Friday, October 18, 2019

DRDO Signs 30 Agreements on Technology Transfer

DRDO Signs 30 Agreements on Technology Transfer

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed 30 licensing agreements for Transfer of Technology (ToT) with 16 Indian companies, including three start-ups, at Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019, which is being held at Goa University, Taleigao, Goa between October 17-19, 2019. 

The DRDO develops technologies for the Armed Forces and has been carrying out ToT of these technologies to the defence industry for end use of the Armed Forces.

Indian Armed Forces are procuring ready-to-eat meals, survival ration and emergency flying ration products from companies which have acquired ToT from DRDO. These products cater to the requirements of the Armed Forces deployed in inhospitable terrain and hostile weather conditions. These products have high nutrition value and higher shelf-life. These technologies are useful for the larger interest of society.

Vibrant Goa Summit provided an opportunity for the companies to interact with DRDO scientists who have developed these technologies. The event was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant yesterday and was attended by senior officials from the Government of Goa and DRDO.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh gives nod for girls to enter Sainik Schools

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for admission of girl children in Sainik schools w.e.f. academic session 2021-22 in a phased manner. The decision has been taken following the success of the pilot project started by the Ministry of Defence for admission of girl children in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago.

Raksha Mantri has directed concerned authorities to ensure availability of necessary infrastructure and sufficient female staff in Sainik schools for smooth implementation of the directive.

The decision is in line with the objective of the Government towards greater inclusiveness, gender equality, enabling greater participation of women in Armed Forces and strengthening the motto of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, propagated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
NCC, a torch bearer of Armed Forces: Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik  Lauds efforts of NCC in Flood Relief 

Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik said that NCC is the torchbearer of the Armed Forces while chairing the 51st Central Advisory Committee (CAC) of the National Cadet Corps (NCC, which met here today. Headed by the Raksha Rajya Mantri, CAC is the apex body, which advises the Government on policies regarding constitution and administration of NCC.

The RRM commended the NCC on the performance of cadets in various spheres pertaining to training, sports, adventure, social service and community development. Shri Naik also lauded the role of NCC in propagating the ideals of secularism, national integration, selfless service and imbuing patriotic fervour amongst the youth of the nation.

Shri Naik stated that NCC played an important role during the flood and disaster in Odisha, Bihar, Kerala and Karnataka. ‘The MoU between India and Kazakhstan and other friendly countries will help the youth from rural and semi urban to visit foreign countries on youth exchange programme,’ he added. Shri Naik expressed hope that the strength of NCC will expand to 15 lakhs by 2023 from 14 lakhs today and advised NCC to encourage more girls to join its cadre. 

The DGNCC Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra presented a detailed update on the NCC activities of the past two years, to the members of the CAC.The committee deliberated on various issues, to optimise the training efforts, so that NCC continues to perform its designated role of developing character, discipline and leadership qualities amongst the youth.

The NCC, presently has a pan-India footprint, which includes remote areas, borders and LWE areas. The CAC reviewed the provisions, activities and initiatives to make the organisation more effective to attain its mandate.

Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik chaired the meeting, which was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, two Members of Parliament Dr SonalMansingh& Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, DG NCC Lieutenant General Rajeev Chopra, senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and other eminent dignitaries.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Indian Air Force Contingent Departs for Exercise Garuda-VI

The Indian Air Force is participating in a bilateral exercise between Indian and French Air Force named Exercise ‘Garuda-VI’ France from 01-12 Jul 19. This is the sixth edition of Exercise Garuda and is being planned at French Air Force Base,

Mont-de-Marsan. The last exercise, ‘Garuda V’ was held at Air Force Station Jodhpur in Jun 2014.
Indian Air Force contingent comprises of 120 air-warriors and four Su-30 MKI along with an IL-78 Flight Refueling aircraft, which shall participate during the exercise. C-17 strategic lift aircraft will provide the logistic support to the contingent during the induction and de-induction phase. This is one of the biggest air exercises that is being planned between the two Air Forces. The Indian Air Force Su-30 MKI will be operating in a simulated operational war fighting scenario along with French Air Forces multirole Rafale aircraft. This will enhance understanding of interoperability during mutual operations between the two Air Forces and provide an opportunity to learn from each others best practices.

 Participation of IAF in the exercise will also promote professional interaction, exchange experiences and operational knowledge besides strengthening bilateral relations with the French Air Force. It will also provide a good opportunity to the air warriors to operate in an international environment. The team departed from Air Force Station Bareily and Agra on 25 Jun 19.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Indian Coast Guard to Open Its 5th Recruitment Centre in Uttarakhand

ICG to Open Its 5th Recruitment Centre in Uttarakhand 

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) recruitment centre will be opened in Uttarakhand. It will be India’s fifth ICGrecruitment centre. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will lay the foundation of the land for this recruitment centre on June 28, 2019. This recruitment centre will be established at Kuanwala(Hararwala), Dehradun. Director General Coast Guard Shri Rajendra Singh handed over the permission letter of Government of India in respect of openinga recruitment centre to the CM on June 22, 2019.

Government has sanctioned Rs 17 crore for the purchase of the land and Rs 25 crore for the construction of building for the centre. It will be the 5th ICG recruitment centre in Uttarakhand after Noida, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The recruitment centre will be useful for the youths of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana along with the youth of the Uttarakhand and will be ready in about eighteen months.

Functioning of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

The present capacity available in HAL is adequate to fulfil the existing orders/projects in hand.
Currently, HAL has firm orders to manufacture platforms like Su-30 MKI, LCA, DO-228, ALH, Chetak and Cheetal helicopters. 

As and when required, HAL borrows from banks to meet its working capital requirements.

An amount of Rs.8140 crore has been paid to HAL from January, 2019 to June, 2019 from defence services. Dues of vendors including HAL are paid depending on the availability of funds, prioritization of schemes and advances/payments that fall due to the vendors including HAL. 

The amount of arrears of payment to other contractors outstanding with HAL is Rs. 868.14 crore.
The Company has initiated various productivity improvement measures through: 

Developing robust supply chain eco-system by partnering with the emerging Indian Defence Manufacturing Private Sector including Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enable HAL to focus on its core activities. 

Introduction of Digital Technology, Software Tools in the areas of Product Life-Cycle Management(PLM) and Product Data Management (PDM) to convert the Design Data to the Production Data, Design Simulator and Analysis to optimise development cost and time. Enhancing capability and improving the processes through introduction of new manufacturing technologies.

The company implemented an integrated software solution i.e., Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to encompass all areas of Production, Planning, Finance, Materials, Marketing and Human Resources Development (HRD). This facilitates implementation of uniform procedures and practices as well as providing on-line information for decision making for Management. 

Strengthening the network connectivity to improve the communication and collaboration services across the Company.

With an objective to enhance the productivity, quality and customer satisfaction, through Skill upgradation, Skill Development Policy was notified in July 2016. Skill Mapping of the employees has been conducted for necessary training based on Skill Gap Analysis. The Company has also implemented globally acclaimed training methodology, “Training Within Industry (TWI)”, to improve efficiency and productivity.  It has resulted in upgrading the skills of the employees, reduction of rejection and rework, reduction of cycle time.  

Promoting Quality Circles, Suggestion Scheme, implementation of Performance Based Incentives, etc.
The Company has regularly monitored the Performance of Production and related activities to identify areas for improvement, corrective actions as necessary for implementation as a continuous measure for companywide efficiency and productivity improvement.

This information was given by RakshaMantri Shri Rajnath Singh  in a written reply to Dr.T. Subbarami Reddyin Rajya Sabha today.

Make in India’ Initiative in Defence Sector

‘Make in India’ programme is being used by the Government for defence procurements by categorising the capital acquisition proposals under ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’, ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, ‘Make’ and ‘Strategic Partnership Model’ categories of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016. DPP -2016 focuses on institutionalising, streamlining and simplifying defence procurement procedure to give a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India. In the last four financial years i.e. from 2015-16 to 2018-19, out of the total 210 contracts, 135 contracts have been signed with Indian Vendors including Defence Public Sector Undertakings/ Public Sector Undertakings/ Ordnance Factory Board and private vendors for capital procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces such as Helicopters, Naval vessels, Radars, Ballistic Helmets, Artillery Guns, Simulators, Missiles, Bullet Proof Jackets, Electronic Fuzes, and Ammunition.  

Government has issued 439 licenses covering 264 companies till March 2019. Industrial Licenses are issued for manufacturing of tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, defence aircraft, space craft and parts thereof, warship, arms and ammunition and allied items of defence equipment, parts and accessories thereof. In addition, for a large number of defence components, no license is required. There are more than 8000 MSMEs which are among the vendor base of OFB &Defence PSUs supplying various items to them. 

The percentage of expenditure on purchase of defence equipment (both Capital & Revenue) by the three Services from Indian companies was 54% of total expenditure in the financial year 2018-19.
In pursuance of ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, following measures have been taken to achieve substantive self-reliance in defence production: -

Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has been revised in 2016 wherein specific provisions have been introduced for stimulating growth of the domestic defence industry.

A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ has been introduced in DPP-2016 to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment. It has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment. Besides this, preference has been accorded to ‘Buy (Indian)’,‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ & ‘Make’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ & ‘Buy &Make (Global)’ categories.

Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.

The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provisions for funding of 90% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry and reserving projects not exceeding development cost of Rs.10 Crore (Government funded) and Rs.3 Crore (Industry funded) for MSMEs.

Separate procedure for ‘Make-II’ sub-category has been notified wherein a number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc., have been introduced. Till date, 36 proposals for development by industry have been given ‘In-principle’ approval under Make-II.

Government has decided to establish two defence industrial corridors to serve as an engine of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in the country. These are spanning across Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu and spanning across Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April 2018. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

The Ministry has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ which aims to provide boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.

Government has notified a Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms in March 2019 with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.

Defence Investor Cell has been created in the Ministry to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector.

FDI Policy has been revised and under the revised policy, FDI is allowed under automatic route upto 49% and beyond 49% through Government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.

