Friday, December 28, 2018

Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva Takes Over as DCIDS (Operations)

Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva Takes Over as DCIDS (Operations) 

Air Marshal Rajeev Sachdeva, took over as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations) (DCIDS), recently. He has distinction of earlier serving in three out of the four wings of Headquarter Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS).  

Commissioned as Indian Air Force Pilot, in December1981, Air Marshal Sachdeva has logged over 7,200 hours of transport and instructional flying experience. Cat 'A' qualified flying instructor has held some of the prestigious appointments in Air Force, Joint Services and NTRO. He was an Air Force examiner and also commanded a frontline Transport Squadron, a Transport Base and the College of Defence Management. He, at HQ IDS, was ACIDS ICT and ACIDS Jt Ops, at NTRO he was Centre Director Aviation. Prior to his present appointment at HQ IDS, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Southern Air Command in Thiruvananthapuram.

Two Indian Naval Sailors Succumb In Fatal Collapse Of Helicopter Hangar Door

Two Indian Navy sailors dead in an accident at the Indian Naval aviation base - INS Garuda  in Kochi, Kerala, when the door of a helicopter hangar collapsed.

About 0930 hrs on 27th December , one of the hangar door (sliding) of 322 hangar (occupied by 321 flight now) fell on Ajith Singh EAR 3 and Naveen EAA 3. Both the  sailors were extremely critical and taken to INHS Sanjivani. The duo succumbed to their injuries by 1040 hrs. 

Casualty Evacuation at Chanderkot 

On 24 Dec 18 at 1040 hrs Western Air Command of Indian Air force launched two Cheetah helicopters, of the Udhampur based unit “HOVERING HAWKS” to carry out casualty evacuation from Chanderkot helipad on a short notice. As per initial information received a civil bus on move from Badgam to Kanpur fell into the valley near Ramban which led to several critical casualties. At 1045 hrs, 02 heptrs and 02 set of crew were standby to takeoff from Udhampur to Chanderkot helipad where the casualties were initially evacuated. On getting a go ahead for one helicopter at 1050 hrs, Wing Commander V Mehta as captain with co-pilot Arunima Vidhate got airborne from Udhampur. Meanwhile after ascertaining the requirement, on the call of Wg Cdr V Mehta, second helicopter got airborne from Udhampur with SqnLdr SK Prasad as captain and Flt Lt Siddhant Yadav as co-pilot.
First helicopter landed at Chanderkot Helipad at 1125 hrs and picked up 03 critically injured Jawans of ITBP who were amongst the 09 critically injured travelling in fateful bus. The other helicopter landed at 1225 hrs and picked 02 remaining critical Jawans along with medical attendant. 04 Casualties were picked up by civil helicopter. “Due to power station and several microwave towers on eastern side of helipad, helicopter had to carry out one sided approaches and take offs with thorough traffic coordination with civil helicopters. Additionally, the site had limited manoeuvring space” said the mission leader and captain of the lead aircraft Wg Cdr Vishal Mehta.

Both the helicopter continued to Jammu airport, where the ambulance was ready to attend the casualty. The casualties suffered serious injuries which included facial/head injuries, fractured leg and major bruises on arms. Although they had been recovered from the accident site to Ramban DH their situation was highly critical and speedy evacuation to a better medical facility was the only lifesaving measure available. 

The crew of HOVERING HAWKS executed the mission with extreme professionalism keeping up the highest traditions of the IAF.

RM Launches Web Page on ‘Drone Olympics’event at Aero India - 2019

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched a newly designed web page here today for ‘Drone Olympics’ (, scheduled to be held at Aero India – 2019 at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru. The web page is open for registration of UAV players interested in taking part in the maiden event of the Aero India.

It will not only encourage the UAV manufacturing in the country but also provide an opportunity to the Armed Forces to assess the capabilities that exist in the world. The UAV market is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. Role of UAVs in defence sector is ever-increasing on account of new additionalities being added to them making them fit for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and strike missions.

‘Drone Olympics’ is open to both Indian and international players. Three categories of the event, planned during the competition are Surveillance Challenge with four sub-categories which willdeterminethe surveillance capability of the UAVs. Supply Drop Challenge to assess weight dropping capability and Formation Flying Challenge demonstrating different shapes with group of UAVs.The winners will be honoured with medals and a cash prize of Rs. 38 lakhs to top three winners of each competition. Last date of registration to participate in event is January 26, 2019.

Indian Coast Guard Ship Vikram Goodwill Visit To Muscat

Indian Coast Guard ship (ICGS) Vikram is scheduled to enter Muscat, Oman on Wednesday, 26 December 2018, on a three-day goodwill visit. The visit is aimed at enhancing interactions and cooperation between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Royal Oman Police Coast Guard (ROPCG).

​ICGS Vikram (“Vikram” means ‘Valorous”), the 1st in the series of    98 meters Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) is a newly commissioned ship of Indian Coast Guard. The ship has a compliment of approximately 100 personnel and is commanded by Commandant Raj Kamal Sinha.

