (HS 748) aircraft. “HAL TAD Kanpur has obtained these approvals after rigorous audit by the team of DGCA officials”, says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, Chairman, HAL.

Last month, HAL bagged a major Defence contract for supplying 14 Do-228 aircraft to the Indian Air Force. HAL has so far produced 125 Do 228 and 89 HS 748. They are in service with Indian defence forces and others. One Do 228 was exported to Seychelles in 2013. The Government of Mauritius recently signed a contract with HAL to acquire HAL made Dornier aircraft for maritime surveillance to guard its extensive coastline.

The Kanpur Division is now DGCA approved facility for maintenance and repair of both Do 228 and HS-748 aircraft as per CAR-145. The CAR 145 was introduced on January 26, 2005 to harmonize requirements for approval of aircraft maintenance organizations with that of international requirements. The availability of type rated license holders in airframe, engine and avionics is a prerequisite for grant of these approvals apart from adequate facilities and documentation for maintenance and repair of aircraft. Since type rated license holders on these aircraft were not available in open job market, HAL’s Kanpur Division undertook DGCA approved courses in ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘E’, ‘I’ & ‘R’ categories. An oral cum practical test by DGCA was then arranged for award of type rated AME licenses to the personnel of TAD Kanpur.

HAL Do 228 (Transport Aircraft)

HAL Do-228 is a highly reliable, multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light weight twin turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear. The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls. The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration. The general features are maximum take-off weight-6400 kg, maximum payload - 1903 Kg, fuel capacity- 2850 liter (2250Kg), maximum cruise speed- 428 Km/hr, service ceiling-4299 M, engines - 2 garrett TPE  331-5-252D engines  each  driving  a four bladed  reversible  pitch, fully  feathering  propeller.

The versatility of DO-228s are due to several in-built features such as highest fuel carrying capacity in its class (2850 litres) due to integral fuel tanks in wings, low structural weight ensured through use of advanced composite materials, high wing design for unobstructed view and radar coverage, wide wheel base for better stability, short take-off and landing capability- the aircraft can take off from around 700 m and land within 575 m- essentially required for operations from short and semi-prepared airfields. The aircraft has sturdy landing gears, rectangular cabin offering more head space for passengers and mounting space for equipment in case of special mission configuration as opposed to circular cabin, low floor level and wide door for easy loading/unloading of cargo, flight openable roller door, four wing hard points for mounting of external loads up to 1030 kg. The aircraft gives optimum performance at normal cruising altitude for short haul applications enabled by the revolutionary design of wing aerofoil.

HAL has fitted several role specific equipment on this aircraft to meet the specialized requirement of its customers. HAL continuously strives through its research and design base to develop and integrate new modifications and keep the aircraft contemporary with latest technology developments

HS 748 (Transport Aircraft):

HS-748 series 2 aircraft is a pressurized all metal low wing monoplane with tricycle landing gear and is powered by two Rolls Royce Dart R.Da.7 Turbo-prop engines and Dowty Rotol propellers. A crew consisting of two pilots and one or two passenger attendants are normally carried, but provision of supernumerary crew and a navigator or radio operator can also be incorporated.

The order for the first prototype of HS-748 aircraft was placed with the erstwhile Aircraft Manufacturing Depot Kanpur and the aircraft was successfully test flown in 1962. The Division was engaged for about two decades in the manufacturing of HS-748, a medium transport aircraft in a variety of roles and models for Indian Air Force, Indian Airlines and other customers.

Out of the total 89 HS-748 aircraft for which orders were received, 67 aircraft were delivered to IAF, 17 to Indian Airlines, two to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the calibration role, one to National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and two to Border Security Force.

Major overhaul (Check-III Servicing) of HS-748 aircraft was started from 1980 for Indian Air Force. One hundred aircraft have been overhauled till February 2015. In addition to this refurbishing and minor repairs of HS-748 aircraft are also being carried out.

