Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Unified Commanders’ Conference - 2018

The two day Unified Commanders’ Conference for the year 2018 commenced on 30 Jul 18 at New Delhi.  The Conference provided a platform for discussions at the Apex Level on all ‘Joint Issues’ amongst the three Services & Ministry of Defence and enabled stock taking of the previous year and facilitated planning for future.

The event was attended by the Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, National Security Advisor (NSA), Dy NSA, the Service Chiefs and other senior military and civil officials of the Services and MoD.

Raksha Mantri complemented the Services for their performance and achievements in past year and stressed on the need for greater synergy and jointmanship amongst the Services as well as between the Services and the MoD. She assured the Services that preparedness of the Services would be a top priority for the Government.

Earlier, Chairman COSC & CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba welcomed & addressed the august audience.  Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of Army Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Def Secy, Shri Sanjay Mitra & Chief of Integrated Staff Lt Gen Satish Dua also addressed the conference.

During the conference, under the chairmanship of the Chief of Integrated Staff (CISC), a large number of Tri Services issues were deliberated thoroughly and solutions to contemporary challenges were provided to facilitate future plans for an integrated robust defence preparedness.

Curtain Raiser : The two day Unified Commanders’ Conference (UCC) for the year 2018 will be held on 30th & 31st Jul 2018 at New Delhi.  The Annual Conference provides a platform for discussions at the Apex Level on all ‘Joint Issues’ amongst the three Services & Ministry of Defence and enables stock taking of the previous year and planning the way ahead for the next year.

The Conference will be conducted under the tutelage of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) and will be attended by the Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, National Security Advisor, the Chiefs of Army, Navy & Air Force and other Senior Military and Civil Officials of the Ministry of Defence and Tri-Service Organisations/Institutions.

The scope of this conference has been enhanced this year to enable the forum to facilitate joint stock taking of the previous year’s performance of all Services & Departments of Ministry of Defence and jointly chart the course for the next year.  The forum will feature addresses by the Raksha Mantri, the Services Chiefs, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, Commander-in-Chief of Andaman & Nicobar Command, Defence Secretary and all Heads of Departments of MoD.

During the conference, under the chairmanship of the Chief of Integrated Staff (CISC), a large number of Tri Services issues would be deliberated thoroughly to arrive at solution to challenges faced and to evolve plans for the future.

Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla assumes Command of SNC

Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, has taken over the reins of the Southern Naval Command (SNC) as its 28th Flag Officer Commanding- in-Chief on 31 Jul 18. The Admiral has replaced Vice Admiral AR Karve, PVSM, AVSM who retired after 38 years of yeoman service. VAdm AK Chawla was previously the Chief of Personnel at the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence, Navy at Delhi. The Flag Officer, a native of Dehradun, had arrived in Kochi on 30 Jul 18.

A static ceremonial parade, consisting of 16 platoons including 4 armed platoons and a 50 men “Guard of Honour” was held at the naval base on the occasion in which both the admirals were accorded General Salutes and which concluded with a “March in Review Order”. Subsequently, both Flag Officers carried out the formal handing / taking over in the office of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. Speaking to the members of the media, prior to his departure, VAdm Karve expressed satisfaction at the synergy achieved by the Command with the civil administration of the state in responding to different “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)” requirements.

On completion of the handing over, VAdm Karve met and was bid farewell by various Heads of Units, Commanding Officers, Chief Staff Officers of headquarters,SNC and other senior officers. As he drove away, he was given the traditional 'Teen Jais' by officers and sailors of the Command.
Strategic Partnership Model approved by DAC

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Approves Strategic Partnership Model.

In continuation of its efforts to boost indigenous defence industry and to reduce timelines so as to ensure timely delivery of equipment to the Armed Forces, the DAC discussed and approved Implementation guidelines for the Strategic Partnership Model. Strategic  Partnership Model  aims to  revitalise defence industrial ecosystem and progressively build indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces. The amplifying guidelines lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content Global Majors, who in collaboration with Indian Partners are ready to make India a Regional / Global manufacturing hub for the platform will also be incentivized. This will give a major fillip towards encouraging self-reliance and aligning the defence sector with the 'Make in India ' initiative of the Government. In an endeavour to convert policy into implementable directions and to kick start the process, the DAC also approved platform specific guidelines for procurement of Naval Utility Helicopters. Allprocurements under the SP Model would be executedby specially constituted Empowered Project Committees (EPC) to provide focussed attention and ensure timely execution.

The DAC also accorded approval for the acquisition of 08 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard under 'Buy (lndian-lDDM)' category at an approximate cost of Rs 800 crore. These vessels will be indigenously designed and manufactured and would strengthen maritime security by undertaking day/night patrolling and policing of  the Maritime  Zones of India including interception of vessels and personnel engaged in anti-sabotage anti-terrorist, anti-smuggling operations as well as provide assistance for Search and Rescue medical evacuation, disaster relief operations, assistance during pollution response operations, etc..


Progress in Production of Tejas Aircraft

Two contracts were signed between IAF & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for procurement of (i) 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft on 31st March 2006 to be completed by December 2011 and (ii) 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft on 23rd December 2010 to be completed by 2016.

Out of total 20 IOC aircraft (16 fighters and 4 trainers), 9 fighters have been delivered by HAL to IAF till date.  The production of remaining 11 IOC aircraft             (7 fighter + 4 trainer) are taken up at HAL.  The aircraft is currently capable of undertaking Air Defence Operations and conventional ground attack with heavy bombs is feasible.

Production for 20 FOC aircraft, will be taken up after FOC clearance by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for which current target is December, 2018.

In order to fast track the production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and to achieve FOC clearance given by ADA, the following initiatives have been taken:-

For ramping up production capacity from existing 8 aircraft to 16 aircraft per annum, Government of India (GoI) has sanctioned Rs.1381.04 Crore in March, 2017.

Enhancing production rate of LCA Tejas primarily through outsourcing of major modules to private partners with HAL moving to the role of lead integrator.

Establishment of second line for structural and equipping activities at Aircraft Division, HAL.

Increase in number of jigs for Front fuselage, Centre fuselage, Rear fuselage and Wings.

Reduction in manufacturing cycle time through improved Supply Chain Management, learning and augmentation of manpower.

Modularization of electrical looms for reduction of cycle time of aircraft looming.

Besides, 40 aircraft (20 IOC & 20 FOC), Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared acquisition of 83 LCA Mk1A for IAF for which quotation has been submitted by HAL.