ICGS Vikram has been designed and built in India by M/s Larsen & Toubro at its  Defence shipyard at Kattupalli. The ship is fitted with most advanced state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communication equipment, sensor and machinery. The vessel is fitted with a 30mm gun for the fighting efficiency of the ship. The features include an Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), Automated Power Management System (APMS) and High-Power External firefighting system. ICGS Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships which operate in Indian maritime zones including island territories. Their role is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, Search and Rescue, surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine helicopter and two high speed boats along with two hull inflatable boats. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.

​The ship is on a month long deployment in the GCC which has resulted in the build-up of mutual understanding and comradery amongst Coast Guards of the region. Oman and Indian Coast Guards signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Crime Prevention at Sea in May 2016 and regularly conduct high level meetings. The next high level meeting is scheduled in India in late 2019. During the three day visit to Muscat, the ship’s crew will utilise the opportunity to undertake various maritime related joint training activities with ROPCG focussing on Marine Pollution Response, Maritime Search & Rescue and Maritime Law enforcement. The close relations developed between the ROGCP and ICG has been very beneficial in coordination of search and rescue efforts in the Arabian Sea.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Validation and Closing Ceremony Sino-India joint exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018

Validation and Closing Ceremony Sino-India joint exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 

The seventh edition of joint Sino-India military exercise Hand–in–Hand 2018 concluded on 23 December 2018. The exercise included lectures and discussions on various counter terrorism aspects like cordon and search operations, raid on terrorist hideouts, intelligence collection and joint operations. Also, integrated live firing were conducted for both the contingents to enhance interoperability & promote jointmanship.

 As part of validation exercise held on 22 December 2018, troops of both the armies carried out specialised joint counter terrorist operations including room intervention and hostage rescue which was witnessed by dignitaries of both the armies. The validation exercise was reviewed by Major General Sanjiv Rai, General Officer Commanding Trishul Division of the Indian Army in presence of senior Army officers of both the participating countries. The Chinese side was represented by Maj Gen  Li Shizhong. The exercise concluded on 22 December 2018 with a ceremonial closing ceremony, which included a grand cultural show presented by both the countries.

Exercise Hand in Hand 2018 was very successful in increasing the bonhomie and camaraderie amongst both the participating nations. The troops shared best practices being followed by both nations in counter terrorism operations in urban and jungle terrain and the exercise provided an opportunity to both the armies for greater understanding and strengthening mutual trust and cooperation.

Raksha Mantri Inaugurates Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Honourable Raksha Mantri, launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) today, 22 Dec 18, at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram. Apart from representation by officials from the MoD, MEA, MHA, Ministry of Shipping and the NSCS, Ambassadors and Resident Defence Attaches of partner countries also participated in the event. 

The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations as more than 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil consumption passes through the IOR. However, maritime terrorism, piracy, human and contraband trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing, arms running and poaching pose myriad challenges to maritime safety and security in the region. Response to these challenges requires enhanced situational awareness of the maritime activities in the region so as to enable security agencies function effectively. 

However, the scale, scope and the multi-national nature of maritime activities, make it difficult for countries to address these challenges individually. Hence, collaborative efforts between maritime nations in the IOR, is essential. Towards this, the IFC-IOR aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest. The intention of this collaborative endeavour shall be to secure the global commons for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region towards the well-being of all. 

In his address to the gathering, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff said that the IFC – IOR shall be a collaborative construct that will work with partners, countries as well as international agencies; to enhance maritime security and safety. It would also aim to work closely with the multi-national constructs and other information fusion centres said the Admiral. He further added that the IFC-IOR would work towards capability building in the region, coordination of incident response and disaster relief, and in time, also share submarine safety information. 

During her address the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri said that the objective of having an IFC-IOR is more for partners, equals to work towards keeping the global commons safe and democratically available for all of us. She further added that, in addition to utilising our collective wisdom and resources towards addressing the myriad challenges in our region, the IFC-IOR will help us interface and integrate, wherein, we would benefit from each other’s best practices and expertise. More significantly, the IFC-IOR will help foster bonds of trust, camaraderie and partnership; ingredients that are vital for relationships between nations to transcend from being merely transactional to ones that are transformational”.

The information exchange at the IFC-IOR would be initially undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet. Subsequently, to enable better interaction, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries. Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the IFC-IOR would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collation and sharing.

The IFC-IOR website is accessible through and will be hosted as an independent portal in due course of time.

Japanese Navy Ship Visits Kochi

Japan Navy Ship JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) Samidare, commanded by Commander Gen Kawai is on a visit to Kochi from 20 - 22 Dec 18. On 21 Dec 18, Captain Takahiro Nishiyama, Commander Escort Division Four accompanied by the Commanding Officer JMSDF Samidare, Commanding Officer of the Japan Coast Guard Somalia Dispatch Investigation Team and Mr Yamashita, Japan Coast Guard Attaché/ Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan called on Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command and interacted with him over professional matters of common interest to both the navies. On completion, crests were exchanged.

During the stay at Kochi, various activities such as visit of IN(Indian Navy) specialists onboard JMSDF Samidare and professional interaction between the two navies were conducted. The visiting foreign ship’s crews were also given a guided tour of certain professional schools and the Naval Maritime Museum to familiarise them with IN's method of imparting training to its personnel and preserving its naval heritage.