Defence Minister Tells Army To Resolve Promotion Conflict Within House As SLP In Supreme Court Looms, All Promotion Boards Affected

Indian Army's selection board for promoting Lt Colonels to full Colonels (also known as Selection Board number 3 or SB-3) has been postponed thereby delaying all other Boards , for higher ranks. It was scheduled to be held from March 10-14 this year. Armed Forces Tribunal, Delhi bench, has said in its judgement that the old order (of 2004) be complied with, which is to distribute vacancies for full Colonels evenly amongst all arms and services. Later this was changed in 2009, and more vacancies were allotted to artillery and Infantry battalions on the premise that these two arms had more number of units to be commanded. This has created confusion. A preliminary presentation was made to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and sources have revealed that the Minister is not in favour of an SLP being filed in Supreme Court and wants the Army to find a way out. A timeline of 45 days has been given to the Army Headquarters to resolve the matter, putting the MS (Military Secretary) branch in a spin. All other Boards (for promotion of other higher ranks) are getting affected.

In 2004 during AV Singh-1 Committee report, younger leadership profile for Commanding Officers was proposed, which is why more vacancies for full Colonels, were created. In 2009 during AV Singh-2 Committee findings, when it submitted its report, one of the recommendation was that the new vacancies created for Commanding Officers (full Colonels) would have more vacancies going to the artillery and Infantry battalions as they had more number of units to be commanded, which resulted in losses for other arms and services, as opposed to earlier pro-rata recommendations, which evenly distributes vacancies to all arms and services. 

Since Infantry battalions have approximately 450 units to be commanded, which means vacacies for Commanding Officers and Artillery has about 250-270 units, therefore more number of vacancies went to these arms.Other arms have fewer vacancies like the Army Services Corps (ASC) has 35 units to be commanded.

Promotions and postings are handled by MS (Military Secretary) Branch, while the AG (Adjutant General) is the keeper of records of service of officers.

There is blame-game on between MS and AG branches of the Army. AFT has told the Army to hold fresh Boards and consider the old order null and void and follow the old policy of pro-rata distribution of vacancies.
Actual vacancies to dole out now strictly dependent on exits, that is basically retirements of selection grade Colonels which average about 30 a month. It will take two years to evenly distribute vacancies so a big decision dilemma for the Army. About 700-800 Lieutenant Colonels are affected, who await their promotions, as they are losing out time. A full Colonel Commanding Officer gets anywhere between 24-30 months for his command tenure.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord & Royal Navy Chief On India Visit

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Navy on A 3 - Day Visit to India 

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Royal Navy is visiting India from 16 to 19 Mar 15. 

The Admiral was received at South Block lawns today by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy and was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour. During the day, the dignitary is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with the Defence Minister and the three Service Chiefs as well as various senior MoD and other government officials at New Delhi.

The Admiral will be visiting some of Indian Navy’s training establishments at Kochi, and interact with the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, the Flag Officer Sea Training and the Flag Officer Naval Aviation at Goa. While in Kochi, the Admiral will be shown the first Aircraft Carrier, being built indigenously at the Cochin Shipyard Limited. 

The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy cooperate with each other in technical training, anti-piracy patrols and Navy to Navy Staff Talks. The two navies have been exercising together at sea in the bilateral EX KONKAN since 2004. Warships from both navies call at each other’s ports, which provide excellent opportunity for professional interaction and building bridges of friendship. Issues that are likely to be discussed during the First Sea Lord’s visit include enhancement of training exchanges, improving maritime domain awareness by sharing of white shipping information and participation of the Royal Navy in the prestigious International Fleet Review being organised by the Indian Navy off Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016. 

185 Cadets Pass Out Of Officers Training Academy, Chennai

A total of 185 cadets (140 Gentlemen Cadets, 39 Lady Cadets and 06 Foreign Cadets) passed out from the portal of Officers Training Academy (OTA), here today. Before they move on to join operational Regiments across the length and breadth of the country. The batch included Six Cadets from friendly foreign countries, four from Seychelles and one each from Tonga and Papua New Guniea.

