Thursday, September 20, 2018

Inaugural Naval Flight Test Seminar held at Goa

The inaugural Naval Flight Test Seminar was held at Goa today, on 20 Sep 18. The seminar witnessed some intensive brain-storming sessions on flight testing fixed and rotary wing aircraft towards integrating them on the aircraft carrier and small decks. There were also a series of papers which were presented on weapon integration on service aircraft and towards building and sustaining the training for Naval Experimental Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers. Among the various Indian panel speakers, the seminar witnessed participation from the International arena including Boeing, Dassault and International Test Pilots School.

The Naval Flight Test Seminar had keen involvement from scientists and heads of various DRDO labs, Defence Avionics Research Establishment, Aeronautical Development Agency, National Aerospace Laboratories and Centre for Airborne Systems. The industry participation was from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Boeing Defence and Dassault Aviation, in addition to the retired and serving experimental test crew from Indian Navy. The inaugural flight test seminar was organized under the aegis of Headquarters Western Naval Command and Headquarters Naval Aviation under which a Naval Flight Test Squadron was recently set up at Goa. The Naval Flight Test Squadron, since its inception in Jul 17, has been undertaking various flight testing tasks on fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft of Indian Navy. The seminar was given the right thrust by the presence of former Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd) alongwith Flag Officer Naval Aviation, Rear Admiral Philipose George Pynumootil, NM, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Air) Rear Admiral Mukul Asthana, NM and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Air Materiel) Rear Admiral  VM Doss, NM.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Exercise Aviaindra-18 Commences at Lipetsk (Russia)

Exercise Aviaindra-18 Commences at Lipetsk (Russia)

Exercise Aviaindra is an Air Force level exercise between India and the Russian Federation. First Aviaindra was conducted in 2014 and has been planned as a bi-annual exercise.

Exercise Aviaindra 18 is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia from 17 Sep to 28 Sep 18 and will be conducted in Jodhpur, India from 10 Dec to 22 Dec 18. The Indian contingent for Ex Aviaindra departed for Russia on 15 Sep 18. The contingent comprises of 30 officers from different branches and streams of IAF including four women officers of Flying, Admin and Medical Branch. The aircraft that would participate in the exercise include Su-30 SM, Mig-29, Su-25, Mi-8 and An-26.

The aim of the exercise is focused towards anti-terrorist operations in a bi-lateral scenario. The exercise would further enhance the co-operation and understanding each other’s Concept of Operations. In addition to flying exercise, there would be formal interactions, discussions, exchange of ideas and friendly sports matches to enhance bonhomie between the two Air Forces.

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the chief of the Naval Staff to visit 

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Naval Staff is visiting Rhode Island, USA on a bilateral visit from 18 to 22 September 2018 for attending the 23rd edition of the International Seapower Symposium (ISS) organised by the US Navy.

The Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff is scheduled to present his views on the topic ‘Defending the Maritime Commons: Safeguarding the Free and International Order’ and participate in panel discussion during the symposium.

During his visit, the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Naval Staff is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with Admiral John M Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral Philip S Davidson, Commander, Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM), Admiral John C Aquilino, Commander, Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), Admiral James G Foggo, Commander Naval Forces, Europe and Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, Commander NAVCENT and Commander 5th Fleet of the US Navy. In addition, he would be interacting with Chiefs of Navies of Japan, France, Australia, UK, Malaysia and Sweden as well as several other senior dignitaries.

India and USA have traditionally maintained close and friendly relations. The Defence relationship between the two countries has been one of mutual trust and confidence, which translated into the US according major Defence partner status to India in June 2016. In addition, both countries have concluded certain major agreements, which include the Defence Framework Agreement, signed in 2015, which lays a blue print for collaboration between the defence establishments of both countries, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed in 2016, which is a foundational agreement, facilitating reciprocal logistics support between the Armed Forces of both countries and the more recent Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) signed on 06 September 2018, that will facilitate information-sharing between the Armed Forces of both nations.

The Indian Navy engages with the US Navy on numerous issues, which include operational interactions such as the MALABAR and RIMPAC series of exercises, training exchanges, exchange of White Shipping Information and Subject Matter Expert exchanges in various fields, all of which are coordinated through the medium of Executive Steering Group (ESG) meetings conducted annually. In addition, warships from both navies regularly make port calls at each other’s ports.    

DAC Approves Procurement of Equipment Worth Rs 9,100 Crores
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, met here today and accorded approval for the procurement of equipment for the Defence Forces valued at over Rs 9,100 crores.

Pursuing the goal of indigenisation and self-reliance, the DAC approved procurement of two Regiments of Akash Missile Systems under 'Buy (Indian)' category from M/s BDL. The Missile to be procured is an upgraded version of the previously inducted Akash missiles and will include seeker technology, possess 360 degree coverage and will be of compact configuration with reduced signature. The upgraded Akash Weapon System is operationally critical equipment which will provide protection to vital assets. 

The DAC also accorded approval for progressing Design and Development of Individual Under Water Breathing Apparatus (IUWBA) for T 90 Tanks. Developed by DRDO Lab DEBEL, the IUWBA is used by the crew of Tanks as a safety gear and is required by the Tank crew for emergency escape when negotiating water obstacles while deep fording. The DAC also accorded approval for Design and Development of Test Equipment for Guided Weapons System of T 90 Tank. The equipment is being developed by DRDO and will give an indigenous solution to the Test Equipment used for checking the Guided Weapon System of Tank T 90. The equipment earlier procured from foreign OEMs, has been developed indigenously and is in pursuit of the Government’s 'Make in India' initiative.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Opening Ceremony: Indo-US Joint Military Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018

Opening Ceremony: Indo-US Joint Military Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018

Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 a joint military exercise of Indian and US armies, commenced at Chaubattia, Uttarakhand with a short yet impressive opening ceremony that saw the unfurling of the national flags of both countries to the strains of "Jana Gana Mana” and “The Star Spangled Banner". Indian and US soldiers stood side by side, and gave a ceremonial salute to the two senior most officers of the US and Indian side reviewing the ceremony.