India’s bilateral relations with Japan are rooted in historical social and cultural interactions and extensive people-to-people contact. The current visit of Japanese ship enhances the interoperability and friendship between the two navies. JMSDF Samidare is planned to depart for Bahrain on  22 Dec 18 and will be participating in anti-piracy mission in Gulf of Aden.

“International Workshop on Integrated Protection of Civilians (IPOC) in UN Peacekeeping Operations” At Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi 

 A Joint workshop between ICRC and CUNPK on “Integrated Protection on Civilians (IPOC)” in UN peacekeeping operations was conducted at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi from 17 – 21 Dec 2018. The seminar focused on Protection of Civilians (PoC), Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) and Child Protection (CP) issues on vulnerable populations and UN strategies to address the ongoing challenges.

A total of 25 participants from 23 different countries and 10 Indian Officers attended the seminar to derive benefit from it and be available to the United Nations for deployment in field areas. The seminar was conducted by some of the most experienced and seasoned speakers from across the globe including those from CUNPK and ICRC. Participation from all the continents including instructors and facilitators ensured a balanced mix towards training, focus and direction.

The inaugural session was held on 17 Dec 2018. Lieutenant General IS Ghuman, Deputy Chief of Army Staff (IS&T), Indian Army was the Chief Guest for the occasion and delivered the inaugural address. Mr Jeremy England, Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC, Delhi and other senior officers/ dignitaries of the Army and ICRC, DAs of various countries, Officials from UN agencies and academia were also present during the inauguration.

Visit of Admiral Luechai Ruddit, Commander-in-Chief Royal Thai Navy Visit India(18-21 December 2018)

Admiral Luechai Ruddit, Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Navy (RTN), is on a visit to India from 18 to 21 December 2018 along with a nine member Royal Thai Navy delegation. This is the first visit of the Admiral to India after taking over as Commander in Chief, RTN. The visit aims to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Thailand, as also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. 

During his visit, the Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Navy held bilateral discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff. The Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Navy, also called on the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on 19 December 2018.
Various important maritime engagement issues related to operational interactions such as conduct of Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs), Training, Hydrography and METOC cooperation, participation in Admiral’s Cup and deputing of Sea Riders were discussed during the bilateral interaction with the CNS. 

A significant achievement during this visit was the signing of the Technical Agreement (TA) on White Shipping Information Exchange between India and Thailand. The TA will help enhance the Maritime Domain Awareness in the region for the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy.
The Commander in Chief RTN Navy is scheduled to visit the Western Naval Command at Mumbai on 20 December 2018, where he will hold discussions with the senior naval officials and visit various naval units.

Commissioning of Fifth Ship of Landing Craft Utility Mk-IV ‘IN LCU L55’ (GRSE Yard 2096) At Port Blair- 19 December 2018

Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, AVSM, VSM, Vice Chief of Naval Staff, commissioned IN LCU L55 into the Indian Navy today at Port Blair. IN LCU L55 is the fifth ship of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV class to be inducted into the Indian Navy. The ship has been indigenously designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The Commissioning of IN LCU L55 is yet another manifestation of the country’s indigenous design and ship building capability.

LCU Mk-IV ship is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. These ships based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.

The ship, commanded by Lt Cdr Abhishek Kumar, has a complement of 05 officers, 45 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops in addition. The ship, displacing 830 Tons, is capable of transporting various kinds of combat equipment such as the Main Battle Tank, T72 and other vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).

The remaining three ships of the same class are in advanced stages of construction at M/S GRSE, Kolkata and are scheduled to be inducted over the next year and a half. The induction of these ships will contribute to the nation’s maritime security needs and is in consonance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s drive for ‘Make in India’.

Chief of the Air Staff Reviews Ex Aviaindra 2018 At Jodhpur

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff visited Air Force Station Jodhpur on 19 Dec 2018 to interact with the participating forces of ongoing Ex AVIAINDRA 2018 between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFASF). Chief of the Air Staff was received by Air Commodore Philip Thomas Air Officer Commanding Air Force Station Jodhpur.

 The second edition of Ex AVIAINDRA is aimed at exposing RFASF and IAF pilots to single/multi aircraft missions in a Counter Terrorism Scenario within the predefined scope.  The 30 member RFASF contingent comprises of fighter, transport and helicopter pilots.

The Chief of the Air Staff was briefed in detail about various phases of the exercise and was apprised of its progress. Post briefing, Chief of the Air Staff visited the RFASF and IAF detachment, wherein he interacted with the personnel of both the Air Forces.

 During the interaction, Chief of the Air Staff welcomed RFASF team and emphasised the importance of joint exercises, as they create an environment of camaraderie and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. He spoke about the long standing military partnership between RFASF and IAF and the common equipment that both the nations operate. He complimented the efficacy of Russian equipment, as it has played a pivotal role during various IAF air campaigns. 