The parade was reviewed by Lieutenant General Sanjeev Madhok, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Army Training Command (ARTRAC).  While addressing the parade, the Reviewing Officer said “The Army which today is in the midst of a transformation needs agile, adaptive leaders with a broad perspective and range of skills. In an era, where we face a full spectrum of conflict, ranging from high intensity combat, peace time soldiering, dedicated realistic training, peace keeping, humanitarian intervention, counter terrorism and insurgency, all in rapid succession or even simultaneously - we cannot succeed without military leaders, who are equally aware of the full spectrum, in their thinking and perception. You will be expected to make decisions in tactical, operational or ethical situations of unprecedented kinds. In today’s environment, the tools and tactics may have changed, but the basic principles of soldiering and leadership remain the same”.

Lieutenant General Sanjeev Madhok inspected a Guard of Honour given by the Gentlemen Cadets and presented the awards.  The Reviewing Officer also awarded the Sword of Honour to Academy under Officer M Anjana who also received the Gold Medal for standing first in overall order of merit. The silver medal for standing second in overall order of merit was awarded to Battalion under Officer Abhishek and Bronze Medal for standing third in overall of merit was awarded to Battalion under Officer Madhavi Rai.

Being also commissioned as a Lady Officer was a “Veer Nari”, Lieutenant Ruchi Verma, whose husband had laid down his life in the service of the Nation, while serving with his unit in counter insurgency environment in the North East.

The cadets were pipped as officers by their parents in front of the Parameshwaran Parade Ground. The event was followed by an oath taking ceremony and National Anthem. Apart from the President’s Commission to lead the world’s third largest army, each of the newly commissioned Lieutenants would be awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Defence Management and Strategic Studies by the University of Madras.

The parade was witnessed by the Military and Civil Dignitaries, the family members, relatives, friends of the newly commissioned officers, alongwith the Officers and families of Officers Training Academy and the officers of Headquarters, Dakshin Bharat Area.  The Reviewing Officer was accompanied by Lieutenant General RP Sahi, Commandant, Officers Training Academy and Major General G Murali, Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

World War-I Centenary Commemoration Wreath Laying Ceremony At Teen Murti

A homage ceremony, marking the ongoing centenary commemoration of the sacrifice and valour of Indian Troops in various theatres of World War-I, was conducted at the historic Teen Murti Memorial.   

The solemn ceremony was presided over by Lt Gen Rajan Bakshi,  GOC –in-C Central Comd and attended by other General Officers representing various arms and services of the Army.  Floral wreaths were laid on the occasion in the honour and memory of the matchless contribution of Indian Soldiers in the Great War.

Army Chief At A Veer Senani Rally

The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh meeting and interacting with veterans and ex-servicemen during theVeer Senani Rally, at Jhajjhar, in Haryana on March 14, 2015.

A Veer Senani Rally was organised at Jhajjhar on 14 Mar 15 at New Police Lines, Jhajjhar.  The rally attracted more than 17000 Veterans from nine districts of Haryana i.e Rothak, Jhajjar, Jind, Bhiwani, Hisar, Rewari, Fetehabad, Sirsa and Mahendergarh.

Gen Dalbir Singh, Chief of Army Staff, Mr Depinder Singh, Chief Secretary Haryana  and many other dignitaries were present on the occasion to interact with the Ex Servicemen.  The Rally was aimed to achieve the motto of providing “SAMMAN, SEHAT, SAHULIYAT AUR SAHAYATA” to Veterans and Veer Naris. A dedicated effort of one year had preceded the Rally wherein army personnel visited each and every village and house within the nine districts to re-establish contact with retired army persons (Veterans) and Veer Naris.

A number of stalls were established to cater for various aspects of Ex Servicemen viz ECHS, CSD, Resettlement, Sainik Boards, Helpline, Record offices, etc. A fully equipped Medical Camp was also organized as part of the rally from 12-14 Mar 2015.The medical camp had a extensive presence of various specialists to provide advice and medicines.

While addressing the Veterans at the Rally, Gen Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff expressed army’s solidarity with its retired fraternity and assured the gathering that the government and the Army are sensitive to their needs and would take every step to ensure that the Ex-Servicemen and their families are cared for and looked after well.