Further, in order to bolster the fighter squadron strength, Government of India has also planned to manufacture fighter aircraft through Strategic Partnership model.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Dr. Banda Prakash in Rajya Sabha today.

Strategic Partnership Policy

The policy on Strategic Partnerships in Defence Sector was promulgated on 31.05.2017 as Chapter-VII of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 titled as “Revitalising Defence Industrial Ecosystem through Strategic Partnerships”. The Chapter was uploaded on Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mod.nic.in and came into effect immediately on its promulgation.

The following 04 segments (major platforms) have been identified under Strategic Partnership (SP) Model:  Fighter Aircrafts, Helicopters, Submarines and Armoured Fighting Vehicles / Main Battle Tanks.  Since promulgation of the SP policy, Requests for Information (RFIs) have been issued for all four segments – Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH), Submarines, Fighter Aircraft, and Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) / Main Battle Tanks (MBT).  The evaluation of responses to the RFIs for NUH, Submarines and Fighter Aircraft has already been initiated.  Evaluation of RFI response for AFV / MBT will be undertaken on receipt.  Hence, there is no delay in operationalising the SP model.
This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Manish Gupta in Rajya Sabha today.

Defence Projects under ‘Make in India’ Programme

Make in India’ in defence sector, is primarily driven by capital acquisition of defence equipment and other policy measures.  In the last four financial years i.e. from 2014-15 to 2017-18, Government has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 151 proposals, worth Rs.2,66,700 Crore approximately under ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’, ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ or ‘Make’ categories of capital procurement as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), which means Request for Proposal (RFP) shall be issued only to Indian Vendors.

In the last four financial years i.e. from 2014-15 to 2017-18, 128 contracts worth Rs.119000 Crore have been signed with Indian vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment.

DPP stipulates a time schedule for completion of the procurement cycle.  The time taken to undertake capital procurement of defence equipment depends on the nature and complexity of the equipment being procured.  Nonetheless, under the DPP-2016 Government has laid down further provisions for ensuring swift decision making in defence procurements.  In addition, all the procurement schemes are regularly reviewed and prioritized on the basis of critical operational needs of the Armed Forces.

In the Budget Speech 2018, Government has announced that it will bring out an industry friendly Defence Production Policy-2018 to promote domestic production by public sector, private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  A draft Defence Production Policy-2018 has been prepared which provides a focused, structured and significant thrust to development of defence design and production capabilities in the country.  The draft policy has been shared with all concerned stakeholders for their views before its approval and final notification.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Manish Gupta in Rajya Sabha today.

Production OF Defence Equipments
Capital procurement of defence equipment is undertaken from various domestic as well as foreign vendors, based on operational requirements of the Armed Forces, the availability or capacity to produce the equipment in India and abroad and to keep the Armed Forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges.

During the last three years and current year (upto June, 2018) out of total 168 contracts, 106 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces such as Helicopters, Radar, Ballistic Helmets, Artillery Guns, Simulators, Missiles, Bullet Proof Jackets, Electronic Fuzes and ammunition.

 Government is pursuing initiatives to achieve higher levels of indigenization and self-reliance in the defence sector by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector industries in the countries.  These measures include according priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors and liberalization of the licensing regime.  DPP accords the highest priority to Buy Indian (Designed, Developed and Manufactured) (IDDM).  The ‘Make’ procedure has been simplified with provisions for earmarking projects not exceeding development cost of Rs.10 crores (government funded) and     Rs.3 crores (Industry funded) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and with provisions for involving private industry as production agencies and technology transfer partners. Government has also promulgated the policy on Strategic Partnership in the Defence Sector to encourage broader participation of the private sector in manufacture of major defence platforms and equipment.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Narayan Rane in Rajya Sabha today.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Kargil Vijay Diwas

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman along with the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba and the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa laying wreath and paying homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, in New Delhi

Kargil Vijay Diwas Celebrations-2018

On the occasion ofKargilDiwas-2018 Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman along with three Service Chiefs paid their homage to the courage, valour, and sacrifices of the heroes of Operation Vijay at Amar JawanJyoti here today. Smt Sitharaman extended her heartiest greetings and best wishes to all the ranks of Indian Armed Forces, Veterans and their families on the occasion.

The Indo-Pak Kargil conflict, known as Operation Vijay, was fought between May and July 1999, in the most inhospitable and rugged terrain along the Line of Control (LoC) from ZojiLa in the West to Turtok in the East. The conflict was engineered by Pakistan, infiltrating its troops and occupying vacated dominating heights across the LoC overlooking and threatening National Highway besides violating territorial integrity of the Nation. Indian Army soldiers, displaying utmost fortitude and resilience, fought legendary battles in Dras, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtok sectors at heights above 12,000 feet and evicted Pakistani intruders. Indian Air Force also contributed significantly and supported the Army operations.

Smt Sitharaman also expressed confidence that the Indian Armed Forces would continue to serve the country with unwavering dedication and discipline keeping with their glorious traditions.

RRM inaugurates Air Defence India – 2018 Seminar

Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM) Dr. Subhash Bhamre inaugurated a two-day Air Defence India – 2018 Seminar & Exhibition, organised by Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), here today. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bhamre said the term ‘Air Defence’ implies defence operations but it is an important operational function which helps our Strike Corps to be offensive and the Air Force to act with impunity.

He said Air is a vital aspect of national security and is assuming increasing importance due to the emerging conventional and sub-conventional aerial threat. These threats have multiplied manifolds in the recent past and as the threat has amplified so has the Air Defence set up of the nation.

The RRM stated that in a relative short span of 70 years since Independence, Army Air Defence has witnessed phenomenal growth in its organisational structure and changes in its equipment profile. After its bifurcation from the artillery corps in 1994, the Corps of Army Air Defence has received the importance it deserves to grow and add the much required punch, he added. Dr. Bhamre congratulated the officers, men and women of the Army Air Defence Corps on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee year and urged them all to dedicate themselves to building a robust arm of the Army.

Amongst other senior officers, Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and Director General Army Air Defence Lt Gen AP Singh were present at the function.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Indian Navy, ONGC Plug Leakage in Offshore Well

ONGC, supported by Indian Navy, braves adverse weather conditions to plug leakage in Offshore Well

A team of ONGC engineers with support from Indian Navy has successfully plugged a gas leakage on an unmanned offshore platform in Mumbai High South around 180 KM from the sea shore in the Arabian Sea.

A gas leakage was observed in one of the unmanned wellhead platforms S1-6, in the south field of Mumbai High. As a safety measure, the platform team immediately initiated all remote actions to shut down the well platform and to bleed off the pressure in the pipe lines. Fire-fighting vessels were instantly deployed near the platform to provide water blanketing by continuously spraying water.