The US contingent was represented by 1st Infantry Battalion, 23 Infantry Regiment, US Army while Indian side is represented by an Infantry Battalion. General Officer Commanding, 6 Mountain Division welcomed the US soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of democracy, freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both nations.

Battalion strength army personnel from USA and an equal number of Indian soldiers are taking part in the two week long event that will see them hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peace keeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level. State of the art equipment for surveillance and tracking, specialist weapons for close quarter battle with terrorists, explosive and improvised explosive device detectors, as well as the latest communication equipment are being fielded by both sides. Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations during division level command post exercise. The experts from both sides will also hold discussions to share each others’ experience in varied topics for mutual benefit.

Inaugural Edition of Bimstec Milex-18 Culminates at Pune with an Impressive Closing Ceremony at Pune on 16 September 18

The Inaugural Edition of the BIMSTEC Nations Military Field Training Exercise i.e. MILEX - 2018 culminated on 16 September 18 after a Validation Exercise and an impressive Closing Ceremony held at Foreign Training Node, Aundh Military Station, Pune.  Dr Subash Bhambre, Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri was the Chief Guest for the Ceremony. The other dignitaries included Mr Shahidul Islam, General Secretary of BIMSTEC forum, Service Chiefs of BIMSTEC nations, senior Military officers of the Indian Army and representatives of the BIMSTEC Nations who witnessed a Joint Validation Exercise conducted at the training area of Aundh Military Station. The tactical drills showcased during the Validation Exercise included Hostage Rescue by insertion of troops from helicopters, Room Intervention as well as House Clearing Drill as part of Cordon and Search Operations, Raid on a Terrorist Hideout and neutralization of Improvised Explosive Devices(IED). The entire exercise was monitored and controlled through the Joint Command Post established with representatives of the participating contingents. The Exercise demonstrated the commitment and capabilities of the participating BIMSTEC National armies in working closely with each other to eradicate the menace of terrorism existing in different forms.

The Validation Exercise was followed by an equipment display organised under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Aundh Military Station. Dr Subash Bhambre alongwith the Service Chiefs and other senior army officers witnessed more than 250 indigenously developed defence related equipment. Almost 20 different agencies dealing with defence equipment participated in the display including Ordnance Factories, Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO), leading private sector companies, startups etc to showcase some of the latest weapon systems and vehicles produced indigenously. Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri alongwith General Bipin Rawat and General Secretary of BIMSTEC also interacted with the media before the Closing Ceremony. 

During the Closing Ceremony, Dr Subhash Bhambre reviewed an impressive parade of the participating nations at the drill square of Aundh Military Station in the presence of dignitaries from the BIMSTEC Nations. The parade was commanded by Captain Gaurav Sharma, who is a member of the participating Indian Contingent. The Raksha Rajya Mantri addressed the contingents and dignitaries and congratulated the participating nations for an Impressive parade. He also complimented the troops for the professionalism shown by them during the Exercise. He said that “The MILEX-18 Exercise has provided us all an opportunity to discuss the issue of Countering Terrorism from the military point of view with an endeavour to create synergy, better understanding and evolving of an institutionalized mechanism for regional cooperation in the field of Counter Terrorist Operations. This Exercise and Army Chief’s Conclave held yesterday will further augment the relations between all BIMSTEC nations”.

The exercise has been a grand success and has taught valuable lessons to the troops of the Bay of Bengal region in countering terrorism.  The camaraderie and friendship developed between the contingents during the course of the exercise will assist in enhancing interoperability between the armies which may be called upon to collectively fight this growing menace of terrorism in the region. 

Second Flight Test of MPATGM Successful

Indigenously developed Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM), was successfully flight tested for the second time from the Ahmednagar range today. All the mission objectives have been met. The two missions on 15 and 16 September 2018 have been successfully flight tested for different ranges including the maximum range capability. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the team DRDO, Indian Army and associated Industries for the twin success of MPATGM weapon system.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

National Defence College, New Delhi Convocation Ceremony – 56th NDC Course

National Defence College, New Delhi Convocation Ceremony – 56th NDC Course 

The National Defence College, New Delhi is the premier seat of learning in India in the field of Defence and Strategic Studies. A Total of 100 officers of the rank of Brigadier and equivalent from the Indian Armed Forces and Joint Secretary level officers from civil, police and allied services attend the prestigious NDC Course each year. Armed forces officers from about 25 friendly foreign countries also attend the course. NDC alumni have gone on to occupy the highest positions in the armed forces and the government both in India and abroad.

The one-year course also qualifies the officers to receive an M Phil degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the prestigious University of Madras, Chennai. Graduates of the 56th NDC Course (2016 Batch) were awarded the degrees in a convocation ceremony held at the NDC, New Delhi on 15 Sep 18. The Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Shri. Anil Baijal graced the occasion and delivered the Valedictory address while awarding the parchments to the officers in the presence of Vice Admiral Srikant, Commandant, NDC and Prof. (Dr.) Utham Kumar Jamadhagni, HOD (DDSS) University of Madras. Vice Admiral Srikant, brought out that on completion of the NDC course, the graduates were confident to handle complex situations, and taking a broader view of the problem and arrive at logical decision with regards to National Security.

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Shri. Anil Baijal, in his address, congratulated the MPhil recipients and also exhorted them to further pursue their studies in National Security to become thinking scholar soldiers who can further India’s quest for comprehensive internal and external security. He appreciated the fact that the diverse fields and countries of the course participants would help in enriching their knowledge and understanding.

Casevac of Critically Injured from Kisthwar

In the recent bus accident wherein a bus fell down in a gorge killing several people and critically injuring others near Kishtwar the Udhampur based Daring Dragons helicopter unit of Western Air Command provided yeoman service by evacuating eight critically injured persons to Jammu so that better medical care could be provided to them.

The unit was tasked with the mission at 1100 hrs as requested by the District Commissioner, upon which they launched a MLH class of Heptr for the rescue.The aircraft was piloted by Squadron Leader MK Singh with Flight Lieutenant Mudit as co-pilot. Eight critically injured people were airlifted from Kishtwar to Jammu where they were admitted to the civil hospital. Along with the injured eight attendants for the injured were also airlifted.