The Chief of Army Staff presented 39 Modified Auto-Scooters for a total amount of Rs 26,00,000/- and six Wheel-Chairs for a total of Rs 2,27,760/- to those soldiers who had become paraplegic or amputees during various military operations. Besides, a number of Veterans, Veer Naris and widows received benefits of various grants and aids under various schemes like Resettlement, Educational Scholarships, marriage grant to daughters and financial aid for a total amount of Rs 6,00,000/- . 150 shawls were presented to war widows and Veernaris, while 400 blankets were presented to the veterans and disabled soldiers , as a mark of respect and solidarity.   The Rally not only re-touched the lives of retired army personnel but also enabled provisioning of assistance to a massive population base by arranging benefits of various welfare schemes of the Government and Army at a single venue.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sudan Defence Secretary In India

The Secretary General, Ministry of Defence, Sudan, General (Psc) Yagoub IM Manzool calling on the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, in New Delhi on March 13, 2015. 

MoU Between Indian Army & HDFC Bank

On 13th Mar 2015 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and HDFC Bank on the Defence Salary Package. The signing in ceremony was chaired by Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma, Adjutant General of Indian Army and attended by top dignitaries of HDFC Bank headed by Mr Rajender Sehgal, Group Head (Govt Business).

The first MoU between HDFC Bank and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of three years. The revised MoU is tailor made to suit the requirements of serving soldiers, pensioners and families. Number of additional facilities have been incorporated in the revised MoU after concerted efforts.  Army is hoping that this MoU will benefit a large number of serving and retired Army personnel who are having their accounts with HDFC and   provide them an opportunity to access modern banking facilities.

The basic features of the MoU are free drafts, free cheque books, free funds transfers to any bank in India through RTGS / NEFT and free ATM cards. 

Some features which have been improved from before are enhancement of Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) cover and its applicability both on Account and Debit Card, Air Accident Insurance of Rs 25 Lakhs, Interest concession on auto loan and 50 % waiver on processing fees for auto and house loan.  Two major additions have been applicability of the and overdraft facility to pensioners. The MoU also has a provision for yearly review of specific features and requests.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Naval Chief Reviews Operational Readiness Exercise in Kochi

The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan PVSM AVSM YSM ADC, presided over the debrief of the recently concluded annual Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) at Kochi on 11 March. Commanders’-in-chief of all the three naval Commands along with a number of senior operational commanders attended and participated in the discussions held at the Naval Base, Kochi. In addition the naval brass discussed the future roadmap of operations for the Navy which included refining existing concepts of operations catering for the improved maritime capabilities with new acquisitions and infrastructure. 

The recently concluded maritime exercise TROPEX 2015, was unique in scale and size with the participation of two aircraft carriers and integration of various new platforms including Mig 29K, P8-I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, the nuclear submarine Chakra, indigenous stealth destroyer Kolkata and anti-submarine warfare frigate Kamorta besides the participation of 50 ships, submarines and more than 70 aircraft from all the three Commands as also assets of IAF and ICG. All the participating units were completely networked and the operations were facilitated by the robust and seamless communications network, including satellite communications under the navy’s overall thrust on Network Centric Operations, aligned with the prime minister’s vision of ‘Digital India’. Overall, the exercise reiterated the Navy’s readiness and capability to meet various mandated roles, in support of national objectives. 

The hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar had also spent a day on board INS Vikramaditya during the exercise (mid Feb 15) and witnessed the operational prowess of the newly acquired assets. 

The Admiral would also be interacting with officers and men of the Command during his stay at Kochi. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

'Indian Soldiers Etched Their Name In World History Through Their Bravery & Valour,' - President Of India

Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour, says the President 

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a Commemorative Exhibition on the theme “India and World War-I” in New Delhi today (10 March, 2015). He also released First Day Cover on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion the President said, Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour. They carved a niche for themselves by their outstanding loyalty, courage and selfless service and played a significant role in influencing the outcome of the World War I. Allied Forces were in a position to sign an armistice because of the support of the Indian soldiers.