Ex AVIAINDRA is a testimony of the Indo-Russian Military relationship and would enhance mutual cooperation and understanding between IAF and RFASF.
India’s first military flight using Blended Bio-Jet Fuel Flown by IAF

On 17 December 2018, Experimental Test Pilots and Test Engineer from IAF’s premier testing establishment ASTE, flew India’s first military flight using blended bio-jet fuel on the An-32 transport aircraft.The project is a combined effort of IAF, DRDO, Directorate General Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) and CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum.

On 27 July 2018, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of Air Staff had announced IAF’s intention to promote biojet fuels. Addressing the CII-SIDM seminar on promoting indigenised technologies, the CAS had stated that IAF intended to fly the An-32 with 10% biojet fuel on 26 Jan 2019 Republic Day flypast.

Indian Air Force carried out extensive engine tests on the ground. This is now followed by flight trials using 10% biojet blended ATF. This fuel is made from Jatropha oil sourced from Chattisgarh Biodiesel Development Authority (CBDA) and then processed at CSIR-IIP, Dehradun. IAF intends to fly the An-32 transport aircraft using biojet fuel on 26 January 2019, in the Republic Day flypast.

Tri Services Cycling & Trekking Expedition In Sikkim

The Indian Armed Forces have a rich saga of fostering the spirit of adventure amongst its ranks by undertaking various and varied adventure activities.  To enhance the spirit of adventure ingrained in the Indian Armed Forces, demonstrate high standards of physical fitness, competitive spirit, mental robustness and camaraderie amongst the three Services - a Tri Services Adventure Expedition is being conducted from December 17, 2018 to January 05, 2019. The expedition is being undertaken by a Tri Services team comprising of three Officers, three warrant rank officers and thirteen soldiers from the Army, Navy and Air Force. The expedition is in three phases which includes cycling-cum-trekking, para gliding and sea diving. The first leg of the expedition comprising of a cycling-cum-trekking expedition will cover a distance of 200 kilometres from Kalimpong to north Sikkim under the aegis of the Striking Lion Division.                        

The Expedition was flagged off today by the General Officer Commanding, Striking Lion Division from the Gompa ground of Durpin Monastery at Kalimpong. The Armed Forces Team would cycle the treacherous and challenging mountains of North Sikkim for the next five days reaching altitudes of 15,000 feet in the Lachen&Lachung valleys. Apart from cycling, the team would also trek through the mountain ranges along the Teesta river. During course of the expedition, the team will spread the message of ‘Green Sikkim, Clean Sikkim’.

High Level Meeting Between Indian and Indonesia Coast Guard 

Director General Indian Coast Guard (DG ICG) Shri G Rajendra Singh is hosting a seven-member delegation of the Indonesia Coast Guard (BAKAMLA) led by Chief of BAKAMLA Vice Admiral ATaufiqoerrochman in India from December 16 to 19 2018.

India and Indonesia have established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and there is considerable emphasis from both sides to enhance bilateral defence cooperation including maritime security cooperation. During the 6thIndia-Indonesia Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) meeting, held in New Delhi on August 09, 2018 both sides had agreed that Chief of BAKAMLA will visit India for a High Level Meeting (HLM).

Consequently, a HLM between the Indian Coast Guard and BAKAMLA was held in Coast Guard Headquarters, New Delhion December 17, 2018. During the HLM, both sides agreed to pursue early signing of the Memorandum of Understanding which is in the final stages of approval.  Timeline for conduct of reciprocal ship visits and table top exercise in the domain of Maritime Search & Rescue was also agreed.  Mutual cooperation between the two agencies in the multilateral forum of Asian Coast Guards, ‘HACGAM’, was also acknowledged.

Relations between ICG and BAKAMLA go back a long way with ICG ships visiting Indonesia for professional interactions since 2003. This meeting and visit is in continuation of the efforts by the governments of the two countries to enhance cooperation between the Coast Guards in the field of maritime safety and security at sea.
The meeting was significant being the first high level meeting and marks a new era in maritime cooperation. 

Visit of COAS to Tanzania and Kenya

General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) is scheduled to visit Tanzania and Kenya from 17 to 20 December 2018 on an official bilateral visit. During the visit, COAS led delegation will interact with senior military and political hierarchy of both countries with an aim to enhance and energise defence cooperation. The Army Chief will also visit National Defence College at Tanzania and key military establishments.

The Chief of the Army Staff is scheduled to meet Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Defence and National Service, General Venance  S Mabeyo, Chief of Tanzania Defence Forces in Tanzania and Ambassador Raychelle Awour  Omamo, SC, Cabinet Secretary for Defence and General Samson Mwathethe, Chief of Defence Forces, Kenya Defence Forces in Kenya.

The visit to the African countries aims to give impetus to the military to military relationship with Tanzania and Kenya which has been nurtured over the years.

‘President's Commission' Conferred To 139 Flight Cadets At Air Force Academy 

The amber sky dawned sagely over Air Force Academy, Dundigal to witness the grand Combined Graduation Parade on 15 Dec 18 (Saturday), which marked the momentous occasion of the passing out of 139 trainees as Flying Officers of the Indian Air Force which included 24 women officers. The ceremony also marked commissioning of another woman fighter pilot, Flying Officer Priya Sharma, in the IAF. This solemn event was graced by General Bipin Rawat, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Aide- De- Camp, Chief of the Army Staff. As the Reviewing Officer of the parade, he conferred the ‘President’s Commission’ to the graduating Flight Cadets who successfully completed their basic and professional training. 