Casevac of Swiss National From Zanskar Valley

Barbara de Rham and Antoine, her husband, were on a holiday, trekking the hills of Ladakh in the Zanskar valley. Barbara developed acute symptoms of “altitude sickness” which required the immediate evacuation to a place with better medical facilities. The Embassy of Switzerland at Delhi requested for her evacuation to Leh at the earliest. 

The Siachen Pioneers helicopter unit of Western Air Command were tasked with the mission, since this unit, not only was the closest but,also had pilots who are experienced in flying the treacherous Zanskar valley. The valley is known for its extremely turbulent weather, especially in the afternoons and is devoid of any suitable forced landing fields.The unit immediately launched two Cheetah helicopters at 1515 hrs. Two choppers were necessary due to the inhospitable terrain and the poor weather conditions in the general area of operations. Squadron Leader Sangram Patil led the mission and safely evacuated the lady and her husband to Leh Airforce station at 1615 hrs from where she was taken to the civil hospital.

“The lady displayed acute symptoms of dehydration when I checked her on landing. This could be a case of acute mountain sickness and it was best that she was evacuated to a better medical facility” said the senior medical officer of Airforce Station Leh, Sqn Ldr K Anurag, who attended to the patient on landing.

Air force association Celebrates Annual Day 

The Annual Day of Air Force Association began in the morning with the Wreath Laying Ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate today in the memory of those who laid down their lives for the motherland. The wreath was placed by President of Air Force Association Veteran Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM. This was followed by Annual General Body Meeting held at Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, where-in some of the Air Force Nonagenarians and Octogenarians were honoured and were presented mementos by the Air Force Association, wishing them a healthy and long life. The Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC was the Chief Guest who addressed the gathering. Retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, very large number of Officers and airmen attended the Annual General Meeting.

Air Force Association is a welfare organisation in the non-governmental sector, actively involved in the welfare of air veterans and their families. The organisation is also deeply committed in alleviating the sufferings of the widows and the destitute children.

The Association was established on 15 Sep 1980 under the patronage of Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh DFC. It has nineteen branches spread all over the country. In addition, it has two branches in UK and Australia. It has more than 84015 Air Veteran members and 4324 Spouse members on its roll. The current President of the Association is Veteran Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha PVSM AVSM VM.

The raising day of the Air Force Association is celebrated on 15 Sep every year. It is an occasion when the valour and heroic deeds of gallant Air Force personnel, who had made supreme sacrifice in the past to defend our country, are remembered. The Annual Day also provides opportunities to the serving and the retired Air Force personnel to strengthen the bonds of comradeship, brotherhood and espirit-de-corps.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Curtain raiser: INDO-US joint military exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018

Curtain raiser: INDO-US joint military exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 is scheduled to be conducted in the foothills of Himalayas at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 16 September to 29 September 2018.  This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries.

The joint exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will simulate a scenario where both nations will work together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under United Nation charter. The two week exercise will witness participation of about 350 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of the Indian Army. The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants are initially made to get familiar with each other’s organizational structure, weapons, equipment, confidence training and tactical drills. Subsequently, the training advances to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies are coherently unleashed. The training will culminate with a final validation exercise in which troops of both countries will jointly carry out an operation against terrorists in a fictitious but realistic setting.

Over the years the two countries have decided to progressively increase the scope and content of this joint exercise. Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will witness a Division Headquarter based Command Post Exercise, an Infantry Battalion carrying out Field Training Exercise and discussions on issues of mutual interest by experts of both countries.

Both armies have vast experience in active counter insurgency & counter terrorism operations and sharing each other’s tactics & drills in such diverse environment is of immense value. The exercise is a great step for the armies of the two democratic countries to train together and gain together from each other’s rich operational experiences. The latest exercise will help further build interoperability between the forces of both the nations.

Opening Ceremony: Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018

Exercise KAZIND-2018, a joint military exercise between Indian and Kazakhstan Armies, commenced in Otar Military Area, Kazakhstan. The opening ceremony was held today during which the Kazakhstan and Indian soldiers stood side by side and gave ceremonial salute to General Major Dzhumakeev Almaz, Deputy Commander for Battle Training, Kazakhstan Army reviewing the ceremony. This is the third edition of joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army. The 14 day long joint exercise is being conducted from 10 Sep to 23 Sep 2018.
The Kazakh contingent is represented by Military Base 85395 while the Indian side is represented by 5 LADAKH SCOUTS Regiment. General Major Dzhumakeev Almaz, welcomed the Indian contingent and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both the nations. The magnificent opening ceremony conducted today started with briefing on Army organization and country presentation by both countries including display of weapons and equipments used by the Kazakhstan Army at sub-unit level.   
The joint training aims to build & promote army to army relations and exchange skills & experiences between Indian Army and the Kazakhstan Army.  Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries which is crucial for success of any joint operation.  Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Ex KAZIND-2018 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military.

Indian Navy Sailors Rescue Man from Drowning at Marine Drive

Three young sailors of the Indian Navy, Akash ME I, Dhananjay, SEA I, and Vishwakarma ME I, were instrumental in rescuing a man who had fallen into the sea off Marine Drive on the night of 09 September. 

The sailors were visiting Marine Drive when they noticed people gathering at a spot nearby. On reaching the spot, they observed a man drowning about 150 m into the sea. The man's hands were seen flailing as he struggled to stay afloat. 

Akash, a Ship's Diver, Dhananjay, a good swimmer, and Vishwakarma, a Marine Commando, immediately jumped into the water and swam out towards the drowning man. They brought the man to safety and administered CPR since the man had, by then, become unconscious. Once the man began breathing and regained consciousness, the sailors handed the man over to the local police. Their selfless and prompt act of bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Indian Navy.

Refit Programmes of Ships and Submarines Reviewed.