Due to extremely bad weather conditions with high wind speeds of up to 35 knots, swell of 3.5 meters and strong surface currents in sea, it was not safe for ONGC team to land at unmanned platform by helicopter or transfer them by Multi Support Vessel. Attempts were however being made to transfer ONGC team to the unmanned platform taking all safety precautions.

Having exhausted all available options to transfer ONGC team to S1-6 Platform, ONGC approached Indian Navy for help. After detailed discussions between ONGC and Indian Navy, it was decided to winch down ONGC team with the help of Indian Navy commandos.

‘Seaking’ helicopter N555 of Indian Navy reached ONGC process platform and took ONGC technical team to S1-6. ONGC team consisting of Mr. BKB Patel, Mr. Sanjib Kumar, Mr. Ravindra Kumar and Mr. S K Khakhalary, well trained in all safety aspects in high seas however, had no previous training or experience of winching down from helicopter. The team displayed extreme courage in adverse conditions, quickly learnt the technique and in synergy with Navy commandos landed on the unmanned well head platform S1-6.

Braving rough weather, the team identified the leakage source successfully and safely plugged it within one hour making the well ready to flow. The entire operation was planned and executed with utmost precision. ONGC Team displayed extreme courage, presence of mind and technical acumen in controlling the situation in the least possible time. ONGC acknowledges with very high appreciation the support rendered by Indian Navy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Indian Air Force Participates for the First Time in Exercise Pitch Black – 18 with Royal Australian Air Force

Indian Air Force Participates for the First Time in Exercise Pitch Black – 18 with Royal Australian Air Force

An Indian Air Force contingent comprising of four Su-30 MKI, 01 X C-130 and 01 X C-17 aircraft, landed at Darwin Air Force Base, Australia today. This is the first time that an IAF contingent is participating in a multinational air exercise in Australia with Royal Australian Air Force. This exercise involves over 100 aircraft from around the globe and will provide a unique opportunity to the air-warriors to operate in a dynamic warlike environment.

 As a part of Commonwealth countries, India and Australia have always enjoyed amicable bilateral relations. Air Forces of both the countries have participated in the Second World War. The contribution of these nations has been well documented and acknowledged by the historians.    Su-30 MKI aircraft flew across the ocean to once again demonstrate our strategic reach and professionalism. As part of military diplomacy and reassuring our neighbours of our commitment to regional peace and security, while en-route to Australia, IAF engaged with the Indonesian and Malaysian Air Forces.

After the success of recently concluded Exercise Gaganshakti-2018, IAF engagement with Indonesian and Malayasian Air Forces and participation in the Exercise Pitch Black-18 in Australia, IAF will once again showcase it’s capability to be an effective net security provider in the region. Navigating across the ocean, precise air to air engagement with tanker aircraft and ability to operate over the international airspace reaffirms that the Indian Air Force would always play the cutting edge of our nation’s military capability. 

Visit of Indian Air Force Planes (Sukhoi-30 and Transport Aircraft) to Indonesia – Expert Level Talks Held in Kupang, Indonesia (19-24 July 2018)

Six aircrafts of the Indian Air Force (four Sukhoi 30-MKIs, one C-130J, and one C-17) along with 130-member IAF team comprising pilots, navigators, and support engineering staff made halts at Surabaya and Kupang in Indonesia from 19-24 July 2018 enroute for Exercise Pitch Black in Australia

It may be noted that during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Indonesia, leaders of both countries took note of the increasing cooperation between the two Air Forces with the inaugural Staff Talks held in July 2017 and the decision to hold bilateral joint exercises between their Air Forces.

Before this visit there have been Subject Matter Expert exchanges between the two Air Forces in areas of mutual interest such as aerospace safety. As a follow up, another round of Subject Matter Expert talks on aspects of flying and maintenance of Su-30 aircraft were held at Kupang on 21 July 2018.

Detailed discussions were held to identify specific areas for enhancing cooperation including training of pilots in India as well as deputing instructors for training of pilots in Indonesia. The IAF contingent also held an interaction with Mr. Jefirstson Riwu Kore, Mayor of Kupang. The second round of experience sharing and discussions on best practices was held between the pilots and maintainers on 23 July 2018. Children from the local Indonesian Air Force school were also invited to view the IAF aircrafts on 23 July 2018.
Recent years have witnessed an all-round deepening of cooperation across the three wings of the Defence Forces with Indonesia. Further follow up on deepening defence exchanges with Indonesia is expected to be discussed during the upcoming 6th Joint Defence Cooperation Committee meeting to be held between India and Indonesia in New Delhi in August 2018.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Tata Technologies Ltd. signs MoU with Vidarbha Defence Industries Association (VDIA) to set up an Aerospace and Defence Centre in Nagpur

Tata Technologies Ltd. signs MoU with Vidarbha Defence Industries Association (VDIA) to set up an Aerospace and Defence Centre in Nagpur

Tata Technologies Ltd., a global engineering services provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vidarbha Defence Industries Association (VDIA) at the “Made in Vidarbha – Aerospace and Defence” Summit held last week in Nagpur. This partnership will lead to the setting up of a new state-of-the-art aerospace & defence Centre in Nagpur. The MoU was signed in the presence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis.

In alignment with the “Make in India” initiative, this centre will help establish Maharashtra as the preferred investment destination for aerospace & defence manufacturing, promote indigenous and modernized technological capabilities and develop skilled resources to support Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to be globally competitive in the aerospace & defence sector. This will be done by setting up 'NIRMAN', a not-for-profit Common Facilitation Centre for aerospace & defence and ‘UDAN’, an initiative to create high-end skilling centres and provide competency-based education for engineering institutes & universities. The partnership between Tata Technologies Ltd. & VDIA supported by the Government of Maharashtra, will promote the state as an aerospace & defence manufacturing and export hub.

Talking on this association, Anand Bhade, President – Asia-Pacific, Tata Technologies said, “Made in Vidarbha – Aerospace and Defence is a great initiative and we are proud to be associated with it. Tata Technologies’ unique offerings for aerospace and defence are perfectly aligned to VDIA’s vision of creating a first-of-its-kind ecosystem to facilitate defence-integrated development by supporting the Indian Aerospace and Defence industry to be globally competitive”.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen (Retired) Mr. Ravindra Thodge, the chairman of VDIA said, “Our objective is to create an aerospace & defence manufacturing hub in the Nagpur and Vidarbha region. Tata Technologies is well positioned to provide the right impetus to this initiative by leveraging their domain expertise”.