The Reviewing Officer was received at the venue by Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vayu Sena Medal, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command and Air Marshal AS Butola, Vayu Sena Medal,  Vishist Seva Medal, Commandant Air Force Academy.  The Reviewing Officer was accorded a ceremonial salute by the parade followed by an impressive march past.  The highpoint of the parade was the ‘Pipping Ceremony’. The Flight Cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ (Air Force rank) by the Chief Guest, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training Command and Commandant Air Force Academy.  They were then administered the ‘Oath’ by the Commandant of the Academy in the presence of the Chief Guest and other dignitaries. On this occasion, 15 officers of Indian Navy and Coast Guard were also awarded their ‘Wings’ on successful completion of flying training from Air Force Academy. Indian Air Force routinely trains members of other services and para-military forces in basic aviation and related courses at Air Force Academy.

General Bipin Rawat, the Reviewing Officer after pipping ceremony gave away various awards to the Flying Officers who had excelled in training.  Flying Officer Sukhmandeep Singh of  Flying branch was awarded President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in overall merit in Pilot Course.  Flying Officer Rashmi Kumari and Flying Officer Abhishek Mandyal were awarded President’s Plaque for being first in overall merit in Navigation and Ground Duty Branches respectively.

Later, addressing the Parade, the Chief of Army Staff complimented the newly Commissioned ‘Flying Officers’ for the exceptional standard of parade.    Congratulating the passing-out cadets, the Army Chief said, “It is a matter of great pride to review the Combined Graduation Parade of Indian Air Force”.  Stressing on the importance of jointmanship amongst Defence Services, the Army Chief urged the passing out Cadets to think in a joint manner to cope with the future challenges posed by dramatic changes taking place in warfare.  He remarked that there can be  nothing more satisfying than participating in the defence of one’s nation.  He advised the graduating trainees to be alive to various situations, rapidly changing geopolitical  scenario and constantly strive to keep themselves fighting fit at all times to take on any task.

All the esteemed guests, including proud parents of the graduating trainees and various military and civilian dignitaries were held spell bound at the grand ceremony. They were delighted to witness the magnificent parade by the passing out Flight Cadets and were awestruck at the spectacular movements of Air Warrior Drill

Team. The Sky Diving Team of Indian Air Force ‘Akash Ganga’ enthralled the spectators by dotting the blue skies of Dundigal with tricolour and perfect landing right in front of them. The spectators were mesmerised with the breathtaking aerobatic display by ‘Sarang’ helicopter team, ‘Suryakiran’ Hawk team and PC 7 aircraft.

The glittering ceremony  culminated with the newly Commissioned Officers marching-out  in two columns in slow march to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune played by Armed Forces of the world when bidding adieu to colleagues and comrades,  acknowledging the first salute given to them by their immediate juniors. They marched in absolute synchrony and with purposeful strides as they saluted the Reviewing Officer and crossed through the portals of their alma mater to take on their future assignments and challenges unstintingly to “Touch the Sky with Glory”.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Arms and Ammunition Haul by INS Sunayna

Another Arms and Ammunition Haul by INS Sunayna 

On 13 Dec 18, Indian Naval Ship Sunayna, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) of the Southern Naval Command based at Kochi, while being mission deployed, carried out a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operation on sighting a suspicious fishing vessel approximately 20 nm off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The successful operation resulted in seizure of illegal arms such as five rifles that included AK-47 and 471 rounds of ammunition. After confiscation of the arms and ammunition to prevent their illegal use by the crew for piracy related activities, the fishing vessel was allowed to proceed further.

INS Sunayna has been deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since 06 Oct 18. The ship had earlier seized six AK-47s and one Light Machine Gun in a previous search operation conducted on 09 Nov and 07 Dec 18. The vigilance exercised by the Indian Navy (IN) ships reiterates the commitment of India towards ensuring safe seas for Indian as well as international seafarers in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The international effort to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden/ East Coast of Somalia region involves participation of many countries such as India, China, Japan, United States, Russia, Pakistan and the European Union Nations. Warships operating in this region for combating piracy are authorised by the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2383 (2017) to board vessels suspected of illegal activities.