Indian Navy’s Mid Year Refit Review (MYRR) and Mid Year Infrastructure Review (MYIR) Conference was inaugurated at Headquarters, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) on 11 September 18. The two day conference held at Swarna Jyoti Conference Hall was chaired by Vice Admiral GS Pabby, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Materiel, Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy).  MYRR reviews the progress of refits of ships and submarines of ENC and Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC), the Tri-Services Command at Port Blair.  The conference was attended by all the stake-holders representing the Naval Headquarters, Dockyards, Repair Yards and Material Organisations of ENC and ANC.

Delivering the keynote address during the inaugural session, Vice Admiral GS Pabby complimented performance of all stakeholders in refitting the ships and submarines. He lauded the progress made on all the technological aspects of Machinery, Hull, Weapon & Sensors and emphasized on the continual improvements in synergising the refitting and logistic functions for timely completion of refits for ensuring combat ready platforms.

Mid Year Infrastructure Review meeting will be held on 12 Sep to review the progress of various infrastructure projects on the Eastern Seaboard and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command Visits Indian Naval Academy

Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command visited Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, from 11 – 12 September 2018 . This was the Flag Officer’s maiden visit to INA since taking over the helm of Southern Naval Command. The Admiral was accompanied by Mrs Sapana Chawla,  President NWWA (Southern Region).

The C-in-C was briefed on training activities and progress of ongoing infrastructure projects at INA and INS Zamorin. He also addressed trainees, officers, faculty and instructors of INA. The Admiral interacted with officers, sailors and civilian staff of INA, INS Zamorin, and INHS Navjivani who were actively involved in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations and provided diving assistance for clearing the blockage at Pazhassi Dam during the recent floods in Kerala.

During his visit, the C-in-C inaugurated Pratap football field at INA. The field is  named after Lt Cdr Surendra Pratap Singh, who is a member of Navy and Services football team, participated in tournaments like Santosh trophy and Durand cup and was also instrumental in affiliation of Naval referees to the All India Football Federation.

Indian Navy Fast Interceptor Craft Fight Fire Onboard Fishing Trawler 'Jalpadma'

An Indian Navy Fast Interceptor Craft and tug brought fire onboard fishing trawler 'Jalpadma' under control, which was ablaze about three nautical miles off Karwar naval harbour on 05 September 2018. The crew of the trawler reported the cause of fire as an explosion of the cooking kerosence stove in the engine room.

Eastern Naval Command Participates in Tsunami Mock Exercise

The Eastern Naval Command participated in the biannual Tsunami mock exercise 'IOWAVE 18' conducted along the East Coast of India on 05 September 2018. The ENC mobilised manpower, ships, aircraft, UAVs and relief material to render assistance to the states of West Bengal, Odisha,
Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Units of the Command also rehearsed the Standard Operating Procedures during the exercise. The Naval Officers in Charge of coastal states coordinated with the State Emergency Operation Centres and rendered requisite assistance including reconnaissance, SAR, medical aid and training. Indian Navy personnel were also deputed as observers at State and District Operation Centres during the exercise. The exercise is conducted biannually since 2009.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Successful Air-to-Air Refuelling of LCA Tejas

Successful Air-to-Air Refuelling of LCA Tejas

In a significant achievement and a major step towards Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas, the mid-air refuelling of ‘wet contact’ trial for LCA Tejas MK-1 was successfully carried out today from an Indian Air Force base. The trial was a part of the Air-to-Air refuelling flight tests conducted by IAF. 

Before this ‘wet contact’ trial, the ‘dry contact trials’ were successfully conducted on September 04 & 06, 2018 where the Drogue (basket) extended from the IAF tanker aircraft by a fuel hose, was tracked and plugged into using the aircraft refuelling probe without taking fuel. IAF provided all required support to DRDO including the tanker aircraft for the successful test flight.

The Air-to-Air refuelling capability for LCA is a ‘force multiplier’ for the IAF, giving the aircraft the potential to stay airborne for much longer periods of time. 

The enhanced range and endurance in air is expected to provide IAF a host of options in exploiting the operational potential of the LCA as well as to participate in international exercises without having to stage through several locations enroute. 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has complimented DRDO-ADA, IAF, HAL and other agencies involved in the mission.

HAL Statement : Maiden Midair Refueling Trial (Actual) of LCA Successful

Bengaluru, September 10, 2018: The Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas LSP8) has successfully completed the Wet (actual) engagement today by transferring 1900 Kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refueling tanker. The refueling was carried out at an altitude of 20000 ft.  The aircraft speed was 270 knots and all the internal tanks and drop tanks were refueled. A few days ago, the successful dry docking of aerial refueling probe with mother tanker was carried out on September 4 and 6, 2018,

With this, India joins the elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) system for military class of aircraft, says Mr R Madhavan, CMD, HAL.

Piloted by Wg Cdr Siddarth Singh of NFTC, this significant milestone was achieved today at 0930 hrs with designers from HAL and ADA closely monitoring the system parameters from the ground station at Gwalior.

The performance of aircraft systems (mainly Fuel & Flight controls systems) during the trial were in-line with the design requirements and was closely matching with the results of extensive ground tests of air-to-air refueling system.

 Opening ceremony: INDO-MONGOLIA joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018

Indo-Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018, commenced today at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ullanbaatar, Mongolia with a brief but impressive opening ceremony. The 12 days long joint exercise will be conducted from 10 Sep to 21 Sep 2018. Exercise Nomadic Elephant is an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces. The exercise will see them improve their tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario under United Nations mandate.
The Indian contingent is represented by a contingent of 17 PUNJAB Regiment while the Mongolian contingent is represented by Unit 084 of the Mongolian Armed Forces. Major General J.Badambazar, Mongolian Army welcomed the Indian soldiers and in his inaugural remarks highlighted the common shared beliefs of freedom, equality and justice that are precious to both nations.The opening ceremony started with briefing on Army organization and country presentation including display of weapons and equipment at sub-unit level.

During the exercise both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experience on varied topics for mutual benefits. Exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding & respect for each others military and also facilitate in tackling the world wide phenomenon of terrorism.