The second MC-21-300 test aircraft has flown nonstop from Irkutsk to Zhukovsky

On 20 July 2018, the second MC-21-300 test aircraft, participating in the flight test program, flew from Irkutsk to the airfield “Ramenskoye” of Flight Research Institute n.a. M.M. Gromov (Zhukovsky, Moscow Region). The flight lasted 6 hours.

The plane was piloted by the crew of:the commander, 1 st class test pilot Vasily Sevastyanov; the co-pilot, 1 st class test pilot Andrey Voropayev. Vasily Sevastyanov said, &the flight proceeded in normal mode, all systems operated fault-free.

The flight test program of the second MC-21-300 aircraft started on 12 May 2018, at the airfield of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a branch of Irkut Corporation. While performing flights from this airfield with a total duration of nearly 14 hours, the aircraft reached altitude of 12,000 m, speed of 0.8 M, true speed of 850 km/h.

Within the framework of flight tests, the following works were performed: stability and controllability characteristics of the aircraft in various high-lift configurations with extended and retracted landing gear were confirmed the measuring system of altitude/speed parameters was calibrated to match them with their actual in-flight values; various modes of power plant operation were verified, including in-flight shutdown and restart of the engine; aircraft systems operability was checked.

Further testing of two MC-21-300 test aircraft will be carried out on the basis of Flight Testing Facility (FTF) of Yakovlev Design Bureau.

To support test procedures in FTF, the new hangar has been constructed, ground maintenance facilities have been developed, the highly efficient system for collection/processing/analysis of flight data has been created. New technologies for processing of flight test results ensure high information value of flights, as the on-board measurement system allows recording more than 30,000 parameters in each flight.

MBDA-ISAE scholarship winners hosted at French Residence

MBDA-ISAE Scholarship winners were today welcomed at the Residence of France in New Delhi by Ms Claire Thuaudet, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of France in India, at an award ceremony to celebrate their achievements. The scholarship, which is sponsored by MBDA, Europe’s leading developer of missiles and missile systems, was created in 2013 following an agreement drawn up by ISAE-SUPAERO Foundation and ISAE. On completing their studies, the five Indian students will be awarded an internationally accredited MSc in Aerospace, Mechanics and Avionics from ISAE-SUPAERO. The selected individuals are all graduates from various Indian institutions of higher education chosen by an admissions panel formed independently of the ISAE.

The fifth batch to benefit from the scheme, the five scholarship awardees will spend two years of their Master’s programme at the premier institution of ISAE, Toulouse. In addition to sponsoring their studies, MBDA will also contribute to their living expenses in Toulouse, France. The Embassy of France will provide students scholarships that cover the benefits such as visa fee waivers, medical insurance coverage, access to affordable accommodation, etc. Last year, MBDA announced its decision to extend this advanced programme of excellence in aerospace engineering for a further three years, meaning it will continue until the end of the 2020 academic year.

The development programme also aligns with the ‘Make in India’ policy, which encourages firms to use domestic skills and manufacture products within the country. The scholarship provides another platform for Indian defence professionals to develop their skills, commercial knowledge and international understanding in order to enable India to develop its own sovereign capabilities in the future.

During the reception, Ms Claire Thuaudet, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of France in India, said: “During his State visit to India, President Emmanuel Macron had emphasized on France’s aim of annually hosting at least 10,000 Indian students in France’s globally renowned institutions by 2020. The joint MBDA-ISAE is an excellent scholarship programme that helps us to attract talented Indian students to our country and increase the strong educational and industrial partnerships between India and France, especially in defence, space and aeronautics.”

Loïc Piedevache, MBDA Group India Country Head, said, “These high-potential students will benefit from some of the best opportunities on offer in the defence and aeronautical industry. Not only will they receive the highest level of education from the prestigious ISAE-SUPAERO in Toulouse, France, but they will also get the opportunity to expand their international networks and immerse themselves in the French and European culture and way of life. As a true longstanding reliable partner of India, MBDA is very proud to continue to contribute to such a reputable and important education programme.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Maintenance Command Annual Aerospace Safety Council Meeting at 7 Brd Air Force Station Tughlakabad

Maintenance Command Annual Aerospace Safety Council Meeting at 7 Brd Air Force Station Tughlakabad 

Maintenance Command, Indian Air Force organized its Annual Aerospace Safety Council Meeting on 19 Jul 18 at 7 Base Repair Depot, Air Force Station Tughlakabad. The meeting was attended by 100 Officers and 50 Airmen. The event was inaugurated by Air Marshal  Hemant Sharma Ati Vishisht  Seva Medal, Vishisht  Seva Medal, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief  Maintenance Command  Indian Air Force.  Besides AOC- in-C, Director General (Inspections & Safety) Air HQ, Senior Administrative and Air staff Officer(SAASO) Head Quarter Maintenance Command, Senior Maintenance Staff Officer(SMSO) Head Quarter Maintenance Command and other senior officers of HQ MC and all units under its area of responsibility attended the Aerospace Safety Council Meeting.
AVM Manavendra Singh AVSM, VrC VSM SAASO MC delivered the opening address. Air Mshl SH Singh AVSM VM DG (Inspections & Safety) also addressed the gathering.

The meeting focused on issues related to IAF Aerospace Safety during Maintenance  and Operations undertaken at units under Maintenance Command in the year gone by and discussed new challenges, current trends and developments in the field of aerospace safety. The occasion was also utilized to audit what had been achieved and the task that lay ahead in ensuring safe flying environment while achieving 100% mission success. The meeting holds significance as Maintenance Command   provides support to platforms and systems across entire Indian Air Force, thereby making a noteworthy contribution to its operational potential and aerospace safety.

Farnborough International Airshow

 Farnborough Airshow is bigger than ever at Aviator

The Farnbourough Airshow is in full swing and The Aviator Hotel, which, marks its 10th anniversary at the end of July, has meticulously planned to welcome its resident and corporate hospitality guests.
Some 5,300 slices of lemon will be cut for drinks’ garnish; 1,350 glasses of champagne consumed; over 3,000 napkins will be folded and an average 600,000 steps will be walked by the front of house food and beverage team during Airshow week.  The word ‘Airshow’ will be repeated eight times a day by each of the 250 permanent and freelance employees by the front of house food and beverage team.