The Defence Products List for the purpose of issuing Industrial Licenses (ILs) under IDR Act has been revised and most of the components, parts, sub-systems, testing equipment and production equipment have been removed from the list, so as to reduce the entry barriers for the industry, particularly small & medium segment.  The initial validity of the Industrial Licence granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 03 years on a case-to-case basis.

The process for export clearance has been streamlined and made transparent & online.
Offset guidelines have been made flexible by allowing change of Indian Offset Partners (IOPs) and offset components, even in signed contracts.  Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now not required to indicate the details of IOPs and products at the time of signing of contracts.  ‘Services’ as an avenue of offset have been re-instated.

Government has set up the Technology Development Fund (TDF) to encourage participation of public/private industries especially MSMEs, through provision of grants, so as to create an eco–system for enhancing cutting edge technology capability for defence applications.
This information was given by RakshaMantri Shri Rajnath Singh in a written reply to Shri Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpurin Rajya Sabha today.

Raksha Mantri Leads Yoga Day Celebrations In Capital 

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh led thousands in practicing Yoga at majestic Rajpath with Rashtrapati Bhawan in the background on the 5th International Day of Yoga here today. Prime Minister, accompanied by Minister ofState (Independent charge) Ministry of AYUSH& Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad YessoNaik led the nation from Ranchi in Jharkhand in celebrating the spirit of Yoga. 

Addressing enthusiastic yoga practitioners, including scores of children Raksha Mantri said Yoga Day has become historic date for human civilisation. It is playing pivotal role in getting the whole world together and people from Tokyo to San Francisco are welcoming the morning sun rays through Yoga.  

Shri Singh while praising Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his cultural diplomacy said, unprecedented 177 nations supported Yoga Day resolution in the United Nations. He allayed the fears of that Yoga belong to any religion. It transcends religion and is for whole humankind. He pointed out that even Islamic countries supported the resolution which itself proves that point. 

Minister of Environment, Forest &Climate ChangeandInformation &BroadcastingShri Prakash Javadekar, Goa Chief Minister Shri Pramod Sawant, Sikkim Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Minister ofState (Independent charge)Ministry of CultureandMoS I/C Ministry of Tourism Shri Prahalad Singh Patel, Delhi Lt Governor Shri Anil Baijal and host of other dignitaries participated in practice of Yoga on the occasion

HQ IDS Celebrates 5th International Day of Yoga 

As the world celebrates the 5th International Day of Yoga today, the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) also joined the celebration at Brar Square, Delhi Cantt. Here. The event was attended byChief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman COSC Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwaralong with a large number of Tri-Servicepersonnel, civilian personnel and their families. Yoga is a system of holistic approach to good health and overall well-being through thought and action, restraint &fulfilment. It is also harmony between human body and the nature. The yoga session included various asanas conducted under the supervision of a trained Yoga Instructor. All the participants displayed full vigour, energy and enthusiasm during the energetic and vibrant session.

An-32 Crash : Mortal remains airlifted to Jorhat

On 03 Jun 19, an IAF An-32 aircraft which took off from Air Force Station, Jorhat, Assam went missing with 13 air-warriors onboard. On 11 Jun 19, the wreckage of the missing An-32 aircraft was found on a mountain slope in Arunachal Pradesh and all   air-warriors died in the crash. The mortal remains of the 13 brave air-warriors have been recovered and sent to Air Force Station, Jorhat. Thereafter, the mortal remains will be sent to their hometown, where funeral as per service customs will be carried out. Indian Air Force stands with the families and next-of-kin of all the air-warriors who lost their life in the line of duty. IAF thanks Indian Army, Indian Navy, NTRO, State administration and civil population for their unstinted support during search and rescue operations.

Indian Navy Executes OP Sankalp

Indian Navy has deployed, in the Gulf of Oman, to re-assure Indian Flagged Vessels operating/ transiting through Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman following the maritime security incidents in the region. 

IN Ships Chennai and Sunayna have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake Maritime Security operations. In addition, aerial surveillance by IN aircraft is also being undertaken in the area. The Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region which was launched by the IN in December 2018 at Gurugram, is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region. 

After a holistic review of the situation, DG Shipping has issued two advisories on 13 and 16 June 2019 to all Indian Flagged Vessels operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian/ Arabian Gulf Region advising Indian Flagged ships to undertake appropriate protection measures. 

Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of Indian maritime trade and merchant vessels operating in the region and contributing towards maintaining a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean Region.

Expression of Interest For six P 75(i) Submarines for Indian Navy
Posted On: 20 JUN 2019 6:17PM by PIB Delhi
As a major initiative towards ‘Make in India’, the Government immediately on taking over has issued the Expression of Interest(s) for shortlisting of potential Indian Strategic Partners (SPs) for “Construction of six Conventional Submarines” for P-75(I) Project of the Indian Navy on 20 Jun 19. The project cost is about Rs 45,000 Crores. This is the second project being undertaken under the latest Strategic Partnership (SP) Model, with the first being the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH). This would provide a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India, in addition to bringing in the latest submarine design and technologies as part of the project. The case was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council on 31 Jan 19. The EoI for shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners has been uploaded on MoD and Indian Navy websites. The EoI for shortlisting of OEMs will be issued in two weeks.
The SPs in collaboration with OEMs have been mandated to set up dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in India and make India the global hub for submarine design and production. All six submarines under this project will be built in India by the selected Indian Strategic Partner in collaboration with the selected OEM. In addition, Indian Navy would have the option to manufacture six more submarines under the project. The project would not only aid in boosting the core submarine/ ship building industry but would also greatly enhance manufacturing/ industrial sector, especially the MSMEs by development of an industrial eco-system for manufacture of associated spares/ systems/ equipment related to submarines.
The potential SPs are expected to respond to the EoI within two months. The Indian companies would be shortlisted based on their capability for integration of system of systems, expertise in shipbuilding domain and the financial strength. The OEMs would be shortlisted primarily based on their submarine design meeting the Indian Navy’s Qualitative Requirements and qualifying the Transfer of Technology and Indigenous Content (IC) criteria.
The overall aim would be to progressively build indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces. This will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self reliance and aligning the defence sector with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.

Hosting of 12TH ReCAAPISC capacity building workshop

Additional Director General Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Shri VSR Murthy along with Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC Shri Masafumi Kuroki inaugurated a two-day 12th Capacity Building Workshop, here today.

In his inaugural address the Shri Murthy recognised the efforts of ReCAAP ISC towards developing the cooperative framework to address the menace of piracy and armed robbery and facilitating information exchange between various stakeholders. ADG ICG highlighted the fact that capacity building remains one of the most significant pillars of cooperation under the ReCAAP agreement and India has played a leading role in this aspect by hosting this workshop for a third time.

Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC Shri Masafumi Kuroki in his opening remarks appreciated the steps taken by Indian agencies especially by ICG in ensuring safe and secure seas for the seafarers. He also conveyed that information sharing is a shared responsibility of the governments and the shipping industry and the purpose of information sharing would be better served if it is accurate and shared in real time.

The workshop co-hosted by ICG and ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre was attended by officials of concerned ministries and members of the Diplomatic Corps. During the course of workshop, the participants will be trained on various issues related to piracy and armed robbery such as international laws, prosecution process, forensics and emerging threats.

Diamond Jubilee of the Oldest Naval Air Squadron

Indian Navy's first Naval Air Squadron 550 celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on 17 Jun 19 at naval base Kochi. Completing 60 glorious years of yeoman service to the nation, Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 550 has played a key role in training the Navy's Maritime Reconnaissance pilots and observers and has provided invaluable maritime support to our fleet. 

To commemorate the occasion, various outreach activities and community events have been conducted by the squadron. An Organ Donation Awareness Lecture was conducted on 11 Jun 19, which saw an overwhelming response from the families of officers and sailors of the Southern Naval Command.     

First day cover was released by the Postal department to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the squadron by Assistant Superintendent of post office central region, and Senior post master Kerela at Ernakulam Head post office, Kochi on 17 Jun 2019. The same evening a function was also conducted to honour and felicitate all the veterans and serving officers of the squadron. The event was graced by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C), Southern Naval Command (SNC), as the Chief Guest. During the event, a trophy in memory of Late Lieutenant Simon George Pynumootil was instituted by the family of the officer to be presented to the Most Spirited Officer of the Dornier Operational Flying Training course. This trophy is being instituted to immortalise the spirit of the officer who was a qualified Islander pilot and lost his life in a fatal air crash whilst serving in the squadron on 17 May 1985.

On 18 Jun 19, a seminar on Technological Advancements to Mitigate Challenges in Airborne Maritime Reconnaissance was conducted at Sagarika was conducted. Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, FOC-in-C, SNC was the Chief Guest for the event and delivered the Keynote address.

The squadron has flown 14 different types of aircraft starting with the Sea land Aircraft to the Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft being presently flown. The squadron has been part of several operations, from the 1971 Indo-Pak war to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations during the December 2004 Tsunami, Cyclone Okhi in 2017 and the 2018 Kerala floods.

ICG co-hosts 12th ReCAAP ISC capacity building workshop in capital from June 19

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be co-hosting 12th Capacity Building workshop with Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre (ISC) here on June 19-20, 2019.

The ReCAAP is the first regional Government-to-Government agreement to deal with piracy and armed robbery at sea in Asia. Presently 20 countries are members of ReCAAP. India played an active role in the setting up and functioning of ReCAAPISC along with Japan and Singapore. Union Government has designated ICG as the focal point within India for ReCAAP. India has hosted this workshop earlier in November 2011 at Goa and December 2017 at New Delhi.

Information sharing, capacity building and mutual legal assistance are the three pillars of co-operation under the ReCAAP agreement. An ISC has been established at Singapore to collate and disseminate the information among the contracting parties and the maritime community. Capacity building workshop is organised annually by the ISC and is co-hosted by one of the contracting parties. The main objective of this workshop is to share updated situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia and best practices of Asian countries. The workshop also aims to deepen the knowledge of participants on various issues related with piracy and armed robbery such as international laws, prosecution process, forensics and emerging threats.