Opening Ceremony: Bay of Bengal initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation  (BIMSTEC), Field Training Military Exercise  (MILEX-18) on 10 September 18 at Aundh Military Station 

The Inaugural Military Field Training Exercise for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technological and Economic Cooperation nations named MILEX-18 scheduled from 10 September 18 to 16 September 18 started with a Grand Opening Ceremony on  10 September 18 at Aundh Military Station.  Contingents of the member nations came together for the Opening Ceremony. The Parade was Commanded by Captain Gaurav Sharma, who is part of the participating Indian contingent. The Contingents marched together smartly at the Drill Ground of Aundh Military Station.  Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding, Golden Katar Division, Chief Guest for the Opening Ceremony, reviewed the Parade, in presence of number of Officers and officials of participating nations. During the parade there was also a fly past of Army Aviation helicopters who carried the National flags of the member nations. The General Officer Commanding interacted with the Contingents after the completion of the Parade. The members of all participating nations also interacted and familiarised with each other after the Opening Ceremony.

The aim of the forthcoming exercise is to practice the BIMSTEC Nations in planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations. The exercise schedule is focused upon learning of best practices, team building & special tactical level operations in a counter-terrorist environment in semi urban setting.
The inaugural edition of the BIMSTEC MILEX 18 was carried out in all Military grandeur, razor edge precision and with complete sanctity that a Military Parade should display.

 Annual general body meeting of the Indian Polo association

The Annual General Body Meeting of the Indian Polo Association (IPA) was held under the Chairmanship of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff who is also the President of the Indian Polo Association at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment on 09 Sep 2018. It covered all the key facets required for major improvement of polo in the country. 

The meeting had representation from polo fraternity which included all the officials, zonal stewards, professionals & amateur players, serving officers of all three Defence Services, Para Military Forces and patrons of the game.
It was decided that the Jaipur Polo ground in Delhi would be renovated to bring it at par with International standards. Jaipur polo ground hosts most of the Polo Matches with foreign teams & players. The improvement of the ground would ensure better performance with lesser injury to both horses and players.
Issue of player and horse safety was also discussed at length with serious concerns for evolving modus operandi for the safety of equines and players.
Argentina Polo Association has agreed to collaborate to improve polo in the country. As per the understanding, player exchange programmes, bilateral tournaments and training of young & budding polo players in Argentina has been agreed upon. IPA has already sent four young players to Argentina for training.
IPA also recognised Manipur as the origin of modern Polo and it included Manipur Polo as an important entity in its ambit, which would help promoting the Manipur polo at international level.

Lockheed Martin, Tata to Build F-16 Wings in India

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced today an agreement to commence production of F-16 wings in India. This strategic initiative positions Tata Advanced Systems Limited’s (TASL) to become the provider of wings for all future customers and strengthens their role in the F-16 global supply chain. 

TASL is Lockheed Martin’s strategic industry partner in India. Producing F-16 wings in India will strengthen Lockheed Martin’s strategic partnership with Tata and support ‘Make in India.’ The planned F-16 wing production move to India is not contingent on the Government of India selecting the F-16 for the Indian Air Force. “Building F-16 wings in India is a natural next step that builds on our successful partnerships with Tata on the C-130J [airlifter] and S-92 [helicopter],” said Vivek Lall, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “This is a strategic business decision that reflects the value of our partnerships with India and the confidence we
have in Tata to perform advanced defence manufacturing work and deliver world-class products.” Lockheed Martin’s broader proposed F-16 partnership with India—to produce F-16s exclusively in India for the Indian Air Force and export customers—stands firm. Lockheed Martin recently  submitted a comprehensive, fully compliant 600-plus page Request for Information (RFI) response to the Indian Air Force.

Lockheed Martin and TASL announced last year that the two companies intend to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force. The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernized cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.

To date, 4,604 F-16s have been procured by 28 customers around the world. Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are flying today with 25 leading air forces, including the U.S. Air Force.

Aero India 2019 To Be Held In Bangalore In February 2019

Ministry of Defence Announces Aeroshow

The Government has decided to hold the Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru from 20-24 February 2019. This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. Besides global leaders and big investors in aerospace industry, the show will also see participation by think-tanks from across the world. It will provide a unique opportunity for exchange of information, ideas and new developments in the aviation industry. Besides giving fillip to the domestic aviation industry it would further the cause of Make in India. The Department of Defence Production is committed to make this a successful and result oriented show.

Casevac At Kolahai Glacier Hills

Hazik Mushtaq Beigh and his friends were trekking in the Kolahai Glacier area when the team fell in a crevasse; two of the team were fatally injured. Hazik suffered injuries which required his immediate evacuation to a medical facility.

Western Air Command of Indian Airforce launched two Cheetah helicopters, of the Udhampur based Hovering Hawks unit who happened to be at Srinagar at that point. Two choppers were necessary due to the inhospitable terrain and the poor weather conditions in the general area of operations. The leader of Falcon formation was Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta with Flt Lt Mittal as the co-pilot. The plan was to winch the casualty into the heptr as no suitable landing site was available.

Upon reaching the site Wg Cdr Mehta realised that Hazik could not be winched  due to his serious injuries, so both heptrs flew to Awantipur and removed the side doors, picked up a guide enroute from Lidru and reached the spot once again. The weather during the entire period was marginal.The elevation of the place is 12000ft which added to the piloting difficulties of the small heptr. The captain of the lead aircraft Mehta decided to find a small spot of flat land nearby and touchdown. 

 Having picked up Hazik both heptrs flew back to base. “The spot was such it did not offer any place to land, we had established that winching the casualty was out of question, hence only one option was left. I told my wingman to orbit overhead while I tried to land on a small flat land. The landing called upon my entire experience and training as a helicopter pilot. It was immensely satisfying when Hazik was saved” said the mission leader and captain of the lead aircraft Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta.

Indian Naval Ships at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka for Slinex-18

Indian Naval Ships Kirch, Sumitra and Cora Divh entered Trincomalee, Sri Lanka to participate in the sixth edition of SLINEX 2018, a bi-lateral Naval Exercise between India and Sri Lanka, from 07 to 13 September 2018. The inaugural ceremony of the exercise held onboard SLNS Sayurala was attended by Rear Adm Dinesh Kumar Tripathi, Flag  Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) of Indian Navy and Rear Adm SA Weerasinghe, Commander Eastern Naval Area (COMEAST) and Rear Adm Ananda Kumar Guruge, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet (FOCNF) of the Sri Lankan Navy.