MCEME Conducts Convocation Ceremony - Army Chief Confers Degrees To 67 Officers  


General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff  conferred engineering degrees to 27 Officers of Degree Engineering (DE-99) and 40 Officers of  Technical Entry Scheme Course (TES-30), in a smartly conducted Convocation Ceremony at Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad today. The 67 officers include two women officers and two officers from Rwanda. The affiliation of JNTU and MCEME for conferring the B Tech and M Tech degrees, empower the officers with the confidence to undertake the challenging tasks of providing effective combat engineering support to the Indian Army during both peace and war.  It was a rare honour and proud moment for the Technical Student Officers to receive their degrees and awards from General Bipin Rawat in the presence of their families. Speaking on the occasion General Rawat said “We live in an India which is marked by increasing economic activity, education, social growth, gender equality, urbanization and infusion of technology, all of which will bring wonderful opportunities and challenges. As techno warriors of the future, you must take responsibility of your future course and harness the opportunities. Future battle space will be dominated by guided missiles, artificial intelligence, unmanned platforms and network centric warfare. As can be well imagined, army tech warriors will be at the forefront for sustenance of these weapon systems.” The impressive Ceremony was attended by a host of senior dignitaries from military and civil administration and an august gathering of more than 300 Service personnel and their families. 
While delivering the inaugural address Commandant MCEME Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh, VSM said, “We at MCEME have a well qualified and self motivated teaching staff, state of the art facilities in the form of laboratories, integrated class rooms, IT infrastructure. The college has recently linked up with the national knowledge network and is in the process of setting up procedures to harness the large knowledge pool existing in premier educational institutions like IIsT, IIsM, ISB, JNU and JNTU Hyderabad.” 
The graduating officers had to design & fabricate projects that met the requirements of the Field Army, as also to demonstrate their knowledge in futuristic technologies as part of their training curriculum. Major General TSA Narayanan, Deputy Commandant & Chief Instructor, MCEME said, “The Army Chief was highly impressed with the quality of student projects and he complimented the College for the same”.
Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Secunderabad was established in 1953. Over the years the College has developed into a premier training institution of the Indian Army. The training standards of the College have been recognised and College has been rewarded with Prime Minister’s Awards for various Students Projects and Director General of Civil Aviation accreditation for Type Training Establishment. The MCEME trains technical capital for providing sustainment and engineering support to the complete equipment of the Indian Army.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

India-Russia Discuss Defence Cooperation During 18th IRIGC-MTC Meeting

India-Russia Discuss Defence Cooperation During 18th IRIGC-MTC Meeting

The 18thmeeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) was held here today. The meeting was co-chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu.

In the framework of the bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, the IRIGC-MTC meeting discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence equipment, industry and technological engagement between India and Russia as well as after sales support/upgradation of military equipment of Russian origin. The Ministers expressed satisfaction at the dynamism and progress in bilateral defence cooperation. Intensive discussions were held on joint manufacturing projects, including the Kamov-226Thelicopters, naval frigates and projects related to land systems. The two sides also agreed to take forward inter-governmental arrangements for facilitating joint manufacturing of spares for Russian origin equipment in India, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
With a view to enhancing military-to-military engagement and rationalising the functioning of the Commission, a revised Inter-Governmental Agreement on restructuring the existing IRIGC-MTC to the IRIGC on Military and Military Technical Cooperation was also signed by the two Ministers. An additional institutional Working Group headed by Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman COSE (CISC) and Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of General Staff of Armed Forces of Russian Federation would be set up under the expanded Commission. 

The Ministers expressed satisfaction progress in structured engagement between their armed forces, including joint exercises, resumption of training exchanges and other interactions in the framework of the Bilateral Road Map on Defence Cooperation signed in June 2017. 

The inaugural meeting of the IRIGC-MTC is proposed to be held in Russia in 2019 on mutually convenient dates.

Indian Defence University workshop on ‘Ideas for Sustainability’

Indian Defence University (IDU) organised a two-day workshop on 'Ideas for Sustainability' for senior and middle level officers from the three Services, here today. The workshop intends to cover the following:

•     How to build robustness in systems and processes to achieve sustainability within the organisation and their ecosystem?
•      Ideas and solutions to address the challenges to sustainability.
•     Strategy to formulate and improve new programmes and initiatives that will contribute to build more sustainable Defence Services Organisations that are relevant and ready for the future.

The workshop commenced with the welcome address by Deputy Chief of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen PJS Pannu followed by keynote address by Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen PS Rajeshwar. The workshop will be conducted as panel discussions and talks by subject experts. The workshop aims to touch various issues, which provide strength to any institution i.e.,economic factor, internal and external factors. How important it is for any institution to remain inclusive, diverse and adaptable?

This workshop is third in the series, prior to this, a Capsule on Defence Acquisition Management process was conducted involving experts from the fields for Acquisition/Procurement at Service Headquarters/Command/Corps Headquarters from May 16 to 18, 2018 in New Delhi. This was followed by a workshop on Artificial Intelligence and its Military application. A total strength of 80 officers, including selected senior and middle level officers from Services HQs, HQ IDS and training institutions involved in policy formulation on AI & its implementation framework had attended the workshop.

Ideas for sustainability is an apt topic especially in the backdrop of various studies ordered for transformation of Indian Armed Forces. It is essential to see through the ultimate objective planned to be achieved and set building blocks to strengthen the structure and process involved in institution building, so that there is sustainability in whatever steps are taken and finally we achieve our goals.

During the workshop, eminent speakers will share their pragmatic experience of establishing an institution, strengthening it by providing sustainable structures and processes, modifying it with the changing times and adapting them to remain on course set by the founder members and maintaining high standards. Few notable speakers.