The President said, Indian soldiers not only won the pickets and trenches but also the hearts of the local population. The humble upbringing of these soldiers in their villages, the teachings of the Ramayana andMahabharata, infused in the Indian soldier’s conscience a strong set of values – the value of being ‘just’ in their dealings with those whom they have vanquished and of ‘resolute stance’ against the adversary when under siege. These values made them a formidable fighting force.

The President said numerous battles of World War I highlight the perseverance of the Indian soldiers where along with British battalions, they stoically withstood the fierce attacks of their adversaries. Indian soldiers were decorated with 11 Victoria Crosses, 5 Military Crosses and numerous other awards for their fine soldierly attributes.

The President said, the centenary of the First World War is an important landmark in world history. This occasion reminds the world community of the immense loss of life and material that the world had to endure in pursuit of global peace and stability. Indian soldiers played an important role in the various theatres of the War. Our men made sacrifices with a sense of pride and righteousness which needs to be recognized and celebrated. The professionalism which our armed forces display today is a continuation of what was so bravely exhibited by the Indian soldiers in the First World War.
The President said, a hundred years ago, the youth of many a nation was wasted on account of human greed and misguided notions. Today, conflicts arising out of pernicious designs of some terror outfits are claiming thousands of valuable lives in many parts of the world.  But the armed forces of our nation are capable of meeting all challenges and threats to our national integrity and contribute to world peace and security.

Centenary Commemoration Of World War-1

Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the inauguration of the commemorative exhibition on the theme “India and World War- I” at the Manekshaw Centre 

1. It gives me immense pleasure to be here this evening at the Manekshaw Centre for inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition on the theme, “India and World War – I”. At the outset, let me compliment the Indian Armed Forces for organizing this exhibition to walk down the memory lane to recognize and celebrate the bravery of the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the First War. 

2. The centenary of the First World War is an important landmark in world history. This occasion reminds the world community of the immense loss of life and material that the world had to endure in pursuit of global peace and stability. In this effort the Indian soldiers played an important role in the various theatres of the War. The Indian contribution of a volunteer army to the war effort was large in comparison to many other contributing nations. 

3. During the War, Indian soldiers were in active service on virtually every war front. They carved a niche for themselves by their outstanding loyalty, courage and selfless service and played a significant role in influencing the outcome of the War. The Allied Forces were also in a position to sign an armistice because of the support of the Indian soldiers. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

4. A hundred years ago, the world was different. Even though our country was under colonial rule, Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour. The gallantry of the Sikhs and Gurkhas in the battlefields of Gallipoli is well-known. So is the bravery of the Garhwali, Dogra, Punjabi and Maratha Soldiers, who fought in the battlefields of Flanders and Somme. These soldiers not only won the pickets and trenches but also the hearts of the local population. The humble upbringing of these soldiers in their villages, the teachings of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, infused in the Indian soldier’s conscience a strong set of values – the value of being ‘just’ in their dealings with those whom they have vanquished and of ‘resolute stance’ against the adversary when under siege. These values made them a formidable fighting force. 

5. There are numerous battles of this War which highlight the perseverance of the Indian soldiers where along with the British battalions they stoically withstood the fierce attacks of their adversaries. It was for the fine soldierly attributes that by the end of the Great War, the Indian soldiers were decorated with 11 Victoria Crosses, 5 Military Crosses and numerous other awards. 

6. To my mind, these men made their sacrifices with a sense of pride and righteousness. This needs to be recognized and celebrated. Today, we pay our respects and honour these men. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

7. A hundred years ago, the youth of many a nation was wasted on account of human greed and misguided notions. Today, conflicts arising out of pernicious designs of some terror outfits are claiming thousands of valuable lives in many parts of the world. The rise of non-state actors and lethal terrorist entities is a threat to our nation. 

8. The Armed Forces of our nation are capable of meeting all challenges and threats to our national integrity and contribute to world peace and security. We have developed an effective deterrence and stand ready to defend our territorial integrity. The professionalism which our armed forces display today is a continuation of what was so bravely exhibited by the Indian soldiers in the First World War. 

9. It is to acknowledge the role played by the Indian soldiers during this historic War, that this Commemorative Event has been organized. It will remind us all once again about the sacrifices made by our valiant soldiers and the role they played for peace and security in the world. I once again compliment the Indian Armed Forces for organizing this memorable event. I wish all of you the very best for the future. 