In addition to three IN Ships, one ship-borne integral helicopter and two Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier are participating from Indian side while Sri Lankan Naval is represented by SLN Ships Sayurala, Samudra and Suranimala.  The exercise is being conducted in two phases, with the harbour phase from 07 to 10 September 18 at Trincomalee during which, the participants will engage in professional, sporting and social interactions. The Harbour Phase will be followed by the Sea Phase from 11 Sep to 13 Sep 18 in the Bay of Bengal off Trincomalle and will include gun firings, communication procedures, seamanship as well as navigation evolutions and helicopter operations.
SLINEX series of bilateral maritime exercises were initiated in 2005 and since then five successful engagements have been conducted. SLINEX over the years has helped both the Navies in understanding each other's procedures and enhanced interoperability. This edition of the exercise will further strength ties between the two maritime neighbours and contribute towards maritime security in the region.

Centenary of the Battle of Haifa Celebrated 

The Embassy of India held a ceremony in Haifa to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Haifa when on 23 Sep 1918, Indian soldiers from the Jodhpur, Mysore and Hyderabad Lancers liberated the city of Haifa. The ceremony was attended by a delegation from India led by Maj Gen VD Dogra and included personnel from the 61st Cavalry. The honour guard was drawn from the Indian contingent deployed as part of UN mission. The ceremony was also attended by the Mayor of Haifa, Ambassadors, Military Attaches, representatives from IDF and members of the Indian community.

Joint Statement on the Inaugural India-U.S 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman welcomed Secretary of State Mr. Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mr. James N. Mattis, here today  for the inaugural India-U.S. Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue. They welcomed the launch of the 2+2 Dialogue as a reflection of the shared commitment by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Mr. Donald Trump to provide a positive, forward-looking vision for the India-U.S. strategic partnership and to promote synergy in their diplomatic and security efforts. They resolved to continue meetings in this format on an annual basis. 

Celebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, the Ministers reaffirmed their view that India and the United States, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity and security. 

Recognizing their two countries are strategic partners, major and independent stakeholders in world affairs, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral formats. The two sides further decided to establish secure communication between the Minister of External Affairs of India and the U.S. Secretary of State and between the Minister of Defence of India and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to help maintain regular high-level communication on emerging developments.

Strengthening the Defense and Security Partnership

The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defense ties further and promote better defense and security coordination and cooperation. They noted the rapid growth in bilateral defense trade and the qualitative improvement in levels of technology and equipment offered by the United States to India in recent years. They welcomed the inclusion of India by the United States among the top tier of countries entitled to license-free exports, re-exports and transfers under License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) and also committed to explore other means to support further expansion in two-way trade in defense items and defense manufacturing supply chain linkages. They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will facilitate access to advanced defense systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S.-origin platforms. The Ministers also announced their readiness to begin negotiations on an Industrial Security Annex (ISA) that would support closer defense industry cooperation and collaboration.

Recognizing their rapidly growing military-to-military ties, the two sides committed to the creation of a new, tri-services exercise and to further increase personnel exchanges between the two militaries and defense organizations. The Ministers reviewed the recent growth of bilateral engagements in support of maritime security and maritime domain awareness and committed to expand cooperation. Toward that end, the Ministers committed to start exchanges between the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and the Indian Navy, underscoring the importance of deepening their maritime cooperation in the western Indian Ocean. 

Acknowledging the unique role of technology in the India-U.S. defense partnership, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue to encourage and prioritize co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) and to pursue other avenues of defense innovation cooperation. In this regard, they welcomed the conclusion of a Memorandum of Intent between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX). 

Welcoming the expansion of bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, the Ministers announced their intent to increase information-sharing efforts on known or suspected terrorists and to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2396 on returning foreign terrorist fighters. They committed to enhance their ongoing cooperation in multilateral fora such as the UN and FATF. They reaffirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism. The Ministers denounced any use of terrorist proxies in the region and in this context, they called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, they called on Pakistan to bring to justice expeditiously the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, Uri and other cross-border terrorist attacks. The Ministers welcomed the launch of a bilateral dialogue on designation of terrorists in 2017, which is strengthening cooperation and action against terrorist groups, including Al-Qaida, ISIS, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen, the Haqqani Network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, D-Company, and their affiliates. The two sides further reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing and future cooperation to ensure a stable cyberspace environment and to prevent cyber-attacks. 

Partners in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond.

The Ministers reviewed cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, noting that the common principles for the region articulated in the India-U.S. Joint Statement of June 2017 have been further amplified by President Mr. Donald Trump at Danang, Vietnam on November 10, 2017 and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1, 2018. Both sides committed to work together and in concert with other partners toward advancing a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on recognition of ASEAN centrality and on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, good governance, free and fair trade, and freedom of navigation and overflight. Noting the importance of infrastructure and connectivity for the Indo-Pacific region, both sides emphasized the need to work collectively with other partner countries to support transparent, responsible and sustainable debt financing practices in infrastructure development.

The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to a united, sovereign, democratic, inclusive, stable, prosperous, and peaceful Afghanistan. The two sides expressed support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. The United States acknowledged India’s longstanding and ongoing contributions of economic assistance to Afghanistan and also welcomed India’s enhanced role in Afghanistan’s development and stabilization. 

India welcomed the recent U.S.-North Korea summit. The two sides pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs and to hold accountable those countries that have supported them. 

The United States welcomed India’s accession to the Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime and reiterated its full support for India’s immediate accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. 

Promoting Prosperity and People-to-People Ties.

The Ministers recognized the importance and the potential for increasing bilateral trade, investment, innovation and job creation in both countries. Both sides committed to further expanding and balancing the trade and economic partnership consistent with their leaders’ 2017 joint statement, including by facilitating trade, improving market access, and addressing issues of interest to both sides. In this regard, both sides welcomed the ongoing exchanges between the Ministry of Commerce of India and the Office of the United States Trade Representative and hoped for mutually acceptable outcomes. 