Bookings for Aviator’s Brasserie tables started six months ago from companies in sectors including aircraft finance and leasing; law and a healthy cluster of business aviation companies.  Many are repeat customers who have found the convenience of being a five-minute walk away from the rear enclosure of the hotel to the Show’s Gate A entrance, a highly convenient and relaxed experience.  They can come and go as they please, if they have air show visitor tickets (not included in Aviator’s hospitality packages).  Guests also enjoy privileged use of Aviator’s private car park.

For companies who haven’t booked an exhibition stand or chalet but do want to meet with clients in a more discreet and relaxed setting, Aviator offers the ultimate Airshow corporate hospitality package from just £75 per person, including wine.

On its three-course lunch menu this year head chef Matt Mitka and his team are offering a variety of dishes, including Tequila cured mackerel with pickled vegetables, fennel purée and tempura oysters and Pan fried and confit leg of guinea fowl with sweetcorn purée, gooseberries and pressing of purple potato.

“Aviator is a great place to do business, entertain clients and reward colleagues,” says General Manager Dominic Osborne.  It is his first air show, having joined the luxury TAG Group-owned boutique hotel in November 2016, after two decades at The Hilton and Malmaison hotel chains, but he is relishing it.  He can also depend on an accomplished team who have supported five air shows since the hotel opened in July 2008.
“We are virtually full now with our 169 bedrooms and suites, but Airshow week is mainly single occupancy, so in terms of guests in house it won’t be as busy as the Christmas/New Year period for us.   Along with our guests, of whom many are overseas exhibitors at the show, we are looking forward to hosting some 1,000 visitors for corporate hospitality throughout the week - in our six meeting rooms, our two AA Rosette Brasserie, American diner One Eleven and upstairs destination cocktail Sky Bar.”

Aviator has limited availability for corporate hospitality in the Brasserie during air show week, open from 12.30 to 5.30 pm, which offers a great view of the afternoon’s air show from the exclusive, private terrace.

Alsim To Produce Flight Training Devices In The US

Due to continued growth and demand in the North America, as well as Latin America, Alsim will begin producing many of its simulator products in the United States (U.S.) starting in mid-2019. Alsim's new facility, to be based in the eastern U.S., will ensure quicker production and installation of its simulators with more American components. In addition to hardware assembly, the staff at the location will provide enhanced technical services and help develop software. The facility will also maintain a spare parts stockpile, if needed.

It’s been a year of growth for Alsim in the region. It opened an office in Austin, Texas in mid-2017. It began recruiting personnel to help promote their flight training devices to both current and prospective customers and provide high quality customer service. Alsim has added multiple new clients in Canada and the U.S. over the past 12 months including: Adventure Aviation, Cirrus Aviation, Journey Air, Kent State University, Select College, and Springbank Air Training College. In addition, many of their older clients have purchased additional devices like Montair Aviation that now own and operate three Alsim simulators. Alsim also sold, in April 2018, its first simulator into Latin America, an AL250 to Escuela de Aviacion in Columbia.

During the same time period, the 24-year-old company has expanded their product range to include a type-specific Cessna 172 and their new Boeing 737/Airbus 320 hybrid, The Airliner, partnering with the U.S. company Aviation Performance Solutions (APS), headquartered in Arizona and leaders in Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) to help produce class leading training capabilities. A large number of these two simulators will be produced at the U.S. facility.

Mike Tonkin, Alsim’s After Sales and Business Development Director, explains “We recruited Dr. Scott Firsing, our Americas Sales and Business Development Manager as the first person on the ground. We then quickly expanded the team to include a Marketing and Communications specialist, Ms. Elise Peterson, installers and technical support. Now with 20+ clients in North and South America, new devices and partners like APS, supporting airline, flight school, university associations, and more announcements to come, the next logical step was to start producing in the U.S.”

Defence Secretary Reviews Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Project at Kochi

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Project was reviewed by Shri Sanjay Mitra, IAS, the Defence Secretary at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on 19 Jul 18. He was accompanied by Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, AVSM, VSM, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral D M Deshpande, AVSM, VSM, Controller Warship Production & Acquisition, ShriSatinder Pal Singh, IPS, Joint Secretary (Shipping) and other senior officers from the Indian Navy.The Defence Secretary had arrived Kochi on 18 Jul 18.

During the onboard visit, the Defence Secretary was given a first-hand briefing on the progress of IAC construction by Commodore Cyril Thomas, the Warship Production Superintendent. ShriMadhu S Nair, CMD,CSL, highlighted the shipyard’s focus on outfitting and trial activities as the project enters its final phase, and re-iterated the CSL’s commitment to meet the timelines for delivery of the ship.

The ship was launched in Aug 2013 and presently, the main propulsion plant, power generation equipment, deck machinery and auxiliary equipment have been installed and integrated on board. Outfitting of various aviation equipment, navigation and communication equipment, weapons and sensors are progressing. In-house trials of ship’s systems by the Carrier Acceptance & Trials Team have already commenced and the sea trials are expected to commence by early 2020.

The Defence Secretary will Depart Kochi on 19 Jul 18.

Junior Officers Leadership Seminar held at Visakhapatnam


With an endeavor to provide a forum to the junior officers to put forth their views on aspects ranging across professional, technical, training and personnel issues, a Junior Officers Leadership Seminar was conducted by Eastern Fleet at Samudrika Auditorium on 18 Jul and 19 Jul 18. The seminar inaugurated by Vice Adm MS Pawar, Chief of Staff Eastern Naval Command (ENC) was attended by Rear Adm Suraj Berry Asst. Chief of Naval Staff (HRD) Integrated HQ Ministry of Defence(Navy), other Flag Officers, Commanding Officers of Ships and Submarines, Agrani, Director CLABS, representatives from Naval Headquarters, other  Commands and junior officers upto the rank of Lieutenant Commanders, Master Chief Petty Officers and Chief Petty Officers representing all important branches of the Navy.   
The two-day seminar conducted under the aegis of HQENC included seven papers presented by junior officers from different fields of the Navy and included contemporary topics such as, “Leadership Challenges in Ensuring Combat Worthiness of Legacy Ships”, “Grooming and Cultural Orientation in the International Environment”, “Leading Civilian Technical Work Force”, “Managing Operations/Administration in Remote Air Base”, “Inspiring Personnel to perform non-Core Functions”, “Managing Technology and Tasking of Strategic Vessels” and “Sailors' Expectations from Leaders”.
Welcoming the delegates and participants, Vice Adm Pawar reiterated that as young leaders one should 'command' respect and not 'demand' it by following the time tested principle of ‘Service before Self’ enshrined in the ethos of our defence officers since inception.  The presentations and deliberations resulted in invigorating discussions which were moderated by prominent senior naval officers. The proceedings of the seminar were summed up eloquently by Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. An audio visual presentation of the lecture on leadership by the late Admiral RL Pereira, the former Chief of the Naval Staff was also played and as always made an impact.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Farnborough International Airshow 2018

Farnborough, UK/Harbin, China – July 18, 2018 - Euramec, the European flight simulation manufacturer, unveiled the world’s first flight simulation combi solution of a Diamond DA-40 and DA-42 series at the Farnborough International Airshow here.

The unique DA-40/DA-42 solution now offers flight training schools a 2-for-1 package that underlines the mission of Euramec to offer the most cost-effective flight training devices for the market.

Bert Buyle, CEO Euramec: “I am thrilled to be able to confirm here at the Farnborough Airshow the availability of this groundbreaking new Euramec offering. What is even more exciting is that we can confirm the first sale of our new combi Da-40/DA-42 flight simulator to a new customer in China.”

In less than 30 minutes, the flight simulator can be reconfigured for either of the Diamond Series aircraft.

The consoles that are being swapped to prepare the flight simulation for either a DA-40 or a DA-42 set up, are in turn ready-made to allow students for desktop training by other students.

“Our solution is a world first and perfectly meets the demand of flight training organisations to maximize their return on investment,” Bert Buyle said.

Bespoke trainers: from Ultra Light to Business Jet

Euramec has several new flight simulation solutions on the drawing table, ranging from ultralight aircraft simulators to small business aircraft trainers. Euramec is expecting several orders for these new devices with delivery planned in 2019.
Bert Buyle: “We are growing fast and we are ready to expand our worldwide presence. In April the company set up a subsidiary in Hangzhou, China in addition to our existing offices in Harbin, Hong Kong and Singapore. A support office is planned at Shanghai Hongqiao airport later this year.”
During the Farnborough International Airshow, Euramec will also announce a sales and support office in Bangalore, India and possibly a further arrangement covering North America.

Uganda National Airlines Company Limited Signs Firm Order for Four Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft

•   First operator of the new CRJ Series ATMOSPHÈRE cabin in Africa

Montréal, July 18, 2018 – Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that it has signed a firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda National Airlines Company.

Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$190 million.

“We congratulate the Government of Uganda for the revival of its national flag carrier, and are thrilled that the new airline has selected Bombardier and the CRJ900 regional jets for its upcoming debut,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Recognized for its superior economics and efficiency, the CRJ Series aircraft have enabled airlines worldwide to serve communities with better connectivity, and we look forward to supporting the development of Uganda’s regional air travel with these CRJ900 regional jets.”

Uganda Airlines will operate the CRJ900 in dual-class configuration with 76 seats, including 12 first class seats.

“We are delighted to have ordered the world’s leading regional jet, and we look forward to providing the most modern passenger experience in regional aviation to the people of Uganda and across Africa,” said Ephraim Bagenda, CEO, Uganda National Airlines. “As we were establishing Entebbe as a strong hub in East Africa and building more connectivity in Africa, we thoroughly reviewed our needs. With its proven track record in Africa and other regions of the world, we are confident that the CRJ900 aircraft will help us succeed.”

Today, 21 operators are flying 58 CRJ Series in Africa. Including the order announced today, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1957 CRJ Series regional jets.

About the ATMOSPHÈRE Cabin

The new ATMOSPHÈRE cabin sets new standards of passenger experience in the regional jet market segment. Key features of the new interior are comprised of larger passenger living space, wheel-first roller bag capability, more spacious lavatory, increased cabin connectivity options, all integrated in a contemporary design and material choices. In fact, the ATMOSPHÈRE cabin design allows passengers to carry and store an “oversized” roller bag within the aircraft cabin bins which minimizes the need to check bags at the counter or the gate. 

Saft to supply complete onboard battery systems for all new Boeing 777 twin-engine airliners

New Boeing 777 and 777X fleets will be fitted with Saft ULM ® ultra-low maintenance battery systems in Saft’s first direct contract with Boeing as a first-tier supplier/integrator

The Saft battery systems are also available for retrofitting on existing Boeing 777 airplanes through Boeing Global Services

Boeing has awarded Saft a contract to fit all its new 777 and 777X airliners with onboard rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery systems comprising ULM ultra-low maintenance Eversky TM batteries combined with a dedicated charger. The new Saft battery system is designed to offer Boeing 777 operators superior performance and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) due to extended maintenance intervals. Customers can retrofit existing 777 airplanes with these new systems distributed by Boeing Global Services subsidiary Aviall.

The 777 contract, which will apply to all new aircraft delivered from the first quarter of 2019, is Saft’s first direct contract with Boeing as a first-tier supplier/integrator. Saft has been providing batteries to Boeing for more than 30 years working via integrators. Saft also has a long-standing relationship with Aviall to offer extensive product and related service support for the worldwide commercial aircraft fleet.

The Boeing 777 battery system provides onboard power for APU (auxiliary power unit) starting and backup for critical systems. It comprises a 60 Ah, 24 V ULM battery together with a charger.

Two battery systems are fitted to each airplane.

Saft ULM aviation batteries have a well-established track record with major aircraft and helicopter manufacturers. They offer Boeing the ideal combination of high performance, low weight, long service life and ultra-low maintenance requirements that enable significant reductions in the TCO for commercial aircraft. The ULM design also benefits from easily replaceable spare parts as well as the capability to be stored for long periods – up to 10 years – with no deterioration in performance.

Safran Helicopter Engines renews Pattonair contract for global OEM and MRO parts support through to 2025.

Farnborough Airshow, UK: World leading rotorcraft turbine manufacturer, Safran Helicopter Engines (SHE), has awarded a global OEM and MRO parts support contract to Pattonair until 2025, the leading aerospace and defence supply chain service provider.

The contract was signed today, Tuesday 17th July at the Farnborough Airshow by Franck Saudo, President – Safran helicopter engines, and Wayne Hollinshead, CEO of Pattonair.

Incumbent supplier, Pattonair, won the competitively bid contract to support 16 Safran sites globally and deliver over 6,000 C class parts to 180 locations worldwide through to 2025. The contract also encompasses a combination of product cost improvement projects to be driven forward by Pattonair and jointly with SHE.

Pattonair is a SHE Gold Supplier, which recognises those suppliers who can guarantee the best performance and provide a real return on long-term investment.