These initiatives by IDU, touching niche areas i.e., Acquisition, Artificial Intelligence, and Sustainability etc. are excellent steps in the right direction to set the path for this University to be of a world class standard. This would also facilitate establishing linkages with the renowned Institutions / Universities.

Army Chief To Review Airforce Academy Combined Graduation Parade On 15 Dec 2018

A grand Combined Graduation Parade will be held at Air Force Academy Dundigal, Hyderabad on 15 December 2018 to mark the successful completion of pre-commissioning training of Flight Cadets belonging to various branches of Indian Air Force.  The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, AtiVishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, Aide-De-Camp will be the Chief Guest and Reviewing Officer of the Passing out Parade. 

During the function, he will confer the ‘President’s Commission’ to 141 graduating trainees of various branches. The ceremony also includes the presentation of ‘Wings and Brevets’ to the Flight Cadets who would be successfully completing Flying and Navigation training respectively. The award of ‘Wings or Brevets’ represents a significant milestone in every Military Aviator’s career and is the culmination of a very demanding but rewarding period of training. The Chief Guest will also be awarding ‘Wings’ to officers of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard on successful completion of their flying training  at  Air Force Academy.

​The Flight Cadet from ‘Flying Branch’ standing first in the Order of Merit will be awarded with the ‘Sword of Honour’ for his accomplishment and will have the privilege of commanding the Parade besides receiving the President’s Plaque. The Reviewing Officer will also present the President’s Plaque to those who stand first in the Overall Merit in the Navigation and Ground Duty Branches. 

​As a custom, on the eve of Graduation Parade, the Reviewing Officer would attend the Ceremonial Guest Night and interact with graduating Flights Cadets and theirproud parents.  During this event, he will award trophies to the Flight Cadets who have excelled in their respective streams. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System Inducted into the Indian Navy at Mumbai

Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System Inducted into the Indian Navy at Mumbai

Indian Navy's first flyaway Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System was formally inducted by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff, at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, former CNS/Cs-in-C as well as the senior management of the Original Equipment Manufacturer, M/s James Fisher and Sons Pvt. Ltd, UK were present during the induction ceremony. Aquisition of this capability is a significant and pioneering jump in the Indian Navy's capability in deep submarine rescue.

The Indian Navy currently operates submarines of the Sindhughosh, Shishumar, Kalvari Classes as well as nuclear powered submarines. The operating medium and the nature of operations undertaken by submarines expose them to high degree of inherent risk. In such an eventuality, traditional methods of search and rescue at sea are ineffective for a disabled submarine. To overcome this capability gap the Navy has acquired a third generation, advanced Submarine Rescue System considering of a Non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) and its associated equipment.

The Indian Navy now joins a select league of Nations worldwide with the sovereign capability, in fly away configuration, to search, locate and rescue crew from a disabled Submarine. The Deep Sea rescue system would have a global footprint and can be mobilised from the Naval base at Mumbai to the nearest mobilisation port by air/land or sea to provide rapid rescue to the Submarines in distress. The newly acquired capability would be operated and deployed by the crew of Indian Navy's newly formed Submarine Rescue Unit (West) from its base in Mumbai.

The Indian Navy's Deep Sea Submarine Rescue System considered to be the most advanced system currently in operation globally, is capable of undertaking rescue from a disabled Submarine upto 650 m depth. The DSRV, which is operated by a crew of three, can rescue 14 personnel from a disabled Submarine at one time and can operate in extreme sea conditions (upto Sea State 6).

Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Japan

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff is on a goodwill visit to Japan from 10-14 Dec 18. The visit is intended to further strengthen the existing defence cooperation between the air Forces of the two countries.

During his visit, Chief of the Air Staff will call on H.E Mr Takeshi Iwaya, Minister of Defence, Japan, General Yoshinari Marumo, Chief of Staff, Koku- Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defence Force) and Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff.

Chief of the Air Staff is also scheduled to visit various operational establishments and interact with senior functionaries of the Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force). The main focus would be to share ideas, enhance bilateral defence cooperation and mutual ties.

This visit of the Indian Air Chief will provide further impetus towards expanding defence cooperation between the two countries and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation in future.

Successful Test Firing of Long-Range Missile Agni V

Agni V, a long-range surface-to-surface Nuclear Capable Ballistic missile, was successfully launched from a canister on a road mobile launcher at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, today.

The launch operations were carried out and monitored by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) in presence of Scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other associated officials.

All the mission objectives were successfully achieved. This launch comes after a series of successful launches of the missile. It further strengthens the country’s deterrence capability, which has been developed indigenously by assiduous efforts of scientists.

Raksha Mantri on a Five-Day Official visit to US

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman is on an official visit to the United States of America from December 02-07, 2018, at the invitation of Secretary of Defence James N Mattis. In Washington DC, she had a meeting with Secretary Mattis, who also hosted a dinner in her honour. Prior to the meeting, on her arrival at the Pentagon, she was received by Secretary Mattis and was accorded the Armed Forces Enhanced Honours Cordon welcome. During their meeting, discussions were held on the growing partnership between India and US in the defence sphere. Views were also exchanged on a broad range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest. The Ministers reviewed ongoing initiatives to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, as a key pillar of the strategic partnership between India and USA. 