Both sides looked forward to full implementation of the civil nuclear energy partnership and collaboration between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company for the establishment of six nuclear power plants in India. 

Observing the strong ties of family, education and business and the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that unite their people, the Ministers highlighted the unmatched people-to-people ties between their countries and recognized the benefits to both nations and the world from these ties, including the free flow of ideas and collaboration in health, space, oceans and other areas of science and technology. 

The next 2+2 meeting is to be held in the United States in 2019

Full text of Raksha Mantri’s press statement after India-US 2+2 dialogue

We have just concluded a most productive, positive and purposeful meeting.

I wish to thank Secretaries Mattis and Pompeo for their vision and commitment. We deeply value their support for stronger ties between India and the United States.

Our discussions today were marked by the deep friendship that characterises relations between the greatest democracies of the world.

The commitment of India and the United States to defend our shared democratic values and expand on our common interests is clear and unwavering.

In today's meeting, we reaffirmed our intention to cooperate in every way possible to ensure peace and stability as well as to realise the aspirations of our peoples for continued economic growth, prosperity and development. We will also work together to combat the persisting threat of terrorism and other shared security challenges.

In our discussions, we explored the instrumentalities necessary to deliver on those shared objectives.
Defence cooperation has emerged as the most significant dimension of our strategic partnership and as a key driver of our overall bilateral relationship.

The momentum in our defence partnership has imbued a tremendous positive energy that has elevated India-US relations to unprecedented heights. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi had succinctly stated at his address to the US Congress a year ago, India's relations with the US have overcome the hesitations of history. Nowhere is this more true than in the field of defence.

Today, India's defence forces carry out extensive training and joint exercises with the United States. Our joint exercises have acquired greater complexity and newer dimensions, both bilaterally and in wider formats. To enhance our synergies in this area, we have decided to carry out, for the first time, a tri-Services joint exercise with the United States off the eastern coast of India in 2019.

We are also putting in place an enabling framework for closer cooperation between our defence forces. The signing of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 and the Helicopter Operations from Ships Other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC) earlier this year were important steps in this direction. The signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) today will enable India to access advanced technologies from the US and enhance India's defence preparedness.

Maritime Security has been a focus area of our cooperation. To deepen our ties in this area, we will expand our interactions on Maritime Domain Awareness.

The United States has renamed its Pacific Command responsible for relations with India as Indo-Pacific Command. Reflecting our wider global partnership, we will also enhance our interactions with the United States military's Central Command.

One of the focus areas of the discussions was on expanding the scope and content of the US' designation of India as its Major Defence Partner. We welcome the recent decision to elevate India to STA Tier 1 status for access to advanced technologies, especially in the defence field. I am confident that this and other measures to follow will enable our defence industry cooperation to make speedy progress for mutual benefit.

We highlighted the major reforms being implemented by the government to promote defence manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative, including setting up of defence manufacturing corridors. We welcome the US' positive response to India's request to nominate a Point of Contact in the US Department of Defense to help address procedural complexities and facilitate Indian companies to join the manufacturing supply chains of US defence companies.

We also identified cooperation in defence innovation as a major area of emphasis for the future. As our defenceneeds become increasingly driven by technology, this is both necessary and timely. I am particularly thankful to have Secretary Mattis, who has spent several years in Silicon Valley, as our interlocutor in taking this aspect of our ties forward. The Memorandum of Intent between our defence innovation agencies is a first step in this direction.

The conclusion of the first ever Ministerial 2+2 between India and the United States is a concrete manifestation of the vision of our leaders, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, to take the India-US relationship to a new level.

Our leaders recognise that it is no longer viable to address foreign and defence issues in a compartmentalised manner. In today's meeting, we were able to discuss a range of issues relating to our ties in a strategic framework and identify steps to take forward our relationship.

Our discussions have paved the way for a new era in India-US defence and strategic engagement. Given our shared interests, we are confident that we can work together to promote peace, economic prosperity and security in our region and beyond. I once again thank Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis for their engagement in promoting the India-US partnership.

MID Air Refueling Trials of LCA with IL-78 MKI 

On 04 Sep 18, the Indian Air Force successfully carried out the first ever mid air refueling of the indigenously build fighter aircraft Tejas MK 1 with an IL-78 MKI tanker of the 78 Sqn. The tanker was launched from its base in Agra while the fighter was launched from Gwalior. The specially modified Tejas aircraft carried out a series of  test  profiles including a ‘Dry Contact' with the tanker. A second Tejas aircraft flying in formation was used to observe the exercise closely.

All flight parameters of Tejas aircraft were transmitted live to a ground control unit set-up at Gwalior airbase, wherein ADA scientists constantly monitored the technical parameters of the mission. The Tejas aircraft was piloted by test pilot Gp Capt Joshi and the IL-78 MKI was flown by Gp Capt R Arvind, Commanding Officer of the tanker squadron. Prior to the test flight, extensive ground trials were conducted in all possible conditions under the supervision of ADA scientists.

The success of these trials is a major leap for the indigenous fighter, thus enhancing its mission capability by increasing its range and payload. The ability to carry out Air-to-Air Refueling is one of the critical requirements for the LCA to achieve 'Final Operational Clearance'.

J&K Students Meet COAS

A group of 20 students of Degree Colleges of Kishtwar, Marwah and Chhatru, Jammu and Kashmir accompanied by two teachers on National Integration Tour, visited Delhi and interacted with General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on 05 Sep 2018. The COAS 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.

BEL Order Book Crosses 50,000 Crore landmark

An order worth Rs 9,200 crore for supply of seven Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) systems has pushed the order book of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) beyond 50,000 crore for the first time in history of the company.  

The Navratna DPSU is confident that this is just the beginning and is looking at maintaining a healthy order inflow with business segments such as Radars & Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Fire Control Systems, Communication Systems and C4I Systems driving its growth in the coming days. 