A total of 31 International delegates from 19 countries will be participating in the workshop. In addition, officials from national stakeholders like major ports, state maritime boards, state marine police, Directorate General of Shipping and Indian National Ship-Owners Association are also participating in this workshop.

Restoration of ‘Rations in Kind’ for Officers of The Defence Services Posted in Peace

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, today announced the restoration of the ‘ration in kind’ for the officers of the three Armed Forces posted in peace areas.

Now all officers of the Armed Forces including those in peace stations will be getting ration.  A lot of effort from all levels in the Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces has resulted in this restoration.

CAS Reviews Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff was the Reviewing Officer for the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal on 15 Jun 19.

152 cadets were awarded the President’s Commission as they passed through the portals of the Academy parade ground. Chief of the Air Staff reviewed the parade and addressed the graduating course wherein he complimented the cadets on their exceptional drill standards and impeccable turn out.
He congratulated the officers from friendly foreign countries and those from sister Services for the successful completion of their training. He appreciated all the proud parents for having supported and encouraged their wards to pursue their dreams of a career in the IAF.                

He stressed upon the immense trust and confidence that the service reposes in the newly commissioned officers and their capabilities. He also mentioned the pride he felt in reviewing the Parade and made a special mention of the award winners.

RM Reviews Progress on R&D in Area of Critical Defence Technologies

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singhtoday reviewed the progress of research and development activities in the area of defence technologies at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)Headquarters.

Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy and other senior scientists gave detailed presentation to the RM. The presentation covered recent achievements, details of major ongoing projects and the roadmap of DRDO. Shri Singh was apprised about the DRDO developed cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technologies and systems accepted by the Armed Forces and those under development.
The RM appreciated the commitment and dedication of DRDO scientists and directed that they should focus their energies on flagship programmes of national importance. He also appreciated the DRDO initiatives to promote academia and industry. The Minister desired that such interaction should be enhanced further to create a greater scientific temper and production base, which would be a driving force for accelerated research and defence manufacturing. 

Shri Rajnath Singh also released a publication titled ‘Roadmap of DRDO’, which encapsulated its target for the next ten years. He congratulated DRDO for its singular achievements in strengthening the national defence capabilities and enabling the nation to join a select club of countries having some of the most advanced defence technologies, such as Anti-Satellite Capability, 4.5thGeneration Fighter Aircraft, Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AEW&CS), Ballistic Missile Defence Programme, etc. 

Earlier, on his arrival at DRDO Bhawan, Shri Singh paid floral tribute at the statue of former President and noted missile scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

20TH Anniversary of The Victory at Kargil 

The year 2019, marks the 20th anniversary of victory in ‘Operation VIJAY’ popularly known as the ‘Kargil War’. The Kargil War is a saga of strong political, military and diplomatic actions. The Nation shall be celebrating the 20th anniversary of victory this year in Kargil War with pride, honour and inspiration.
The Kargil War will always be remembered for its strategic and tactical surprises, the self-imposed national strategy of restraint in keeping the war limited to Kargil - Siachen Sectors and swiftly executed tri-services military strategy and plans. The Kargil War will also be remembered for the determination and daring junior leadership and the raw courage of our jawans at tactical level.
This year, 20th anniversary of victory in ‘Operation VIJAY’ is being celebrated with the theme ‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’. We ‘remember’ our martyrs, by revisiting the sacrifices and instilling pride and respect among us, we ‘rejoice’ by celebrating the victory in Kargil and we ‘renew’ our resolve to safeguard the honour of the Tricolour.
The objective of these celebrations is to evoke feeling of nationalism and patriotism through nationwide campaigns especially amongst youth and to pay homage to the valiant soldiers. The events are planned to highlight the stories of valour by our brave soldiers and rekindle the pride among the youth of the country, inspiring those who were too young and those who were not yet born, to form part of the Nation’s resolve.
The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations for the year 2019 will be spread over three days from 25-27 July 2019 and will be organized at Dras and New Delhi. However, as part of the build up to the main event, numerous activities are planned to be organized all over the country with effect from first week of July 2019.
The events being organised, include expeditions by the units, which participated in the Kargil War, to their respective battlefields at super high altitude locations such as Tololing, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875 to name a few. The events and programmes spread over July 2019 will include a Special National Integration Camp, for the NCC Cadets hailing from various States and Union Territories of the country. This unique event will last for 12 days at Leh. Essay and drawing competitions are being organised for the school children all across the Ladakh region with topics related to the event being celebrated.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is a special occasion for the people of Ladakh. People of Ladakh shall be participating in the run ‘Ek Daud Shaheedon Ke Naam’ which would include the citizens from the remotest corner of the region, and the brave war veterans from far-flung villages of Ladakh. Popular sports and competitions like polo and archery for the local populace is scheduled along with other festivities. A ‘T-20 Cricket Championship’ is being organised in the Ladakh region in the NDS Memorial Stadium which is situated at an altitude of 11500 ft. The event is also aimed at nurturing the cricket talent among the youth in the region. The tournament will see teams form Indian Army, Indian Air Force, ITBP and local clubs from the entire Ladakh region.
A ‘Wreath Memorial Ceremony’ will be organised at the ‘Kargil War Memorial’ in Dras on the Kargil Vijay Diwas (26 July 2019) to honour the brave-hearts who laid down their lives during the ‘Operation VIJAY’.
The celebrations in the National Capital begins on 14 July 19, with the illumination of a Victory Flame from the National War Memorial, New Delhi, which would traverse through eleven towns and cities, to finally culminate at Dras wherein the flame will be merged with the eternal flame at the ‘Kargil War Memorial’. The torch relay team will conduct educational and patriotic talks and will interact with the prominent personalities and students in various educational institutes.
A ‘Commemoration Ceremony’ is being organised at the Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, where a panel discussion with the war veterans and serving officers will be conducted. The event will be followed by ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas Evening’ a cultural extravaganza, at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on 27 July 2019, which shall be graced by the dignitaries.

Indian Air Force AN-32 Aircraft Crash

On 03 Jun 19,  an IAF AN-32 carrier aircraft with 13 people (eight aircrew and five passengers) onboard took off from Air Force Station, Jorhat Assam at 1227 hrs for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Last contact with the aircraft was made at 1255 hrs. Once the aircraft did not report at the destination, overdue actions were initiated. In coordination with Indian Army, various government and civil agencies, IAF commenced extensive search operations under the direct supervision of Head Quarters Eastern Air Command. C-130J, AN-32, Mi-17 helicopters of IAF and ALH helicopters of Indian Army were launched immediately to locate the missing aircraft. Indian Navy P-8i aircraft joined the search operations on 04 Jun 19. Resources from various agencies, including ISRO were brought into the operation to enhance its effectiveness. CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites of ISRO also took images of the area, which assisted the search team in locating the aircraft. Thick vegetation, in hospitable terrain and inclement weather adversely affected the aerial search operation in the vast search zone. Despite the challenges posed by poor weather and terrain, IAF remained committed to the continued air and ground efforts throughout day and night to locate the missing aircraft and its brave air-warriors. Extensive support towards rescue operation was provided by Indian Army, Indian Navy, State Government, State Police and Local population.

 On 11 Jun 19, the wreckage of the aircraft was spotted 16 kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato, Arunachal Pradesh at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter. Aerial operations were launched subsequently to the designated crash site however, due to steep slope and thick forest the helicopter could not land near the crash site. Two km from the designated crash site, an area was designated and a camp was established for helicopters to land with the recovery parties. On 12 Jun 19, a team of nine IAF personnel (including mountaineers), four Army Special Forces personnel and two local mountaineers were dropped at the campsite.

On 13 Jun 19, eight members of the rescue team reached the crash site in search of the survivors. Unfortunately no air-warrior survived the crash. Air-warriors who lost their life in the tragic accident crash are Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenant MK Garg, Flight Lieutenant S Mohanty, Flight Lieutenant A Tanwar, Flight Lieutenant R Thapa, Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop Kumar,  Corporal Sharin, Leading Aircraftman SK Singh, Leading Aircraftman Pankaj, NC(E) Putali and NC(E) Rajesh Kumar.

IAF pays tribute to the brave air-warriors who lost their life in the line of duty. IAF is making all efforts to recover the mortal remains. No effort is being spared in ensuring expeditious transfer of the mortal remains of the air-warriors to their parent base at Jorhat. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of accident.

Cabinet approves Memorandum of Collaboration between India and Kyrgyzstan on Joint Research Work on High Altitude Biology and Medicine 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) between India and Kyrgyzstan for collaborative research work on High Altitude Biology and Medicine and aiming at further development and strengthening of mutual relationships in science and medicine, especially in high altitude biology and medicine.

The MoC will help in understanding the physical and mental picture of soldier system at high altitude and mitigate the high altitude related maladies by using Yoga practice, herbals and neutraceuticals in Indian and Kyrgyz solders/population.

Visit of Royal Navy Delegation to SNC

Commodore Stuart Henderson, Safety Director of the British Royal Navy (RN) Safety Centre along with a three member delegation, is on a two day official visit  to Southern Naval Command (SNC). The delegation called on Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, AVSM, VSM, Chief of Staff (CoS), Southern Naval Command (SNC) on 13 Jun 19, at naval base, Kochi and held discussions on matters of mutual interest.

The delegation also interacted with Rear Admiral PK Bahl, VSM, Chief Staff Officer (Training), SNC and the Indian Naval Safety Team (INST) on the matters pertaining to safe operations at sea and in shore units, as well as areas for mutual cooperation between the two navies. The delegation would be interacting with Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, VSM, Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) on 14 Jun 19 for discussing matters pertaining to Operational Sea Training and safety.

The RN Safety delegation would also be visiting various units at Kochi, including the Water Survival Training Facility (WSTF) at INS Garuda and the “Ship Handling Simulator” at Navigation and Direction (ND) School prior to their departure.