Both sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, building on the discussions and outcomes of the ‘2 + 2 Dialogue’ held in September 2018. Smt Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the steps taken by Government of India to promote defence sector manufacturing, under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India’ flag-ship programme.

Earlier on December 03, 2018, Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman visited the US Department of State, where she signed condolence book for former US President George HW Bush. She also paid respects at the 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldier' by laying a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial. 

Following her engagements in Washington DC, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting Reno, today, where she will hold interactions with select leaders of Indian community in the US. Later, she will visit San Francisco where she would address a roundtable meeting at Stanford. She will also visit the Defence Innovation Unit (DIU) of the US Department of Defence and interact with start-ups and venture capitalists associated with this unit. 

From December 5-7, 2018 Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman will visit Honolulu, which is the headquarters of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), recently renamed as INDO-PACOM. During the visit, she will hold meetings with Commander of INDO-PACOM, Admiral Philip S. Davidson. She will also visit Joint Base Pearl Harbour Hickam, where she would board a US Guided Missile Destroyer and will be briefed on INDO-PACOM activities.

Book Release - ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ Chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10

Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff, released a book titled ‘Blue Waters Ahoy!’ – chronicling the Indian Navy’s History from 2001-10. The unveiling was a part of an At Home function held at the Navy House in the presence of His Excellency, Sh. Ramnath Kovind, the President of India and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. A large number of dignitaries from both India and abroad were present at the function. The Indian Navy celebrates Navy Day every year on 04 December 2018 to commemorate its offensive actions during the 1971 war. 

The book has been authored by Vice Admiral Anup Singh, who retired as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command in 2011. This is, in fact, the sixth volume of the Navy’s history; the first five having covered the period from 1945 to 2000. This unique undertaking by the Indian Navy can be traced back to 1968, when the Service established a History Cell. The idea was collation and subsequent analysis of historical data relevant to the evolution of the Navy. Generally, each such volume has covered the period of a decade, and it has been a tradition to release it on the occasion of Navy Day.

Navy Day-2018

DAC Approves for Acquisition of Defence Equipment

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman met today and accorded approval for acquisition of defence equipment for about Rs 3,000 crore.

As a follow up of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) decision in October 2018 for procurement of four P1135.6 Follow-on Ships, the DAC granted approval for procurement of indigenous BrahMos Missile for two Indian Navy ships to be built in Russia. The indigenously designed BrahMos Missile is a tested and proven supersonic cruise missile and will form the primary weapon on-board these Ships.

The DAC also approved the procurement of Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) for the Indian Army’s Main Battle Tank Arjun. These are designed and Developed by DRDO and would be manufactured by M/s BEML. ARVs ensure efficient and speedy repair and recovery operations during combat.

Raksha Mantri Launches ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has formally launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’, here today. The event showcased salient inventions and innovations achieved by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factories (OFs) which have resulted in successful filing of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) applications. Smt Sitharaman also felicitated some of the scientists, who invented and innovated useful products for the nation. A panel discussion was held with participation of Chairman and Managing Directors of all DPSUs to formulate a strategy for the future in this regard.            

While addressing the audience,Raksha Mantri lauded the efforts of Department of Defence Production and Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) for focused efforts in spreading awareness about IPR, thus promoting a culture of innovation and creation of Intellectual Property. Smt Sitharaman highlighted that while India has always been a knowledge hub since ancient times, however, due to lack of awareness on modern legal framework for protection of IP rights, our knowledge and creativity have often not been utilised to its full potential. Delivering the keynote address, Secretary Defence Production Dr Ajay Kumar highlighted the need to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector. 

The IPR has emerged as a key ingredient of an ecosystem which stimulates innovation and ingenuity. An IP Facilitation Cell was established in April this year which has worked tirelessly to achieve ambitious targets of training 10,000 personnel of OFB and DPSUs on IPR and to facilitate filing of at least 1,000 new IPR applications. 

As part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence, the Department of Defence Production has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha GyanShakti’ which aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry. The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the programme. The event brought out that the end objective of ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ is to inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem.

The event was attended by Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy, senior officers of the three Services, Chairman Ordnance Factories Board and Managing Directors of all DPSUs, amongst a large number of other dignitaries.

Security Restrictions on Construction Activities in Border Areas

The Security Restrictions Guidelines enunciated by Ministry of Defence on 31.10.1990, were restrictive in nature towards developmental activities near border areas. In supersession of all previous orders, fresh guidelines were issued on 27.11.2017 on security restrictions of construction activities in Border areas which are also not fully facilitating construction/developmental works of small nature in Border areas.

Keeping in view the requests of State Governments, that construction/developmental works in border areas are getting affected due to provisions listed in the MoD’s existing guidelines, Government of India has decided to allow the developmental works of small nature like construction, repair and maintenance of village ponds, construction and maintenance of Government Buildings like Schools, Hospitals etc by Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and other Central/State Government Statutory bodies for faster development in border areas.

Security considerations for construction activities/other activities in border areas/ other areas issued earlier from time to time by Ministry of Defence shall not be applicable for the above mentioned development works in border areas.