Thank you. 

Jai Hind. 

Commemorative Celebrations of World War -1

Indian Army is Commemorating the Centenary of the First World War from 10 Mar to 14 Mar 2015 in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over 74000 who made the supreme sacrifice.  10th March coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The time period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War-1.
As part of the Commemorative Events, a wreath was laid at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 10 Mar 15.  Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and  senior serving officers  of the Regiments that took part in the War, also graced the occasion.
A Commemorative Exhibition is also being held at Manekshaw Centre from 10 to 14 Mar 2015.  A Veterans Run to be flagged off by Vice Chief of Army Staff will carry the inaugural Flame ‘Heritage Torch’ from Commonwealth War Cemetery, Brar Square to Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. The last Veteran Runner Honorary Captain (Retd) Bana Singh, PVC, will hand over the ‘Heritage Torch’ to the Hon’ble President for lighting the symbolic ‘Flame of Remembrance’ (Inaugural Flame) and inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition at 6 PM today.
The Chief of the Army Staff will address the dignitaries and highlight the role and sacrifices of the Indian Soldiers during the First World War. The President will thereafter release a Commemorative First Day Cover. The President will also view the exhibition which includes a ‘Gallantry Hall’, highlighting how the ‘Great War’ was fought and won, its impact on Indian Soldiers lives on the frontline and at home. It will showcase 13 Campaigns, wartime weapons and equipment, memorabilia and various artifacts.
The ‘Corner of Remembrance’ in the exhibition will display old letters, an old home in neglect with belongings of Soldiers and depicting a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for their dear ones to return home. The ‘Sacrifice Hall’ will include replicas of Amar Jawan Jyoti, Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross Winners in India & abroad.
The outdoor props of the exhibition will give a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers and  guns. A replica of miniature Brighton Hospital will depict the treatment and the trauma that the Indian Soldiers went through. The live props will highlight the role played by various Arms/Corps in the War including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Signals and ASC. A dynamic band display by the Indian Army brass & pipe bands will also be conducted as part of the mega event.
The descendants of some of the Victoria Cross Awardees and the Param Vir Chakra Awardees of Independent India will also be present for the function and will interact with the Hon’ble President.
            The Commemoration Exhibition of World War -1 at Manekshaw Convention Centre at Delhi Cantonment would be open to the public and Schools and Colleges from 11 to 13 Mar 15.

Role of Royal Indian Marine in World War I (1914 – 1918) 

As part of the centenary celebrations of World War I, the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an exhibition highlighting the role of India in the Great War at the Manekshaw Centre this evening. It may be noted that by the time the war ended in 1918, the Royal Indian Marine had transported or escorted 13,02,394 men, 1,72,815 animals and 36,91,836 tonnes of war stores. The Royal Indian Marine suffered 330 causalities and 80 of its personnel were decorated with gallantry awards. 

It is a lesser known fact that the Expeditionary Forces of the Indian Army that travelled to France, Africa and Mesopotamia to participate in the Great War were transported largely on board ships of the erstwhile Royal Indian Marine, which was the fore-runner to the Indian Navy of today. In fact, the convoy transporting the first division of the Indian Cavalry to France sailed within three weeks of the Declaration of War, on 25 Aug 1914. At the outset of the war, a number of ships were fitted out and armed at the Naval Dockyard in Bombay (Mumbai today) and the Kidderpore Docks in Calcutta (Kolkata today). The Indian Marine also kept the harbours of Bombay and Aden open through intensive mine-sweeping efforts. Smaller ships of the Indian Marine, designed for operations in inland waters, patrolled the critical waterways of the Tigris, the Euphrates and Shatt-al-Arab, in order to keep the supply lines open for the troops fighting in Mesopotamia. There was even a hospital ship operated by the Indian Marine to treat wounded soldiers. 

In all, the Royal Indian Marine played a vital role in supporting and transporting the Indian Army throughout the Great War and their gallant contribution can be viewed at the exhibition.