Interaction of COAS with Children

DRDO launches Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Today launched a Technology Demonstrator Vehicle to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.

The missile was successfully launched at 1127 Hours. Various radars, telemetry stations and electro optical tracking sensors tracked the vehicle through its course. The data has been collected and will be analysed to validate the critical technologies.          

Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, AVSM, NM assumes charge as commandant Indian Naval Academy

Vice Admiral RB Pandit, AVSM handed over charge as the Commandant, Indian Naval Academy (INA) to Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, AVSM, NM after a successful tenure of over 15 months, today, Wednesday, 12 June 2019.

Wreckage of Missing An-32 Aircraft Located

An An-32 of the Indian Air Force went missing on 03 Jun 2019 after getting airborne from Air Force Station, Jorhat Assam. The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.

Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress.

Curtain raiser Maritime Information sharing Workshop 2019

Security and safety of the seas in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is vital to world trade and the economic prosperity of many nations. The scale, scope and the multinational nature of activities at sea, necessitates a collaborative approach to maritime security.  Considering this, the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean region (IFC-IOR), Gurugram was launched in Dec 18 by the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri for enhancing maritime safety and security in the region. The centre has thus far established linkages with more than 16 countries and 13 international maritime security agencies.

To facilitate sharing of best practices in maritime information sharing and better understand the maritime security challenges in the IOR, the Indian Navy is hosting a Maritime Information Sharing Workshop (MISW) from 12-13 Jun 19, at the IFC-IOR. Over 50 delegates from about 30 countries would be participating in the workshop. The event would include interactive sessions by subject matter experts from the participating countries, on issues such as maritime piracy, human and drug trafficking and the legal aspects of combating these challenges. A table top information sharing exercise would also be conducted as part of the workshop. The Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy would be inaugurating the workshop.

From National Integration Tour 

A group of 140 students, comprising 20 students from Ramban, Reasi & Rajouri and 120 students from Baramulla accompanied by four teachers on a national integration tour visited New Delhi. The group interacted with General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff on 10 June 2019 who shared his experiences while serving in these areas 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 Nation.

The national integration tours are educational and motivational tours for the 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 industrial initiatives that are underway. This initiative exposes them to various career options and enables them to interact with renowned personalities.

RM Reviews Operational and Procurement Matters of Armed Forces

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh took a meeting of senior officers of   Ministry of Defence to review operational matters and procurement issues of the Armed Forces. He discussed important revenue procurement cases regarding maintenance of platforms and assets with the Armed Forces. He was briefed by the officers regarding ongoing infrastructure projects and plans for future upgradation. The Minister also reviewed working and matters related to Indian Coast Guard. 

Shri Singh instructed that separate meetings in respect of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force may be convened to discuss operational preparedness of the Armed Forces. The meeting was attended by Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra and Secretary Defence Finance Ms Gargi Kaul along with other senior officers of the Ministry.

Indian Navy SAILS towards pursuance of the energy and environmental goals of country - World Environment Day 2019

Clean and Green Navy – Indian Navy pledges 1.5 % of its “Works” budget towards Renewable Energy generation

Indian Navy Environment Conservation Roadmap (INECR) – Indian Navy has formulated specific plans covering the entire gamut of operations, maintenance, administration and infrastructure/ community living.

24 MW of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) projects consisting of both Rooftop and Land based solar panels are under execution at various shore establishments of the Navy under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

Indian Navy has taken up initiatives for sustained usage of biodiesel for all MT vehicles. 
The Green Initiatives Programme would aid in boosting the national interests of environment sustainability and self-reliance in energy.

Indian economy has seen unprecedented growth over the past two decades, which has spurred the energy demand. Being a responsible and mature nation, our Government policies have seen a paradigm shift in energy policy. The focus has been on reducing the carbon footprint by ways of using alternate sources of energy.

Retired Officers Digital Records Archive (Rodra) Website

Manpower Planning (MP) Directorate, (MP 5&6) is responsible for custody and maintenance of approximately 1.2 Lakh service records of serving and retired officers of the Indian Army.  However, due to lack of digitisation and non-availability of latest address and contact details of veterans, connecting with veteran officers/family pensioners and addressing their grievances was a major challenge.

To over come the same a website Retired Officers Digital Records Archive (RODRA, was launched. The aim was to establish an interface between the custodian of officers’ Records i.e AG/MP 5&6 and veteran officers/Next of Kin (NOK) and to create a digital data repository in order to address documentation/pension related grievances and update on relevant policies.

Some of the facilities extended to veterans through website are updation of records. Registration and tracking of documents/ pension related grievances. Communicating with veteran officers/ NOK on various issues.

After the launch of RODRA website various types of Pension Payment Order (PPOs) issued by PCDA (P) from time to time to veterans has now been discontinued thereby saving of manpower, stationery and postal charges.  The PPOs are now uploaded on the website and veterans are able to download it from the website. Monitoring and management of grievances of veterans has been streamlined thereby improving satisfaction levels.

Automation of the records of serving officers is also in progress.  An application has been developed and is being launched on the internal Army Portal in Jun 2019. This would facilitate serving officers to view their service and other records online as well as interact with AG/MP 5&6 on various Records/documentation related issues.
IAF AN-32 Aircraft Missing

An AN-32 got airborne today from Jorhat at 1227 hrs for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1300 hrs (approx). Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft. Since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by Indian Air Force. A total of eight aircrew and five passengers were onboard the aircraft. C-130, AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopters were launched to locate the missing aircraft. Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far. IAF is coordinating with Indian Army as well as various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft. The search operations from air and by ground parties of Indian Army are planned to continue through the night.

Search for Missing AN-32 of IAF Continues

Extensive efforts are on to locate the Indian Air Force AN-32, which went missing on 03 Jun 19. The aircraft got airborne from Jorhat Airfield forMechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Once the aircraft did not report at the destination, overdue actions were initiated. Indian Air Force commenced extensive search and rescue operations and launched C-130, AN-32, Mi-17 and ALH (Indian Army) helicopters. The aircraft are equipped with advanced sensors. Indian Navy P-8 I aircraft joined the search operations today. CARTOSAT AND RISAT satellites of ISRO are also taking images of the area. Post sunset, search by helicopters have ceased for the day. However, search by all sensors with night capability and the ground party will continue throughout the night. All possible assistance is being provided by Indian Army, Indian Navy, Police and State administration. The families of all air-warriors on board the aircraft have been informed and are being regularly updated on the progress of search for the missing aircraft.

Raksha Mantri Visits Siachen Glacier

In an epic event in the glorious history of Siachen Glacier, Honourable Raksha Mantri (RM) Shri Rajnath Singh made his maiden visit to the world’s highest battle field today. The RM accompanied by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff  arrived at the Thoise air field and was received by Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C, Northern Command. After exchange of greetings and a quick orientation of the general area, he made an aerial reconnaissance of the Siachen Glacier to get acquainted with the expanse of this formidable frozen frontier and landed at one of the forward posts of the Siachen Glacier. The RM interacted with troops at the world’s highest battle field and during his address to the troops at Siachen Base Camp he said “I am proud of all Army personnel serving in Siachen who are leaving no stone unturned to defend our motherland. I am also proud of their parents who have sent their children to serve the Nation by joining the Armed Forces. I will personally send a Thank You note to them.”

 The RM further eulogized the tenacious resolve and unstinting commitment of the ‘Siachen Warriors’ to prevail with aplomb in extreme harsh weather and highly treacherous terrain for maintaining the sanctity of our borders and ensuring utmost safety of fellow countrymen. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the nation for placing the call of duty above everything while serving in one of the world’s most inhospitable location.

The Raksha Mantri assured the troops that the government is fully aware of all operational and administrative requirements for optimal functioning at Siachen Glacier and assured Government’s full support tofulfil the requirements on priority for our brave ‘Siachen Warriors’.

As a mark of solemn tribute to the gallant martyrs, he laid a wreath at the ‘Siachen War Memorial’ in the memory of the brave soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice in service of the motherland

Shri Rajnath Singh Assumes Office of the Defence Minister 

Shri Rajnath Singh took over the responsibility as the Defence Minister, today. On his arrival at the Ministry of Defence in South Block, Shri Rajnath Singh was received by the Minister of State for Defence Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, three Services’ Chiefs, Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra,  Chairman DRDO Dr G. Satheesh Reddy,  Secretary (Defence Production) Dr. Ajay Kumar and Mrs S Kutty, Secretary ESW. Shri Rajnath Singh was Minister of Home Affairs since May 27, 2014.

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh was given a brief presentation on the functioning of the MoD and all the four Departments of the MoD namely Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Ex-serviceman Welfare and Department of Research and Development Organization.

Raksha Mantri Shri Singh instructed the officers to prepare detailed presentations on all Divisions and set time bound targets to achieve the desired outcome.

A Profile:

Shri Rajnath Singh was born on 10 July 1951 in district Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh. He did his masters in Physics from University of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. He was teacher by profession.

He served as Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1977 – 1980 and 2001 – 2003. He was Minister of Education in Govt of Uttar Pradesh in 1991 -1992. He served as Minister of Surface Transport in the Union Cabinet from 1999 to 2000. Later he was elected as Chief Minister in the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 – 2002. In 2003, he served as Minister of Agriculture in the Union Cabinet. He was elected to Rajya Sabha 1994 -1999 and again for 2003-2008. In 2009 he was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha. He also served as Member in the Committee on Ethics on 07 October 2009. Shri Rajnath Singh was inducted in the Union of India’s Cabinet in a Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 27 May 2014 as the Minister of Home Affairs.
He is married to Smt Savitri Singh and they have two sons.

Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval staff

Admiral Karambir Singh assumed command of the Indian Navy today  (31 May 19) as the 24th Chief of the Naval Staff.
Admiral Karambir Singh is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980, he earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1981 and has flown extensively on the Chetak (Alouette) and Kamov helicopters. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and has served as Directing Staff in both these institutions.
In his career spanning over 39 years, he has commanded Indian Coast Guard Ship Chandbibi, Missile Corvette INS Vijaydurg, as well as two Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Rana and INS Delhi. He has also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Ashore, he has served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai.    
He has also served as member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Board (AIRCATS).
On promotion to flag rank, the Admiral was appointed as the Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).
In the rank of Vice Admiral, he has been Director General Project Seabird, in-charge of infrastructure development of the Navy’s expansive and modern base at Karwar. At the Integrated Headquarters Ministry of Defence (Navy), the Admiral has been the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and, subsequently, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. He was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam, prior taking over helm as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 31 May 19.
The Admiral enjoys cycling, running, swimming and golf. ___

Ceremony for presentation of URNS of two Indian Soldiers martyred during World War II in Italy

 A solemn ceremony was organized in Prato, near Florence in Italy on 29 May 2019 to commemorate the sacrifice made by two Indian soldiers – Hari Singh and Palu Ram of the Indian Army during World War II.

The contribution of Indian soldiers in the liberation of Italy during the Second World War is well known. Almost 50,000 Indian troops, mostly between the ages of 19 to 22, fought for the ‘Liberation of Italy’. The first Indian troops were landed at Taranto in the south of Naples on 19 Sep 1943. From then until 29 Apr 1945, they were engaged in a heroic mission. 5,782 made the supreme sacrifice during the Italian campaign. It is creditable that out of 20 Victoria Crosses awarded during this campaign, Indians received six Victoria Crosses. The story of their bravery and their sacrifice is still talked about in Italian cities and villages that they helped to liberate. The Indian Soldiers lie in cemeteries all over Italy, in particular Sangro, Cassino, Arezzo, Forli and Rimini. The heroism of the Indian soldiers was visible in the battle to take Monte Cassino, battle for Sangro river and Liri Valley, the advance along the east coast to Bologna, crossing of Senio river and the battle of Gothic lines.

In the present case, human bones were found near Florence in 1996 from Indian area of the battlefield at Poggio Alto near Montale (Florence). The remains were exhumed and investigated by team of doctors. Based on the date of death, location of the remains, anthropometric and morphological examination, findings on boots worn and ammunition used, the researchers matched the Commonwealth records of missing soldiers to ascribe the remains to those of Hari Singh and Palu Ram of 4/13 FRONTIER FORCE RIFLES.

Service documents of both the individuals were found in the Army Records held with the National Archives of India. Based on details of heights provided, the correct identification of the two corpses could be carried out successfully and now the remains of the soldiers have been duly cremated.

The ceremony for presentation of urns was organized on 29 May 2019 at Public Assistance, Prato (Florence). In addition to a sizeable presence from the community of Prato and the Italian Armed Forces, the ceremony was attended by the Mayor, President of Public Assistance and Prefect of Prato. Representatives of Common Wealth War Graves Commission, Red Cross Society and host of other dignitaries of Prato also attended the ceremony. The Indian side was represented by Smt Reenat Sandhu, the Ambassador of India and Colonel Rohit Teotia, the Defence Attache to Italy. 16 senior officers attending the National Defence College Course in India and on a study tour to Italy also represented India and attended the ceremony. The ceremony was conducted as per appropriate military honours after which urns containing the ashes of the individuals were handed over by the Italian authorities to the Indian side, who further handed over the same to the custody of the Common Wealth War Graves Commission. Ashes of these two soldiers will be scattered on 16 Jul 2019, in the Forli war cemetery where the other comrades from that battlefield have also been commemorated.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa receives Baton of Chairman COSC 

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa received the baton of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee from outgoing Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, here today. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will be the Chairman COSC with effect from May 31, 2019 consequent to relinquishment of charge by Admiral Sunil Lanba upon superannuation.

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, an alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the Flying Branch of Indian Air Force in June 1978.  He is an experienced fighter pilot and a qualified CAT ‘A’ Flying Instructor with over 3000 hours of flying experience to his credit. The Air Chief Marshal has mainly flown the MiG-21 aircraft with flying experience across the entire spectrum of fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

During the Kargil war (1999), he was the Commanding Officer of a frontline ground attack fighter squadron.  He has held many coveted operational and staff assignments that include command of a frontline fighter Base, Director Fighter Operations and War planning at Western Air Command, Chief Instructor (Air) at DSSC, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) at Air HQ and Senior Air Staff officer of two operational Commands. He was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command and has also been the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.

Admiral Sunil Lanba is proceeding on retirement on May 31, 2019 after a distinguished career spanning over four decades. An ardent supporter of Tri-Services Jointmanship, he was instrumental in harmonising the efforts of the three Services in a number of Tri Services issues.

The CAS visits AF STN Bhisiana and Sarsawa to pay homage to the air warriors who made supreme sacrifice during operation Safed Sagar

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, led a four aircraft, MiG-21 'Missing Man' formation flypast today, at Air Force Station Bhisiana, to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during Operation Safed Sagar at Kargil.   Air Marshal R Nambiar PVSM AVSM VM & Bar ADC, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command a Kargil veteran,was also a part of the formation. The 'Missing Man' formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. This is an Arrow Formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the - Missing Man. Later, in a sombre ceremony, he laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honour the IAF men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.

It was on this day in 1999 that, Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja VrC (Posthumous) laid down his life during the Kargil conflict. He was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron.

On the 28 May the CAS will visit Air Force Station Sarsawa and fly in a Mi-17 V5 Missing Man formation to commemorate the Kargil martyrs. It was on 28 May 1999 that we lost a Mi-17 helicopter after successfully attacking the enemy in Drass sector. Squadron Leader R Pundhir, Flight Lieutenant S Muhilan, Sergeant R K Sahu and Sergeant PVNR Prasad died in action in that Mi-17 helicopter.
DRDO successfully test fires AKASH – MK -1S
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile from ITR , Chandipur, Odhisa on 25 and 27 May 2019. Akash Mk1S is an upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker. AKASH Mk1S is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets. The Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance. Seeker and guidance performance have been consistently established in both the missions. All the mission objectives have been met.

Passing Out Parade - Spring Term 2019 Held at Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala 

In a spectacular Passing out Parade (POP) held at Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala, on Saturday, 25th May 2019, 264 trainees comprising Midshipmen and cadets of Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and ten international cadets passed out with flying colours, marking the culmination of their ab-initio training.

The passing out Midshipmen and cadets belong to four different courses of Spring Term 2019, viz., 96th  Indian Naval Academy Course (B.Tech), 96th  Indian Naval Academy Course (M.Sc), 27th  Naval Orientation Course (Extended), 28th  Naval Orientation Course (Regular) and 28th  Naval Orientation Course (Coast Guard).  The parade also saw 15 female cadets marching shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts to join the ranks of the Indian Navy.  The ten trainees from various friendly foreign countries include two trainees each from Maldives, Myanmar and Seychelles, one trainee from Tanzania and three trainees from  Sri Lanka. The passing out batch of Sri Lanka trainees have the distinction to be the first batch of foreign trainees to complete the four years B.Tech curriculum from INA, ever since its institution.

The  parade was reviewed by General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff, who awarded medals to eight meritorious Midshipmen and cadets after the ceremonial review. Vice Admiral RB Pandit, AVSM, Commandant, INA, Dr Anurag Kumar, Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, senior officers of the station and other outstation dignitaries witnessed the momentous occasion. 

The Passing out Parade was also witnessed by the proud parents and guardians of all Midshipmen and cadets. The ‘President’s Gold Medal’ for the Indian Naval Academy B.Tech course was awarded to Midshipman Killamsetty Vikash. The ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the Naval Orientation Course (Extended) was awarded to Cadet Siddharth Sankar. The ‘Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal’ for the Naval Orientation (Regular) Course and the ‘Zamorin Trophy’ for the best women cadet (instituted for the first time) was awarded to                       Cadet Kreeshma R. The other medal winners are as follows:-
(a)     CNS Silver medal for INAC B.Tech Course (Second in merit)                                      -  Midshipman Samartha Ravindra Limaye.
(b) FOC-in-C South Silver Medal for NOC (Extended) (Second in Merit)                    -       Cadet Gourav Sangwan.
(c)  FOC-in-C South Bronze Medal for INAC B.Tech Course (Third in Merit)    -          Midshipman Kripa Sindhu Patel.
(d)  Commandant INA Silver Medal for NOC (Regular) (Second in Merit)                   -        Cadet Yugal Gautam.
(e)  Commandant INA Bronze Medal for NOC (Extended) (Third in Merit)                  -        Cadet Shreyash S Hanchinal.
The glittering ceremony culminated with the successful trainees  forming up in two columns and marching with their gleaming swords and rifles held in salute, past the Academy’s Saluting Dias, the Quarterdeck, in Slow March, to the traditional notes of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the poignant farewell tune played by Armed Forces around the world when bidding adieu to colleagues and comrades. Passing out courses were bid farewell by a batch of three MiG 29-K fighter aircraft in Vic formation led by Cdr Viaksh Narwal, NM from Indian Naval Air Squadron 303 who carried out a low fly past over the quarterdeck welcoming the new officers to the Navy and joined the celebrations with a bomb burst manoeuvre.
On completion of the parade, the proud parents and guardians of the Passing Out courses shipped the Naval and Coast Guard epaulettes, known as ‘Stripes’, on the shoulders of their wards, thus symbolising their transformation from ‘cadets’ into full-fledged Navy and Coast Guard Officers. The Reviewing Officer and other dignitaries shipped the stripes of the medal winners and congratulated all the trainees for their successful completion of the rigorous training.  On completion of the training at the Indian Naval Academy, these officers will proceed to various Naval and Coast Guard ships and establishments to further consolidate their training in specialised fields.

DRDO Successfully Flight-Tested Guided Bomb

Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested a 500 kg class Inertial Guided Bomb today from Su-30 MKI Aircraft from the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. The guided bomb achieved the desired range and hit the target with high precision.

All the mission objectives have been met. The weapon system is capable of carrying different warheads.