The company has entered into contracts worth about 9,200 crore with Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) to supply LRSAM systems to be fitted onboard seven ships to be built by these two shipbuilders. This is the highest-ever single value order bagged by BEL.Director (Mktg), BEL, SmtAnandi Ramalingam, signed the contracts on behalf of BEL with MDL and GRSE. 

As the lead integrator of Akash Missile system, BEL has already proven its prowess in the realm of Turnkey Missile Systems. The company is now geared up for futuristic programmes such as the Quick Response Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) for the Army, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) for the Air Force and Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) for the Navy. BEL is the lead integrator of LRSAM systems for the Navy’s P-17A stealth frigates.

The BEL will continue its indigenisation efforts in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Strategies and action plans are in place to face competition, maintain its technological edge and retain its leadership position in strategic electronics.

IAF & French Air force Conduct Basic Training in India With French Rafale Fighter & Transport Aircraft 

Indian Air Force (IAF) recently participated in Exercise Pitch Black 2018 at Darwin, Australia.  Sixteen different nations from across the globe, including French Air Force (FAF) participated in this exercise.  On the return leg, Rafale fighter aircraft and transport aircraft of FAF staged through Air Force Station, Gwalior and Air Force Station, Agra from 01 – 04 Sep 18. 

During the staging period, FAF and IAF carried out basic joint training, which included fighter sorties by pilots in their respective aircraft with observers onboard each other’s transport aircraft supporting the missions.  This interaction with FAF provided a unique opportunity for exchange of experience and sharing of best practices during cooperative deployment.

Curtain Raiser :Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018

Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Army Exercise 'KAZIND' will be conducted between the Indian and Kazakhstan Army from 10 to 23 Sep 2018 in Otar region, Kazakhstan. This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries which have a history of extensive cooperation in the defence arena. The second edition of the exercise was held in India last year.

The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army. The exercise will also serve as a platform for exchange of drills and procedures.

  The fourteen days exercise with the Kazakhstan Army will follow a graduated continuum from orientation to a full scale mock exercise; the aim being to achieve optimum integration among the two contingents through enhanced mutual comprehension of each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures. The vast experience and expertise of Indian troops in counter insurgency operations holds special importance to the Kazakhstan Army. The conduct of the joint exercise will set the stage for greater defence cooperation and consequently will manifest in stronger ties between the two great nations.

BNS Somudra Joy arrive Visakhapatnam on a goodwill visit

Bangladesh Naval Ship Somudra Joy arrived Visakhapatnam on a four day visit to the Eastern Naval Command today, 04 September 18. The Bangladesh Navy ship was accorded a warm welcome by officials from ENC and the Eastern Fleet with Naval Band in attendance on arrival. Capt M Moniruzzaman, Commanding Officer BNS Somudra Joy called-on Vice Adm Karambir Singh PVSM, AVSM FOCINC ENC.

During the ship’s stay in Vizag, a variety of activities including professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions between IN and BN personnel have been scheduled.  Commissioned on 23 December 2013, BNS Somudra Joy, a Hamilton Class frigate, is one of the largest ships of the Bangladesh Navy. The ship earlier visited Visakhapatnam in Feb 2016 and participated in the International Fleet Review hosted by Indian Navy. 

IAF MIG-27 Crash

Today morning a MiG-27 aircraft, that had got airborne from Jodhpur, crashed during a routine mission. Pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of accident.

R Madhavan Takes Over As Chairman and Managing Director of HAL

Mr R Madhavan has taken over as Chairman and Managing Director of HAL from Mr T. Suvarna Raju, today.  Prior to this, he was heading the Accessories Division of HAL at Lucknow as an Executive Director.

“Maintaining the numero uno position of HAL in aerospace industry while delivering world class products and services through increased indigenisation would be my key focus areas”, says Mr Madhavan.  The emphasis would be to build on the core competence of the Company and emerge as the preferred supplier in the aerospace industry, he adds.

Born in 1962, Mr Madhavan is a Mechanical Engineer from NIT, Raipur and a post graduate in M. Tech. from IIT Madras.  He joined HAL as a management trainee in July 1982 and has comprehensive management and engineering experience.  His diverse skill sets in varied fields like production, quality, customer services and management fetched him key positions within the organization.

Mr Madhavan is a firm believer that technology is one of the key determinants for the future success of any organization in today’s cutting edge tech-world.  He spearheaded successful absorption of technology for production of Su-30 airframe and engine accessories from raw material phase at HAL’s Accessories Division, Lucknow. He has contributed to `Make in India’ drive by developing MSME vendors for aerospace manufacturing.

The new CMD’s focus areas would also include Design & Development, order book position and product mix which meets the customer requirements.   Partnership, collaboration and support of all the stake holders is the key for HAL’s success in future, he says.

Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola Takes Over As Commandant Of Air Force Academy Dundigal 

Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola, Vayu Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal took over as the Commandant of Air Force Academy, Dundigal today.  Air Force Academy is the premier training establishment and the alma mater of all Officers of Indian Air Force, located at Dundigal approximately 40 kms away from Hyderabad. Air Marshal Arvindra Singh Butola graduated from National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla in May 1981 and was commissioned in the Helicopter stream of Indian Air Force in Jun 1982.  A highly experienced pilot, the Air Marshal has flown more than 6700 hours on 21 types of aircraft.

The Air Marshal is an alumnus of the prestigious Defence Services Staff College Wellington and National Defence College New Delhi. In his illustrious career spanning over 36 years in the Indian Air Force, he has held many important appointments like Senior Officer- in- Charge Administration of an operational command, Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Operations (Transport and Helicopters) at Air Headquarters, Commanding Officer of a frontline helicopter unit in Jammu & Kashmir and Station Commander of a premier Air Force Station under Western Air Command. The Air Marshal has also served as Senior Flying Instructor and Advisor to the Namibian Defence Force and Deputy Chief Test Pilot at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Prior to taking over the prestigious post of Commandant of Air Force Academy, he was Senior Air Staff Officer of an Operational Command.

For his distinguished service and professionalism of very high order, the Air Officer was awarded with Vayu Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal, Chief of Air Staff Commendation and Air Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation.