Friday, August 31, 2018

Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri reaches Darwin, Australia for Exercise KAKADU 2018

Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri reaches Darwin, Australia for exercise KAKADU 2018

 After having been deployed to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean for over four months, which included representing Indian Navy in multinational exercises MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at Hawaii, INS Sahyadri entered the Port of Darwin, Australia on 29 Aug 18 to participate in Exercise KAKADU 2018.

Exercise KAKADU, which started in 1993, is the premier multilateral regional maritime engagement exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).The exercise is held biennially in Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA). Exercise KAKADU derives its name from Kakadu National Park, which is a protected area in the northern territory of Australia, 171 km south-east of Darwin. KAKADU 2018, the 14th edition of the exercise, is scheduled from 29 Aug – 15 Sep 18 and would see participation from 23 warships, one submarine, 45 aircraft, 250 marines and approx 52 foreign staff from over 25 different countries.

Indian Navy’s participation in KAKADU 18 provides an excellent opportunity to engage with regional partners and undertake multinational maritime activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment, aimed at enhancing interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime operations. During the exercise, professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations would enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills.

At the helm of INS Sahyadri is Captain Shantanu Jha, who is assisted by a team of professional and highly motivated men of the Indian Navy. Participation in KAKADU 18 is a significant milestone in Indian Navy’s efforts towards strengthening mutual confidence among regional navies and is expected to further bolster India’s contribution in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

National Integration Tour J&K students meet VCOAS

A group of 20 students comprising of 10 Boys and 10 Girls, accompanied by two teachers from the Degree Colleges at Gurez, Tangdhar & Kupwara on National Integration Tour visited Delhi and interacted with Lieutenant General D Anbu, Vice Chief of the Army Staff on 30 August 2018. The Vice Chief of the Army Staff shared his experiences while serving in these areas with the students and motivated them to work hard and contribute actively in the Nation Building process. He also exhorted them to join the Indian Armed Forces and serve the cause of the Nation.       
The National Integration Tours are educational and motivational tours for youth of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern States, with an aim to provide an insight into the rich heritage of the country as well as various developmental and industry initiatives that are underway. This initiative will expose them to various career options and enable them to interact with renowned personalities.

INS Teg Lends Assistance to MV Vela in the Gulf of Aden

On 25 Aug 18, whilst patrolling in the piracy infested waters of Gulf of Aden, INS Teg, a warship of the Western Naval Command, received a call from a Combined Task Force aircraft for providing assistance to MV Vela, a Norwegian owned ship with an all Indian crew. The vessel was in distress as her Port Anchor along with the entire 330 mtrs cable weighing approx 42 tons had inadvertently slipped and was hanging into the sea. This had severely disabled the ship with her speed being restricted to 5-6 knots, thus making her vulnerable to piracy attacks, apart from being a navigational hazard for herself as well as for other ships in the dense shipping corridor.

INS Teg quickly dispatched a specialist team to carry out an assessment of the situation and provided assistance for recovery of the anchor and cable. The team was lead by the ship’s Engineering Officer and comprised the other specialist officers, Seamanship Instructor, Anchor Chain Cable Specialist and Machinery Specialist. 

Concerted efforts over three days finally resulted in the successful recovery of the anchor alongwith the entire 330 m of cable. This evolution not only ensured onward safe voyage of MV Vela, which had to subsequently transit through the constricted waters of Red Sea and Suez Canal, but also averted huge financial loss.

MV Vela and the Combined Task Force were quick to express their gratitude to the ship and the Indian Navy via emails:

Mails received from various agencies:


“Your concern and commitment for safety of life at sea is well noted and your efforts in reaching out to fellow mariners in emergency at sea, keeping aside committed voyage is conforming to the best maritime traditions; worth emulating by other mariners. I hereby convey my sincere appreciation for your concern at sea and in GoA area, and efforts to provide assistance. I am very sure that under your able command and with such energetic crew, MV Vela salute to the Indian Navy”

“Kindly note vessel MV Vela thanking you sincerely on behalf of our owners SEVEN SEA SA, NORWAY and Fleet Management Limited, Hong Kong.

I hereby convey my sincere appreciation for your concern at and efforts to provide assistance by your Commanding Officer and staff for retrieving the anchor on 28 Aug 18. MV Vela salute to the Indian Navy.”


“Our thanks to the INS TEG crew for the proactiveness in responding to the MV Vela situation.”

Rehabilitation and Community Outreach Measures Announced by Chief of the Naval Staff

Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chairman Chiefs Of Staff Committee  (COSC) and Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) visited Muttinakam village in VarapuzhaPanchayat of Ernakulam district today to review relief and rehabilitation work in this locality which was ravaged during the recent Kerala floods. The CNS was accompanied by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC), MrsReenaLanba, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA) and MrsSapanaChawla, President NWWA(Southern Region).      AdmLanba also interacted with Adv VD Satheesan, MLA of Paravur, Shri S Sharma, MLA of Vypin, Shri Mohammed Safirullah, District Collector Ernakulam and members of Muttinakam village at VarapuzhaPanchayat..Relief materials worth about Rs 25 Lakhs, from NWWA were handed over to the Local Self government officials by President NWWA.

 While addressing the gathering CNS emphasised that all naval personnel including himself were connected with Kerala by an umbilical cord with the “Janamabhumi” as all personnel are trained under the SNC based at Kochi prior to becoming fullfledged naval personnel, and reiterated that he had been closely monitoring the situation over these past several days and that the Navy had deployed its personnel and assets from across the Navy during the crisis and that the focus now is on relief activities.

CNS further said that Indian Navy has selectedtwo localities based on inputs received from the local administration and visits by naval officials wherein Rehabilitation initiatives were proposed to be undertaken to restore the area. The shortlisted localities where Navy intended to carry out reconstruction works wereMuttinakam in VarapuzhaPanchayat and CheriyaKadamakudi in KadamakudiPanchayat. 

 The activities in Muttinakam

Reconstruction of a completely damaged house on the river bank.

Complete renovation of the Sub primary health centre (PHC)and Anganwadialong with furniture, equipment, play equipment and other essential equipment.

The activities in Cheriya Kadamakudi
Reconstruction of 03 houses
Renewal of roof of 05 other houses
Construction of an Anganwadi
fitment of a 10 tonnes per day Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant to meet the drinking water requirements of the people in the region (which has already been completed and operational for the general public since 28 Aug 18)

 Rehabilitation kits (800 for Muttinakam and 500 for Cheriyakadmakkudi) containing essential commodities such as clothing, cleaning gear and utensils etc. were distributed on the occasion. Additionally, some other requirementsincluding the construction of a bridge connectingPizhala island to CheriyaKadamakudihamlet would also be considered and the feasibility explored.       

CNS has directed SNC to coordinate the rehabilitation activities on behalf of the Navy. CNS would also be meeting the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala on 30 Aug 18to discuss any further support required from the Navy to overcome the situation. CNS would also be handing  over a cheque of Rs8.9 Crore to CM Disaster Relief Fund as a voluntary contribution fromthe salaries of navalpersonnel.

Closing Ceremony Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018

The SCO Peace Mission Exercise 2018 culminated on 29 August 2018 after days of joint training amongst multinational forces of eight SCO nations. In the joint multinational exercise which began on 24 Aug 2018 the SCO nations conducted training focused on combating terrorism.

After intense military training, the joint exercise concluded with multinational forces exhibiting their combat power and dominance over the extremist groups in simulated realistic situation. The closing ceremony showcased the immense talent and unique military ethos of all the member nations. The closing ceremony was conducted at the drill ground of 255th Inter Services Firing Ranges, Chebarkul, Russia. The senior officials expressed great satisfaction with high standards achieved in the exercise.         

In this fifth edition of SCO Peace Mission Exercise where India participated for the first time, the focus was on conduct of counter terrorist operations in a multinational joint service environment. The exercise provided an opportunity to armies of all nations for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust & cooperation. Overall SCO Peace Mission Exercise will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect amongst SCO member nations in future.

Raksha Mantri Visits Kingdom of Thailand 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is on an official bilateral visit to the Kingdom of Thailand from 27 to 28 August 2018. Raksha Mantri held bilateral talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of ThailandHis Excellency Gen. PrawitWongsuwon in Bangkok, today. She also called on Prime Minister of Thailand His Excellency Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha.

During the meetings, both sides discussed a gamut of issues relating to defence cooperation between India and Thailand. The Ministers welcomed the positive momentum and substantive content of ongoing bilateral defence engagement and discussed measures to further enhance and deepen defence cooperation between India and Thailand.

It was decided to step up military-to-military engagement by commencing bilateral navy exercises. In addition, both countries will explore enhancement of ongoing joint exercises, the MAITREE counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism Army Exercise as well as their SIAM BHARAT Air Force exercise. Both sides would also expand cooperation on maritime security, focussing on greater sharing of information to develop Maritime Domain Awareness. Raksha Mantri offered additional training opportunities for the Royal Thai Army in India, including through tailor made courses in specialised areas, which was welcomed by Thailand.

The Ministers also discussed stepping up defence industry and R&D cooperation. The two sides identified specific areas for such engagement and would discuss this further through institutionalised dialogue mechanisms.

Raksha Mantri and the Thai leadership also discussed regional security developments. Both sides noted complementarities in their approaches to the Indo-Pacific region and decided to hold regular consultations on issues of mutual interest.

Raksha Mantri welcomed Thailand’s forthcoming Chairmanship of ASEAN and as the ASEAN country coordinator for India, which would create additional pathways for engagement between India and Thailand, including under the ADMM Plus framework. In this context, the Defence Minister of Thailand welcomed India’s initiative to host the inaugural BIMSTEC Army Exercise and Conclave of Chiefs in India in September 2018 and confirmed Thailand’s participation.

DAC Approves Procurement for Services amounting to Nearly Rs. 46,000 Crores 

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Hon’ble Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, met on 25 Aug 2018 and accorded approval for procurement for the Services amounting to approximately Rs. 46,000 crores.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in a landmark decision today, approved procurement of 111 Utility Helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs. 21,000 crores.  This is the first project under the MoD’s prestigious Strategic Partnership (SP) Model that aims at providing significant fillip to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. SP Model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEM, acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the Country. The model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment thus enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces. The contract when finalised, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread Defence industrial eco-system in the Indian Aviation Sector with the Private Industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders.

In further quest for modernisation of the Armed forces the DAC also granted approval to a few other proposals amounting to approximately Rs. 24,879.16 crores, which included approval for procurement of 150 numbers of Indigenously Designed and Developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,364.78 crores. These guns have been indigenously designed & developed by DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies, as nominated by DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of Artillery in the near future. A nod to these major schemes will provide a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ push by the Government, will help create self-reliance in the Country in Defence manufacturing sector and has the potential of making the Defence Industry as a major engine of India’s economic growth.

To enhance the capability of Navy at sea, approval has also been granted for procurement of Anti-Submarine capable, 24 in number Multi Role Helicopters, which are an integral part of the frontline warships like the Aircraft Carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Availability of MRH with the Navy would plug the existing capability gap.

In addition, procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems was also cleared by the DAC. Of these, 10 systems will be indigenously developed. These systems will boost the self-defence capability of ships against Anti-Ship Missiles. 

DR G. SATHEESH REDDY Takes over as Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO

Dr. G Satheesh Reddy took over the charge of Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, here today. 

Dr. Reddy is a renowned missile scientist known for his significant contributions towards indigenous design, development, deployment of diversified Missiles & Strategic Systems, Guided Weapons, Avionics Technologies. He has contributed towards advancement of Aerospace Technologies & Industries in India.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Distinguished Scientist and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister (SA to RM) to the post of Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

A Profile

 Dr Satheesh Reddy is well known for his significant contributions towards indigenous design, development, deployment of diversified Missiles & Strategic Systems, Guided Weapons, Avionics technologies and for sustained efforts in advancement of Aerospace technologies & Industries in India.

He graduated in Electronics and Communication Engineering from JNTU, Anantapur and received his M.S & Ph.D from JNTU Hyderabad. He joined Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in the year 1986 and subsequently joined Research Centre Imarat (RCI), the brain child of Dr Kalam, after its formation. From a young navigation scientist and System Manager he rose steadily and after his multiple significant appointments and decades of sustained contributions to Defence R&D, was elevated as Distinguished Scientist in Sep 2014 and was appointed as Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister in May 2015.

He holds the distinction of being inducted as Fellow of Royal Institute of Navigation (FRIN), London, Royal Aeronautical Society, UK (FRAeS) and Foreign Member of the Academy of Navigation & Motion Control, Russia. He is an Honorary Fellow of CSI & Project Management Association of India, Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, IET (UK), Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, USA and many other Academies/scientific bodies in the country and abroad. For his distinguished contributions, Dr Satheesh received several prestigious international and national awards which includes the Indian Science Congress Association Homi J. Bhabha Memorial Gold Medal, National Aeronautical Prize, National Design Award, National Systems Gold Medal, the first IEI-IEEE (USA) joint award for Engineering Excellence and was conferred with the Silver Medal of Royal Aeronautical Society, London. He is also a recipient of Dr Biren Roy Space Science Design Award, Astronautical Society of India Rocketry & Related technologies Award and has been conferred with Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Science by many leading Universities in the country.

As SA to RM, significantly contributed towards the formulation of many national policies and pivotal in evolving roadmap for self-sufficiency in Missiles. As Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems (DG, MSS), he spearheaded Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex Laboratories - ASL, DRDL and RCI, ITR, TBRL & other technical facilities. He led the design and development of a wide range of tactical and strategic missile systems to attain complete self-sufficiency in Missiles and initiated many new projects to equip Armed forces with state-of-the-art weapons and technologies. He invigorated the BMD programme and developed the mission critical technologies for Long Range Agni-5 missile. As Director, RCI, he led many Programmes, Projects and steered the development of indigenous RF and IIR Seekers. As Programme Director, successfully developed the Medium Range SAMs and achieved a streak of successes in the maiden missions. As Project Director, developed the country’s first 1000kg class Guided Bomb and laid foundation for Long Range Smart Guided Weapons. He is a renowned Navigation expert and as Project Director and Technology Director, steered the design and development of indigenous Inertial Sensors, SatNav Receivers, advanced Inertial Navigation Systems for a variety of defence applications including the Ship Navigation.

There have been some reports in the mainstream and social media regarding the visit of the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri (RM) to Kodagu district in Karnataka stating that the RM got angry with the district incharge minister of Kodagu Mr Sa Ra Mahesh during the flood review being taken with the district administration. These reports have also quoted the district incharge minister who has made certain personal remarks against the RM. The remarks have also lowered the dignity of the upper house of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and show utter lack of regard and knowledge about the Indian Polity.

In order to clarify the matter, it is imperative that a detailed account of the sequence of events is brought out. The tour program of the RM was finalised by the district administration of Kodagu in consultation with the public representatives. This program was approved and circulated to all concerned two days prior to RM's arrival.  Subsequently, on the request of the district administration, an interaction with the veterans was added to the schedule.

On completion of the field visits, as per the program, RM was interacting with ex-servicemen who had been adversely affected by the floods, when the District incharge minister objected and insisted that meeting with the officials be conducted first. RM clarified that welfare of ex-servicemen was an essential part of the Ministry of Defence and the same was scheduled in the program. However, the district minister insisted that the RM immediately stop the interaction and proceed to the meeting with the officials.

While it was extremely unfortunate, in order to avoid the situation from deteriorating, RM immediately halted the meeting and proceeded to the venue of the meeting with the officials. The venue was already set up for the press conference and hurriedly the officials were summoned to sit among the mediapersons for the review. It was unprecedented to hold a meeting with the officials, with all the mediapersons present.

The RM then heard the grievances of the waiting ex-servicemen. Inspite of district administration finalising the program and RM following the same in its entirety it is unfortunate that the minister behaved the way he did.  Subsequently, the personal remarks made against the RM were also in bad taste, which do not merit a response.

It has also been noted that there has been gross misrepresentation with regard to the use of the term ‘parivar’ by the RM during the press conference. One of the four departments of the Ministry of Defence is the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare and in that context it was stated that all ex-servicemen are part of the MoD ‘parivar’. Any other inference is misconstrued and uncalled for.

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