Eastern Command Unit Test- Fired BrahMos Missile from Car Nicobar Islands

A  BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile was successfully test-fired by a Unit of Eastern Command, Indian Army from Car Nicobar Islands at 1450 hr on 22 May 2019 as part of joint training by Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The Combat missile was test fired on a specially designed target chosen at a range of 270 Kms, thus validating deep penetration capability by the supersonic cruise missile and accurate engagement of targets in depth. 

The launch of the BrahMos missile involved coordination with large number of agencies for a successful and smooth conduct of firing. It was a cohesive effort of all three services demonstrating high standards of Inter Service Synergy. 

Lt Gen MM Naravane, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief  Eastern Command  witnessed the launch along with other officers  and congratulated the Unit and all agencies involved in the process, resulting in the successful launch of the Combat missile.

BrahMos missile has by now established itself as a major 'Force Multiplier' in modern day battlefield with impeccable multi role and multi platform launch capabilities furthering the confidence amongst our troops
IAF’s AN-32 Aircraft formally Certified to Operate on Indigenous Bio-Jet Fuel

Today, IAF’s formidable workhorse, the Russian made AN-32 aircraft was formally fleet certified to fly on blended aviation fuel containing up to 10% of indigenous bio-jet fuel. The approval certificate was received at the aero-engine test facilities at Chandigarh by Air Commodore Sanjiv Ghuratia VSM, Air Officer Commanding, 3 BRD, AF on behalf of the IAF from Mr P Jayapal, Chief Executive CEMILAC.            

The IAF has undertaken a series of evaluation tests and trials with this green aviation fuel for the last one year. The scope of these checks was in consonance with the international aviation standards. Today’s approval is an acknowledgement of the meticulous testing using the indigenous bio-jet fuel by the IAF.

The indigenous bio-jet fuel was first produced by the CSIR-IIP lab at Dehradun in 2013, but could not be tested or certified for commercial use on aircraft due to lack of test facilities in the civil aviation sector. On 27 July, 2018, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC had formally announced IAF’s intention to permit the use of all its resources for testing and certifying the indigenous fuel. Since then, IAF’s flight test crew and engineers have been evaluating the performance of this fuel against international standards. This is a huge step in promoting the ‘Make in India’ mission as this bio-fuel would be produced from Tree Borne Oils (TBOs) sourced from tribal areas and farmers, augmenting their income substantially.

Successful Firing of BrahMos Air Launched Missile from Su-30 MKI Aircraft

Today, IAF successfully fired the BrahMos air version missile from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.  The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the land target.

The air launched BrahMos missile is a 2.5 ton supersonic air to surface cruise missile with ranges of close to 300 km, designed and developed by BAPL. The IAF became the first Air Force in the world to have successfully fired an air launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category on a sea target on 22 Nov 17. Today’s was the second such live launch of the weapon. The integration of the weapon on the aircraft was a very complex process involving mechanical, electrical and software modifications on aircraft. The IAF has been involved in the activity from its inception. The software development of the aircraft was undertaken by the IAF engineers while HAL carried out mechanical and electrical modifications on the aircraft. The dedicated and synergetic efforts of the IAF, DRDO, BAPL and HAL have proven the capability of the nation to undertake such complex integrations.

The firing could be successfully undertaken with dedicated support from Indian Navy by way of ensuring availability of a large number of monitoring ships to ensure range safety clearance.

The BrahMos missile provides Indian Air Force a much desired capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with pinpoint accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions. The capability of the missile coupled with the superlative performance of the Su-30MKI aircraft gives the IAF the desired strategic reach.

Affiliation of ICG ship Shaurya with 3rd(Naga Hills) battalion of Assam Rifles

In an effort to enhance inter Armed Forces Cooperation and utilise each other’s assets for training and sports, the Director Generals of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in an impressive ceremony held at Laitkor, Shillong, today signed an Affiliation Charter between 3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion of Assam Rifles and Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Shaurya’.
Assam Rifles is the oldest Para Military Force of India with a rich history of valour, courage and tradition. Assam Rifles have 46 Battalions manning the Indo-Myanmar border and countering the insurgency in the north east states. On contrary the ICG, with 142 ships & 62 aircraft is one of the youngest Armed Force under Ministry of Defence.
3rd (Naga Hills) Battalion Assam Rifles is the oldest battalion of the force raised in 1835 as ‘The Cachar Levy’ comprising of 750 personnel of all ranks for guarding the Eastern Frontier of Assam from Brahmaputra river to the Cachar Hills. Presently, the battalion is developed at Kohima, Nagaland where it had earlier bravely fought the Japanese in World War-II and stopped their advance into India.
ICGShip ‘Shaurya’, indigenously built at Goa Shipyard Limited, based in Chennai is a modern state-of-the-art 105 mtrs long Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) commissioned on August12, 2017. ‘Shaurya’ meaning courage is a projection of ICG’s commitment ‘To Serve & Protect’ the maritime interest of the nation. The ship is extensively developed for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter to safeguard the maritime interest of India.

The objective of the affiliation is to promote bilateral cooperation between the Assam Rifles and the ICG in the field of exchange of information/personnel, build-up camaraderie for training, sports/adventure and sustainable development. This affiliation will facilitate the ‘Sentinels of the North East’ to interact with the ‘Sentinels of the Seas’ on professional and social platforms and share rich experiences and best practices.

The two Armed Forces will be greatly benefited by motivating one another towards common goals. Assam Rifles personnel will be able to understand the peculiarities of a Maritime Service (Indian Coast Guard) and their role in guarding and intercepting the anti-national forces/non state actors detrimental to the maritime/coastal security. Similarly, the personnel of ICG will be able to see and understand the operational ethos of the Assam Rifles working along the Indo-Myanmar border.
The reciprocation Ceremony will be held onboard Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Shaurya’ at Chennai on 11 and 12 June 2019.
8th Indo – Myanmar Coordinated Patrol 

Myanmar Navy Ship UMS King TabinShweHtee (773) and UMS Inlay (OPV-54) have arrived Port Blair on 20 May for the ‘Opening Ceremony’ of the 8th Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR), at Andaman and Nicobar Command. The Myanmar delegation led by Commodore Htein Win, Commander, Ayeyarwady Naval Command, called on Cmde Ashutosh Ridhorkar, VSM, Naval Component Commander on 20 May 19.

The CORPAT initiative between the two navies is meant to address issues of terrorism, illegal fishing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, poaching and other illegal activities inimical to interest of both nations. Started in Mar 2013, the CORPAT series has enhanced the mutual understanding and fostered improved professional interaction between the two navies for maritime interoperability.
Myanmar ships UMS King TabinShweHtee and UMS Inlay would undertake a coordinated patrol with Indian Naval Ship Saryu from 20 – 28 May 19. The patrolling effort will be augmented by Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies. The ships would patrol along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the two countries covering a distance of approximately 725 Kms over a period of four days. The ships will also undertake joint manoeuvres and drills during the sea phase of coordinated patrol (CORPAT) prior ‘Closing Ceremony’ of the CORPAT onboard Myanmar Naval Ship..

Coast Guard apprehends Pakistani Fishing Boat with 100 Kgs of Heroin

At about 2100hrs on 19 May 2019, intelligence was received of a suspicious vessel likely to be engaged in drug trafficking in area off Indo-Pak International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) off the Gujarat Coast. Similar inputs were also received from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on 20 May 2019. 

Indian Coast Guard immediately swung into action and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship Arinjay on patrol off Indo-Pak IMBL was alerted about the suspect vessel. Two additional Interceptor Boats C-437 and C-408 were also tasked from Jakhau and Okha to augment the search for the suspect vessel. ICG Dornier aircraft was also launched from Porbandar on 20 and 21 May 2019 for aerial recce in the area. 

Coast Guard Ships and aircraft maintained extensive search in the area for intercepting the suspect vessel.  ICG ships classified various contacts in the area and kept them under constant surveillance. During search one fishing boat was observed to be suspicious and Coast Guard ships in area shadowed the suspect vessel during the dark hours of 20 May 2019 night. 

The suspect vessel with first light on 21 May 19 crossed the IMBL towards Indian side and started moving towards the Jakhau coast. The suspect vessel Al Madina was kept under surveillance and intercepted at about 0915hrs on 21 May 2019 about 08 NM inside Indian waters off IMBL by ICG ship Arinjay.

During boarding the vessel was found to be a Pakistani Fishing Boat Al Madina registered at Karachi with 06 Pakistani crew. Initial search of the fishing boat by Indian Coast Guard boarding party revealed 194 packets of suspected narcotics substance. The vessel is being escorted to Jakhau harbour for detailed investigation and rummaging. 

Recently during a similar operation on 24 March 2019, ICG ship Rajratan in joint operation with ATS, Gujarat seized about 100 Kgs of heroin from a suspected Pakistani Dhow off the coast of Gujarat apprehending 09 Iranian crew of the vessel.   

Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh said that the Coast Guard has been at the forefront in anti-narcotics and anti-smuggling operations and since inception has seized contraband worth of more than Rs. 5000 crores.

Brief on SIMBEX-19

On successful completion of IMDEX 19, IN ships Kolkata and Shakti are continuing their stay at Singapore to participate in the annual Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise SIMBEX-2019 scheduled from 16 May to 22 May 19. 

Since its inception in 1993, SIMBEX has grown in tactical and operational complexity. the annual bilateral exercise saw its progression from traditional anti-submarine exercises to more complex maritime exercises such as advanced air defence operations, anti air/ surface practice firings, tactical exercises, etc. Over the years SIMBEX has stood the test of time in demonstrating the nation’s commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between the two countries. For SIMBEX 19, the IN has deployed its finest assets for with an aim to strengthen mutual trust, enhance interoperability, and build greater synergy to address common maritime concerns among both navies.