Pattonair has consistently delivered a high-level service to exacting quality standards and consistently improved its service offering since first supporting SHE in 2007, supplying 1,200 parts. In 2010, Pattonair achieved EASA Form 1 delegation, demonstrating SHE’s confidence in Pattonair.

In 2015, SHE renewed Pattonair’s contract during which it innovated with the introduction of value added services such as kitting solutions to increase efficiency on SHE production lines.

Pattonair supports Safran Group Companies including Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Transmissions, Safran Landing Systems and others.

Pattonair serves a 2,000 plus blue chip customer base spanning engine, airframe and systems customers, including Rolls-Royce, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Airbus, MROs and the Aftermarket, from its global network of dedicated facilities.

Kytrax World Airline Awards Names Air Astana A Winner Seven Years In A Row

London, UK - Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has been recognised for 4 Star service excellence, retaining the accolade of ‘Best Airline in Central Asia and India’ in the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the seventh consecutive year.  The prestigious awards ceremony took place at the Langham Hotel in Central London yesterday.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards are recognised throughout the world as a valued benchmarking tool that is independent, impartial and global. The survey measures passenger satisfaction among business and leisure travellers, across all cabins (First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy class).

Over 19 million air travellers were surveyed about their experiences with airlines on the ground and in the air over a 10-month period. The survey measured passenger satisfaction across a wide range of performance indicators of airline front-line product and service, including check-in, boarding, on-board seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, in-flight entertainment and staff service. The survey covered over 200 airlines, from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers.

“We are of course delighted and honored to be recognised once again. This award is particularly important and valued as it has been won based on the personal choice of our customers. I would like to offer them my sincerest thanks and look forward to welcoming them on board again soon. I would also like to recognise our team of dedicated employees who go the extra mile each and every day to provide consistently outstanding service to all our passengers. We will continue to work hard and strive for even higher standards.” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana.

Volga-Dnepr Group launches global AOG service as demand from Aerospace customers continues to soar

Volga-Dnepr Group has launched a new AOG service to manage the delivery of urgent spare parts to aircraft stranded around the world.

Supported by a 24/7 team of aviation professionals, it will offer the fastest and most cost-efficient solution using either air charter or scheduled cargo services, utilising the Group’s unique fleet of Boeing 747, Boeing 737, An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD freighters. AOG spares carried on the Group’s scheduled services in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific will be confirmed on the first available flight.

Robert van de Weg, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Volga-Dnepr Group, said: “As aircraft operators ourselves and as a provider of transportation and logistics services to the Aerospace industry for the last 28 years, we know only too well how important it is to have a fast, trackable and managed solution to deal with AOG situations. For every airline, safety and security is their main priority but it is also important to get aircraft operational again quickly for both customer service and economic reasons when they suffer a technical fault. Airlines are continually focused on improving the reliability of their services through expansion of their fleets, route networks, and optimisation of their aircraft and engines, so it is now more important than ever to have the peace of mind of knowing that pre-emptive solutions are in place to handle their grounded aircraft and to ensure minimal impact to their routine operations.”

Indo-US Delegation Meeting on Defence Cooperation

Indo-US Delegation Meeting on Defence Cooperation

As part of Indo-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation, the 7th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting was held between India and the US delegation here today. The meeting was co-chaired by, Secretary (Defence Production), Dr Ajay Kumar and Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD, US Government Ms Ellen M Lord. The meetings are held twice a year, alternately in India and the USA with the aim to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ajay Kumar brought out that Indian government has taken a number of steps to give an impetus to Indian defence industry and its flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative.  He said, given the large defence outlay planned for India’s defence requirements in the future, the contribution of our defence industry, in partnership with foreign OEMs to begin with, is expected to be significant. This would also contribute to overall growth of the economy and will also have several opportunity benefits and downstream effects.

Ms Ellen Lord brought out that India-US defence cooperation is one of the core pillars of the defence relationship between the two countries and is continuing apace. She said the US has designated India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ and expected the defence relationship between the two countries to be further strengthened. She also stated that DTTI is an important forum leading to the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.

A number of Joint Working Groups have been established under DTTI to progress mutually agreed projects for the benefit of the Armed Forces. Discussions on the formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure and the Industrial Security Annex to take forward projects under DTTI are proceeding as planned.

The joint working group under the Air Force handling the surveillance platform has made considerable progress.  The Indian Navy joint working group is constructively engaged with US Navy for aircraft carrier technology cooperation for the ongoing program.  On the land systems front and on projects under the DRDO, both sides have identified projects where scope of co-production/co-development of systems exists.

The DTTI meeting has great significance for defence cooperation in trade and technology.

Ministry Of Defence Questions In Parliament 

1. Heavy firing by Pakistan

In the event of persistent cross border firing/ceasefire violations along LoC/ IB by Pakistan, the people residing in the affected areas have to leave their homes temporarily. The affected families are shifted to safer places. They are provided all kinds of basic amenities like water, electricity, medical aid, etc. at the designated safe shelters.

Government has sanctioned construction of 14,460 bunkers, to mitigate the hardships being faced by people living on IB/LoC, due to cross border firing. Further, ex-gratia cash relief of Rs.5 lakh is given to next of kin (NoK) in case of death or to the victim of more than 50% disability. Compensation for housing damages/losses, crop losses, livestock losses, relief for stay at relief camps and displacement etc. to those affected by cross border firings are also given as per National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms of assistance, fixed from time to time. Compensation of Rs.50,000/- per loss of milch animal is also given.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha today.

2. Privatisation of Defence Production

The Government is promoting privatisation in Defence Production.Till June 2018, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has issued 379 licenses to 230 Indian Companies for manufacture of various licensable defence items.  Apart from this, one manufacturing license has also been issued by Ministry of Home Affairs for Small Arms and ammunitions.  Till June 2018, 70 license companies covering 114 licenses have reported commencement of production.

The Government has partially withdrawn the public investments in respect of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), BEML Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).  The government shareholding now in above DPSUs is 66.09%, 54.03%, 87.75%, 74% and 89.97% respectively.

As per extant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy, in defence sector, foreign investment upto 49% is permitted under automatic route.  Foreign investment beyond 49% (upto 100%) is permitted through government approval in cases resulting in access to modern technology in the country or for other reasons to be recorded.  FDI limit for defence sector has also been made applicable to Manufacturing of Small Arms and Ammunitions covered under Arms Act 1959.  Further, foreign investment in defence sector is subject to other conditions of extant FDI Policy as amended from time to time.