The harbour phase of SIMBEX-19 conducted from 16 may to 18 may included various planning conferences, simulator based warfare training/ wargaming, courtesy calls to dignitaries of RSN navy, sporting events and deck reception onboard Kolkata. The sea phase of simbex 19 scheduled to be conducted in the South China Sea from 19 may to 22 may 19 will include various maritime combat exercises such as firing on aerial/ surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on surface/ air scenarios.

In addition to IN ships Kolkata and Shakti, long range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I (P8I) will also participate in simbex-19. The Singapore side will be represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft. 

SIMBEX 19 would also conclude the two month long deployment of IN ships Kolkata and Shakti to South and East China Seas which is aimed at extending the bridges of friendship through enhanced cultural, economic and maritime interactions with countries of east and south-east asia. IN ships’ participation in International Fleet Review (IFR) at Qingdao, China as part of PLA (Navy) 70th anniversary celebrations and ADMM-plus MS FTX also reflects the government of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and the Indian Navy’s efforts to “unite nations through the oceans”.

MRSAM Firing Trials

The Indian Navy achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its Anti Air Warfare Capability with the maiden cooperative engagement firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM). The firing was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by Indian Naval Ships Kochi and Chennai wherein the missiles of both ships were controlled by one ship to intercept different aerial targets at extended ranges. The firing trial was carried out by the Indian Navy, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries.
The successful conduct of the test has been the result of sustained efforts by all stakeholders over the years. DRDL Hyderabad, a DRDO Lab, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The MRSAM has been manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited, India.
These Surface to Air Missiles are fitted onboard the Kolkata Class Destroyers and would also be fitted on all future major warships of the Indian Navy. With the successful proving of this cooperative mode of engagement, the Indian Navy has become a part of a select group of Navies that have this niche capability. This capability significantly enhances the combat effectiveness of the Indian Navy thereby providing an operational edge over potential adversaries.

Indian Navy will conduct the First Indian Navy Entrance Test for Officers in September 2019

The Indian Navy is introducing computer-based examination for the selection of Direct Entry Officers after graduation. The first Indian Navy Entrance Test (Officers),   ie. INET (Officers), is scheduled in September 2019 in various centers across the country. INET (Officers) will be used for screening for Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission Officer candidates for all graduate entries other than those that are screened by UPSC or University Entry Scheme.

Currently, officer candidates are shortlisted for interviews by Services Selection Board (SSB) on the basis of marks scored in graduation (or post-graduation for certain entries). Henceforth, shortlisting for SSB will be taken on the basis of marks scored in INET (Officers).

Under the new process, only one advertisement will be published every six months and applicants will need to exercise their option for entries that they wish to be considered for, on the basis of their educational qualification. Details of entries, age and educational qualifications are available on Candidates are advised to register once on the website to fill in their personal, communication and educational particulars, as well as upload their supporting documents. Doing this before the application submission window opens, is advisable in order to save time. Eligible candidates will receive automated email alerts when the application submission window opens.

INET (Officers) will have four sections, viz English, Reasoning and Numerical Ability, General Science and Mathematical Aptitude, and General Knowledge. Candidates will need to pass in each section to be considered for SSB call up. Candidates will be called up for SSB interview on the basis of performance in INET (Officers) and their entry preference. To be considered for final Merit List, candidates would need to qualify in SSB and subsequent Medical Examination. Merit List will be drawn up on the basis of marks scored in INET (Officers) and SSB marks. Selected candidates will undergo Basic Training at the Indian Naval Academy.

Jaisalmer gets Ready to Host International Army Scout Masters Competition 2019

International Army Scout Masters Competition as a part of International Army Games will be organised under the aegis of Konark Corps at Jaisalmer from 24 July to 17 August 2019. The event will witness participation of the Mechanised Infantry Scout Teams of eight countries including Russia who is the founding member of this format of International Army Games.

The Russian Delegation, Senior Military and Diplomatic dignitaries from participating countries visited Jaisalmer Military Station on 14 and 15 May 2019. The delegates were shown and briefed on the special training facilities created at Jaisalmer and Pokhran. The visiting team of officials were impressed with the overall arrangements and complimented the Indian Organisers for creating the excellent infrastructure for the competition. The head of the Russian delegation Lieutenant General Budyshkin Albert Alienvich expressed confidence that India will provide the right opportunity for all teams to excel and bring long term tangible benefits to International Military Cooperation.

The International Army Scout Masters Competition will be conducted in five stages, which will test the overall skills of Mechanised Infantry Scouts in simulated battle field scenarios. The combat skills will be adjudicated by a panel of international judges and referees.

The competition will showcase combat training and promote camaraderie amongst the contestants, facilitate sharing of best practices as well as develop military and technical cooperation between participating nations. India will be conducting the Army Scout Masters Competition for the first time as part of the International Army Games. It is also for the first time that an Indian team will participate in this competition

Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations United States Navy visit to India

Admiral John Michael Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy, is on an official tour to India from 12 to 14 May 2019. His visit is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.

Admiral John M Richardson had discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff today. He also interacted with Defence Secretary, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman COSC and the National Security Council Secretariat.

Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at bilateral and multilateral forums and participate in maritime exercises such as MALABAR and RIMPAC. Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both the navies to institutionalise interoperability in various fields. After being accorded Major Defence Partner status by USA in 2016, India – US ties have grown significantly in recent years. The inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted in September 2018 also facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation between the two countries.

Major issues discussed during the visit included operations and exercises, training interactions, information exchange, capacity building and capability enhancement.

DRDO Successfully Conducts Flight Test of ABHYAS

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from Interim Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha today. The flight test was tracked by various RADARS & Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way point navigation mode. 

The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS based navigation system for its navigation and guidance. The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT.

First Apache Helicopter formally handed over to The IAF

First AH-64E (I) - Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA on  10 May 19. Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility, representatives from US Government were also present.

IAF had signed a contract with US Government and M/s Boeing Ltd in Sep 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by Jul this year. Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain. The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground. The ability of these helicopters, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking makes it a lethal acquisition. These attack helicopters will provide significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.

Change of Command at Air Force Station Faridabad

Group Captain Chandra Shekhar Bhatt took over the command of Air Force Station Faridabad from Group Captain Kaushik Das. The change of command took place in a  Ceremonial parade at Station Parade ground.

Group Captain Bhatt was commissioned in the Logistics branch of IAF in 1990. During his career, the officer has held various appointments in Operational bases and Depots. For his distinguished service, the officer has been commended by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).

Georgian an-12 aircraft forced to land at Jaipur by IAF interceptors

An unknown aircraft entered Indian Air Space in North Gujarat Sector at 1515 hrs with its IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) ‘on’. The aircraft did not follow the authorized Air Traffic Services (ATS) route and was not responding to Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies. Since ATS routes in   the area were closed due to the current geopolitical situation, and the aircraft entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point, the Air Defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled and vectored towards the unknown aircraft for investigation. On visual contact, the aircraft was identified as Georgian An-12 flying at twenty seven thousand feet. The aircraft neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception. However, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non scheduled An-12 aircraft that had got airborne from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi. The aircraft was shadowed and forced to land at Jaipur for necessary investigation.

59th BRO Raising Day

Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is celebrating its 59th Raising Day here today. BRO is a leading road construction agency under the Ministry of Defence with a primary role of providing road connectivity in border areas. It executes road construction and maintenance works along the Northern and Western frontiers primarily to meet the strategic requirements of the Army and is responsible for over 53,000 Km roads. The BRO has also constructed roads in friendly foreign countries like Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan etc. thus contributing towards our strategic objectives in the region.

In 2018-19, BRO executed 991 Km of Formation Cutting, 1965 Km Surfacing, Rs. 1518 Crores Permanent Works, 2817 M of Bridge construction and undertook resurfacing of 1778 Km roads along our Northern and Western Borders. The works done by BRO saw a jump of more than 12% in 2018-19 over the previous financial year.

In line with the overall thrust of the Government to enhance overall strategic connectivity along our borders, the BRO is fully geared up to meet the challenges that lie ahead and has accordingly undertaken an exercise for organizational re-structuring and simplification of procedures with adequate delegation of financial powers to executives. The organisation is now executing works with a combination of departmental, contractual and EPC mode, thus enhancing our capabilities manifold. Necessary co­ ordination between BRO and Army units / Formations at all levels is also being ensured to plan and execute creation, up-gradation and maintenance of infrastructure along our borders to meet our overall tactical and strategic goals.

On this occasion, Director General Border Roads, Lt   Gen   Harpal   Singh conveys his greetings to all Veterans and BRO Personnel and calls upon all ranks of the Organisation to continue on the path of excellence with renewed vigour and dedication.

Launch of Fourth Scorpene Class Submarine - VELA

Vela, the fourth Scorpene class submarine being constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited for the Indian Navy, was launched today, on 06 May 2019, by Mrs Veena Ajay Kumar, wife of Dr Ajay Kumar, IAS, Secretary Defence Production, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. VAdm AK Saxena, CWP&A was also present during the launching ceremony. This event reaffirms the steps taken by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in the ongoing ‘Make In India’ programme, which is being actively implemented by the Department of Defence Production (MoD).

The submarine was towed to Mumbai Port Trust, for separation from the pontoon, after which she will undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in harbour and at sea before delivery to the Indian Navy. 

The contract for the construction and Transfer-of-Technology for six Scorpene class submarines in series, has M/s Naval Group (formerly DCNS) of France as ‘Collaborator’ and are being built by MDL. 

Cmde Rakesh Anand, Chairman and Managing Director, MDL said on the occasion that with the launching of the P15 B Destroyer ‘Imphal’ on 20 April 2019 and the, launching of Vela on 06 May 2019, were indeed some of the major events for MDL so far this year.

Presently Eight Warships and five submarines are under construction at MDL. MDL is one of the India’s leading shipyards with a capacity to meet requirements of the Indian Navy. 

The Scorpene class of submarines can undertake multifarious tasks typically undertaken by any modern submarine which include anti-surface as well as anti-submarine warfare. The transfer of technology involves appropriate technical support by Naval Group to MDL in the field of construction, integration and tests of the submarines in India which is achieved through transfer of technical data package to MDL through information system as well as on job training to MDL’s personnel on critical technologies.

Leveraging the experience and the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, with enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL, is ready for undertaking construction of the future submarines.

INS Ranjit Sails into Sunset Culminating 36 years of Glorious Era

INS Ranjit, a Rajput class destroyer  was decommissioned at a solemn yet grand ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam culminating a glorious era on 06 May 19. The decommissioning ceremony was attended by officers and sailors of the commissioning crew as well as other who have been part of Ranjit’s voyage over the last 36 years. The Chief Guest for the Decommissioning ceremony was His Excellency Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi PVSM AVSM YSM NM VSM ADC (Retd) Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, Andaman & Nicobar Islands who was also a part of the commissioning crew. The Commissioning Ceremony was graced by 16 officers and 10 sailors from the commissioning crew and 23 erstwhile Commanding Officers. 

The ship commissioned on 15 September 1983 by Captain Vishnu Bhagwat in erstwhile USSR has rendered yeoman service to the nation for 36 years. The ship has been helmed by 27 commanding officers and  the last commanding officer, Captain Vikram C Mehra has been in command since 06 Jun 17. The ship since her commissioning has sailed for 2190 days covering a distance of over 7,43,000 nautical miles which is equivalent to navigating around the world 35 times and 3.5 times the distance from earth to moon.

The ship has been at the forefront of major naval operations and has the distinction of serving on both Eastern and Western seaboards. Apart from various naval operations like Op Talwar and various multinational exercises, the ship has also been a flag bearer of the Indian Navy`s benign role by participating in relief operations post Tsunami in 2004 and Hud-hud on 2014. In recognition of the service rendered by the ship to the nation, the ship was awarded Unit Citations by the Chief of Naval Staff in 2003-04 and in 2009-10. 

At the sunset on 06 May 19, the National Flag, Naval Ensign and Commissioning Pennant were lowered for one last time onboard, glorious era in the history of the Indian Navy came to a nostalgic end. Whilst the Ranjit era has come to an end in the Indian Navy, the spirit of Ranjit will continue to live in the hearts of every officer and sailor who has served onboard and her motto of Sada Rane Jayat or Ever Victorious in Battle will continue to inspire generations of Sea Warriors today and in the future.

Rescue and Relief Operation by Indian Navy in Odisha

As the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ crossed coast south of Puri in Odisha this morning, ENC intensified Rescue Operations in areas between Chilka and Puri on 03 May 19.  Additional relief material and medical teams have been augmented to Odisha from Visakhapatnam. INS Ranvijay and Airavat with integral helicopters have also sailed from Visakhapatnam with relief material including medical stores and Medical Teams and are proceeding to Odisha to conjoin the rescue operation with IN Ships Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt.  Dornier Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft was launched to undertake an aerial survey to assess the impact of the cyclone and the extent of the devastation this afternoon. The Relief Material mobilised to Odisha thus far includes 10 HADR pallets and 5 Medical pallets sufficient to cater for nearly 1000 personnel.

Naval Dornier Aircraft Completes Aerial Survey – Extensive Devastation Observed Around Puri

The Naval Dornier Aircraft deployed to carry out aerial survey of Odisha to assess the impact of the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ crossing coast near Puri, observed extensive devastation to vegetation in many places around Puri.  A large number of trees and electric poles were found uprooted creating road blocks in the city limits of Puri. Roof top of Puri Railway Station was found to be blow off.  Large scale water inundation was observed in many, particularly in low lying areas between Puri and Chilka Lake. The Dornier crew observed very strong winds of nearly 50 knots during the sortie.  The footage of the aerial survey is being shared with the State Administration officials for planning relief and rehabilitation activitie.

Indian and French Navies conduct Varuna 19.1 Bilateral Exercise Off Goa coast 1st – 10th May 19

The first part of the Indo-French joint naval exercise, Varuna 19.1 will be conducted off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 19.

The upcoming 17th edition includes participation of the French Navy’s aircraft carrier FNS Charles de Gaulle, two destroyers, FNS Forbin and FNS Provence, the frigate FNS Latouche-Treville, the tanker FNS Marne and a nuclear submarine. From the Indian side, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, destroyer INS Mumbai, the Teg-class frigate, INS Tarkash, the Shishumar- class submarine, INS Shankul, and the Deepak- class fleet tanker, INS Deepak, will be participating in this exercise.

The exercise will be conducted in two phases. The harbour phase at Goa would include cross-visits, professional interactions and discussions and sports events. The sea phase would comprise various excercises across the spectrum of maritime operations.

The second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at the end of May in Djibouti. The bilateral naval exercise initiated in 1983 and christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001, form a vital part of the Indo-French strategic partnership. Having grown in scope and complexity over the years, this exercise exemplifies the strong relations between the two nations, in line with the Joint Strategic Vision of India-French Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region signed by President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former’s State visit to India in March 2018. The Varuna exercise aims at developing interoperability between the two navies and fostering mutual cooperation by learning from each other’s best practices to conduct joint operations. The exercise underscores the shared interests and commitment of both nations in promoting maritime security.
Workshop on “Space Warfare and Technology” by Directorate of Indian Defence University

Directorate of Indian Defence University (IDU) is organizing a two day workshop on “Space Warfare and Technology” for senior and middle level officers from the three Services on 02-03 May 19 at the Purple Bay, India Gate Circle, New Delhi. The workshop intends to cover Weaponisation and Militarisation of Space, preparation for Absorption of High-End Technology for Self-Sustenance in Space Operations, Space Innovations and Technology Exploitation, Inertial Navigation Systems and Sensors, legal aspects of military use of space, Building Capacity - Training, Human Resource and Research & Development, Adversarial Capability in Space Domain & Way Forward for Indian Armed Forces.

Lt Gen PJS Pannu, Deputy Chief of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff will deliver the welcome address followed by keynote address by Lt Gen PS Rajeshwar, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.  This will be followed by talks from eminent speakers from the industry, academia, IITs, ISRO, DRDO, think tanks and Services to share their pragmatic knowledge and research on various aspects of space warfare and technology.  

This workshop is relevant especially in light of Defence Space Agency being raised and three Services energising their own capabilities.  It is to be seen as to how the Defence Space Agency will fit in the entire gambit of space domain utilisation in our country and efficiently perform its role for which it is being raised. 

Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC Takes Over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff

Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria PVSM AVSM VM ADC took over as Vice Chief of the Air Staff today.

The Air Marshal is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy. He was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF on 15 Jun 1980 and won the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ for standing first in the overall order of merit.He has over 4250 hours of experience on twenty six types of fighters and transport aircraft with the unique distinction of being an Experimental Test Pilot, aCat ‘A’ Qualified Flying Instructor and a Pilot Attack Instructor. He completed his Masters in Defence Studies from Command and Staff College, Bangladesh.

The Air Marshal has held a number of important appointments, which include,Command of a Jaguar Squadron and a premier Air Force Station, Commanding Officer of Flight Test Squadron at Aircraft & System Testing Establishment, Chief Test Pilot and Project Director of National Flight Test Centre on Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project. He was extensively involved in the initial prototype flight tests on the LCA. Air MarshalBhadauriawas also the AirAttache, at EoIMoscow, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Projects), Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ CAC, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff at Air HQ andAir Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command. Prior to assuming the present appointment, he was theAir Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command.

During his illustrious career, he was commended by the Chief of Air Staff and has been awarded ParamVishistSeva Medal, AtiVishistSeva Medaland Vayu Sena Medal. 

He is married to Mrs Asha Bhadauria and they are blessed with a daughter and a son

Air Marshal Sk Ghotia VSM takes over command as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief training command

Air Marshal SK Ghotia VSM took over as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Training Command today. 

Air Marshal is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF in Dec 1981. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor with more than 1000 hrs of instructional experience. He has undergone the Air Staff Course, Higher Air Command Course and holds two Masters Degrees. He has served as a Directing Staff at the prestigious Defence Services Staff College Wellington.

Air Marshal has held a number of important appointments, which includes, Commanding Officer of a fighter squadron, Chief Operations Officer and Station Commander of a Forward Air Base in South Western Air Command.  He has also served in a number of Staff appointments, which include Director Intelligence at Air HQs, Ops 1 A of Western Air Command, Principal Director Training (Flying) at Air HQs, Air Attache at Embassy of India, Paris, Air Officer Commanding COBRA Group and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence). Prior to assuming the present appointment, he was the Senior Air Staff Officer of Training Command.

During his illustrious career, Air Mshl was commended by the Air Officer Commanding-In-Chief, WAC in 1994 and Vishist Seva Medal in 2007. 

Air Mshl Ghotia is married to Mrs Nirmala Ghotia and they are blessed with two daughters.

Indian Navy Deploys Ships for Rescue and Relief Operations

The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ lie about 150 km East South East of Visakhapatnam and about 300 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) as on 5:30 pm on 02 May 19. The Cyclonic Storm FANI is moving slowly in a Northerly direction and expected to cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri during tomorrow the 3rd May forenoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.  Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt with Relief Material and Medical Teams embarked have been deployed on the evening of 01 May and are maintaining south of the Cyclonic Storm to be the first responder and commence rescue operation as soon as the cyclone crosses coast.  Additional Relief Material, Medical Teams and Diving Teams have been shifted from Visakhapatnam to Odisha by road to augment the Rescue and Relief efforts under Naval Officer-in-Charge(Odisha) on 02 May 19.  Aircraft have been kept standby for immediate deployment to carry out aerial survey as soon as the cyclone crosses coast to assess the impact of the cyclone and aid in rescue operation. Helicopters are also kept standby for joining in rescue operation and for air dropping of relief material when required. 

ENC is closely monitoring the movement of the cyclone and Naval Officers-in-Charge of West Bengal and Odisha are in constant communication with respective State Administrations to coordinate rescue and relief operations. Additional ships and aircraft have been kept standby at Visakhapatnam for immediate deployment to the most affected areas in the aftermath of the cyclone crossing the coast