So far, 41 FDI proposals / Joint Ventures have been approved for manufacturing of various defence equipment both in public and private sectors, FDI amounting to US $ 5.13 million has been received in the Defence Industry Sector from April 2000 to March 2018.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Dr. P.K. Bijuin Lok Sabha today.

3. Delay in According Approval

A letter was received from an Hon’ble MP (LS) in October 2017 with a request to expedite the proposal under ‘Make in India’ program, Public – Private Partnership program [DCD Grand Power & Grand Power – Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)] for co-production of latest technology small arms.

Another letter was received in March 2018 from the same Hon’ble M.P. stating that even after the due process, the Department of Defence Production (DDP) has sent back the proposal to OFB citing incorrect procedure followed and also lack of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with OFB.  The reply, clarifying the status of the case, was sent to the Hon’ble M.P. in May 2018, based on the grounds enumerated below:

The proposal for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was forwarded by OFB to the DDP in March 2017.  The MoU was returned to OFB in July 2017 as it was found deficient in terms of procedure followed.  Earlier in September 2016, OFB had been asked to formulate a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for selection of the technology partners.  In October 2017, OFB stated that the criterion adopted for the selection of      prospective partner has been clearly defined in the Expression of Interest (EoI) issued by them.  Pending approval of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the selection of technological partner, the proposal for MoU between M/s Grand Power and OFB was returned to OFB in January 2018 intimating that the same would be progressed based on the approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the selection of technological partner.  The revised Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the selection of technological partner, incorporating the suggestions of the Ministry, was submitted by the OFB in February 2018 which after examination was approved by the Ministry in March 2018.

Now, because of the change in scenario of the requirement of the small arms, Rifle Factory Ishapore, Kolkata is engaged in the development of small arms weapons to meet the requirement of Indian Army and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) units.  The available resources of Rifle Factory, Ishapore are being used for the development and production of Small arms weapons for the Services and the MHA.  The need for technology partner for coproduction of NPB weapons is not felt in view of the changed circumstances.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri P.R. Sundaram and others in Lok Sabha today.

4. General Financial Rules

The General Financial Rules (GFRs) lay down the general rules applicable to Ministries / Departments, and detailed instructions relating to procurement of goods are issued by the procuring departments broadly in conformity with the general rules, while maintaining flexibility to deal with varied situations.

The Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 has been accordingly formulated keeping in view the unique features of supplier constraints, technological complexity and the emergent nature of procurements to maintain operational preparedness of the Armed Forces.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Dr. Ratna De (Nag) and Shri Naranbhai Kachhadiya in Lok Sabha today.

5. Vacant Land.

All open spaces/defence lands are utilized/earmarked for defence purposes.  Construction of Key Location Plan (KLP), modernization of Central Ordnance Depot and Armed Forces Medical Service Department has been planned on said vacant land.

Information on buildings built around defence land in Mallad Complex is not held by the Ministry of Defence.

The Government has issued guidelines for issue of no objection certificate by Local Military Authority in respect of any construction coming up in the vicinity of defence establishments.  In case of establishments notified under the Works of Defence Act, 1903, construction is not permitted within notified safety / security zone.

Some representations/requests have been received against the guidelines dated 21.10.2016. Army Headquarters has also raised certain concerns from a security perspective.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Gopal Shetty in Lok Sabha today.

6. Contracts under Make IN India

Capital procurement of defence equipment is carried out as per the extant Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). DPP-2016 focuses on institutionalizing, streamlining and simplifying defence procurement procedure to give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India, by promoting indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment, platforms, systems and sub-systems.  Ministry of Defence is committed to the objectives of DPP-2016 and is taking all steps necessary to realize these objectives.

During the last three years and current year (upto June, 2018) out of total 168 contracts, 106 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces such as Helicopters, Radar, Ballistic Helmets, Artillery Guns, Simulators, Missiles, Bullet Proof Jackets, Electronic Fuzes, and ammunition.

Government has also promulgated the policy of Strategic Partnership in the Defence Sector which encourages participation of the private sector in manufacture of major defence platforms and equipment in four selected segments viz. Submarines, Fighter Aircraft, Helicopters and Armoured Fighting vehicles / Tanks.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Kaushalendra Kumar and Shri P.P. Chauhan in Lok Sabha today.

7. Recruitment procedure of private companies.

There is no ban on employment of retired bureaucrats, service personnel, kith and kin of bureaucrats and armed forces in private sector companies operating in Defence sector.

As per the existing rules, if a pensioner, who, immediately before his retirement, was member of Central Service Group ‘A’ wishes to accept any commercial employment before the expiry of one year from the date of retirement shall require to obtain the prior sanction of Government.  While granting permission in such cases, the Government take into regard the factors such as No Objection from Cadre Controlling Authority, whether the officer has been privy to sensitive or strategic information in the last three years of his service, conflict of interest between the policies of the office he has held and the interest of the organisation he proposes to join, any other relevant facts.
The Defence services officers of the rank of Colonel or equivalent and above, who retire with pension, gratuity or any other benefits in respect of the services rendered by them are also required to obtain prior permission of the Government for accepting any commercial employment within a period of one year from the date of retirement.

Before granting permission in such cases, the Government satisfies itself that:

·        The duties of the retired officers in the proposed commercial employment will not be such as to bring him into conflict with the Government;
·        There is no basis for suspecting that such employment has been offered to the officer for any favour which he might have shown, while in services, to the prospective employer;
·        That any official information, knowledge or contacts which the officer might gained by virtue of his official position while in service cannot be used to give the prospective employer any kind of unfair advantage.

Further, with regard to the safeguards which are considered essential and the need for rationalising the existing provisions, the following criteria isfollowed while considering requests of Ex-Service officers for post-retirement commercial employment:

·        Any officer who has / had dealing with a particular firm and its sister concerns before his retirement shall not be allowed to take up a job with that firm.

·        Any officer in an appointment dealing with contracts and procurement shall not be allowed to take up a job with a firm and its sister concerns which has subsisting contract(s) with Ministry of Defence.

·        If the proposed appointment calls for marketing or liaison with Defence Establishments, such appointment shall not be permitted.

·        Appointments with companies / firms which operates in sensitive areas of Defence procurement or which have subsidiary firms having contracts with Ministry of Defence shall not be permitted.

·        Appointments with foreign Governments or foreign firms shall not be allowed (such restriction shall apply to only foreign companies per se and foreign companies investing in India, but not Indian companies entering into foreign collaboration.  Apart from this, only those foreign companies shall be excluded, for purposes of commercial employment, which operate in the Defence sector).

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Shri Kamlesh Paswan and others in Lok Sabha today.